At this point, having locked down the division as well as the second seed in the National League, the Braves can essentially sit back and ride out the rest of the season. The most interesting part over the season’s final five games should be related to figuring out the postseason roster.
With Freddie Freeman’s barking elbow, Austin Riley will start at first base tonight. A strong performance can give him the upper hand in the race for the final few playoff roster spots.
Freddie aside, the lineup returns mostly to its pre-clinch form, with Josh Donaldson moving into the three-hole and Markakis slotting in at cleanup. The hangover squad went 1-1 in the two weekend games after the entire clubhouse took a much-deserved champagne bath. Brian McCann will catch Julio Teheran, who gets the start this evening. With the game taking place on American League turf, the Braves get the advantage of a designated hitter, a role which will be filled by Francisco Cervelli. Adam Duvall gets the start in left against lefty Danny Duffy.
Ned Yost, who recently announced his retirement, will line his Royals up like this:
First pitch is scheduled for 8:15pm ET.