After a series-opening victory on Thursday evening, the Atlanta Braves will be back in action on Friday against the Washington Nationals. Though Sean Newcomb was, once again, fantastic in the first game between the two teams, the Braves will likely need that kind of performance from Friday’s start, Mike Foltynewicz, in order to outlast Washington and Stephen Strasburg.
Foltynewicz enters on a scorching hot streak of four consecutive starts in which he has allowed one run or fewer. In fact, the hard-throwing right-hander owns a 0.78 ERA over that time period (23 innings) and Foltynewicz has 26 strikeouts for good measure. Of course, it must be noted that his control (12 walks in those 23 innings) hasn’t been flawless but, on the whole, he has been able to withstand command issues (4.35 BB/9 on the season) to the tune of a 3.40 FIP and a 2.55 ERA in 60 innings.
In opposition, the Nationals will send Strasburg to the hill and he has been quite effective this season. He owns a slightly unsatisfying 3.57 ERA but his peripherals are strong and Strasburg’s last outing featured five innings of shutout baseball in a win over Miami on Sunday. While Strasburg has had some high-profile missteps against Atlanta, his 3.84 career ERA against the Braves (in 150 innings) isn’t ghastly by any means and the Braves will have their hands full if he is “on” in this match-up.
As of Friday afternoon, the Nationals are approximately -140 favorites in Las Vegas, even with the friendly venue of SunTrust Park set up to help the Braves in this spot. As always, the betting line can be instructive of the perception behind the battle but, if Foltynewicz continues his lights-out streak, Atlanta could be in a favorable position.
Time/Date: Friday, June 1, 7:35 pm ET
Location: SunTrust Park
TV: FOX Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, 106.7 FM Braves Radio Network