After the Nats finish up the three-game set in Pittsburgh, they travel to the Braves’ brand new stadium, SunTrust Park. The Nats fared well during their first trip, sweeping the Braves and ending their five-game winning streak.
The Braves haven’t gotten off to a very good start, although they were not expected to be competitive this year. They currently sit at 16-21, and they aren’t expected to improve much throughout the year. According to FanGraphs, they are projected to finish 71-91, and have a 0.8% chance of making the postseason.
Atlanta has received lots of production from their usual sluggers, Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, and Nick Markakis. However, they haven’t gotten much offense from anyone other than those three. Shortstop Dansby Swanson has gotten off to a rough start to his age 23 season, hitting a miniscule .184 in 34 games. His 36 strikeouts are also the most on the team. He is widely regarded as a future star, but isn’t quite ready yet.
Their starting rotation has been among the worst in the league so far. Mike Foltynewicz leads the quintet with a 4.04 ERA. That’s not terrible, but it should definitely not lead the rotation. Off-season acquisitions, Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and Jaime Garcia have not been what the Braves had in mind when they acquired them. Their ERA’s are 6.80, 4.22, and 4.33 respectively.
Following the trend of off-season acquisitions not going as planned, the Braves will be without Sean Rodriguez for the entire season. The utility man was involved in a car accident shortly after signing a two-year deal with Atlanta, and required shoulder surgery. Although he wouldn’t have made the Braves a competitor, he definitely would’ve helped them become a little more competitive and provided a great veteran presence for their young core.