Fresh off of a series win over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves will close out their homestand with a two-game series against the New York Yankees. Atlanta lost both of the previous matchups against the Yankees in New York on their previous road trip.
The Braves will enter play on Tuesday with a 16-12 record and currently sit atop the NL East standings. The Yankees come into the series with a 16-9 record and are one game back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
Both teams could get back a key player in time for Tuesday’s series opener. Ronald Acuña Jr. took batting practice with the team on Sunday and barring any setbacks, is likely to be activated as soon as Tuesday. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is also on the injured list due to a sore calf and is expected to be activated on Tuesday. Atlanta could also get back Nick Markakis, who is on the COVID list after coming into contact with someone with the virus, at some point this week.
Ozzie Albies was scheduled to begin swinging a bat again on Monday but still seems to be several days away. New York is also dealing with several injuries to key players in Zach Britton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton and Giancarlo Stanton who will all miss the series.
As of this writing, the Braves have yet to announce their starter for Tuesday’s game. The signs seem to point to right-handed prospect Ian Anderson being called upon to make his major league debut. That thinking was strengthened on Sunday when Touki Toussaint pitched in relief of Josh Tomlin. New York will have Gerrit Cole on the mound Tuesday in the series opener with Masahiro Tanaka matched up against Max Fried on Wednesday.
Atlanta Braves (16-12/10-4/6-8)
Hitters: 2.8 fWAR (16th), 107 wRC+ (9th), 26.5 K% (28th), 8.6 BB% (19th)
Pitchers: 2.3 fWAR (17th), 100 FIP- (17th), 22.4 K% (19th), 10.4 BB% (22nd)
New York Yankees (16-9/10-3/6-6)
Hitters: 4.6 fWAR (7th), 124 wRC+ (1st), 22.8 K% (14th), 10.3 BB% (6th)
Pitchers: 2.5 fWAR (16th), 95 FIP- (11th), 24.5 K% (6th), 8.7 BB% (14th)
Braves - Ronald Acuña Jr. (10-day IL), Ozzie Albies (10-day IL), Cole Hamels (45-day IL), Nick Markakis (Covid-IL), Philip Pfeifer (45-day IL), Mike Soroka (45-day IL), Jeremy Walker (45-day IL), Jacob Webb (45-day IL)
Yankees - Luis Avilan (10-day IL), Zack Britton (10-day IL), Kyle Higashioka (10-day IL), Aaron Judge (10-day IL), Tommy Kahnle (45-day IL), DJ LeMahieu (10-day IL), James Paxton (10-day IL), Giancarlo Stanton (10-day IL), Luis Severino (45-day IL), Gleyber Torres (10-day IL),
Tuesday, August 25, 7:10 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)
Gerritt Cole (2020: 6 GS, 36.0 IP, 31.6 K%, 4.3 BB%, 63 ERA-, 84 FIP-)
Gerritt Cole has been as good as advertised during his first season in pinstripes. He is 20-0 with a 1.97 ERA over his last 28 starts dating back to May 2019. He allowed six hits and two runs while striking out 10 in 6 2/3 innings against the Red Sox in his last start. Cole has allowed three runs or fewer in all six of his starts in 2020.
As mentioned above this seems likely to be Ian Anderson’s debut. If not, it would seem likely that they would go with another bullpen outing.
Wednesday, August 26, 7:10 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast, ESPN)
Masahiro Tanaka (2020: 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 19.4 K%, 4.5 BB%, 105 ERA-, 101 FIP-)
Masahiro Tanaka will be looking to bounce back after a rough outing in his last start against the Rays. Tanaka allowed a total of three runs over his first three starts but was tagged for eight hits and five earned runs in just four innings last time out.
Max Fried (2020: 6 GS, 34.0 IP, 25.2 K%, 8.4 BB%, 29 ERA-, 52 FIP-)
Max Fried will look to continue his dominant start win Wednesday’s series finale. Opponents are hitting just .188 against Fried this season. He won a head-to-head matchup against Aaron Nola in his last start allowing five hits and one run over five innings. He struck out five and walked two. Fried has allowed two runs over his last 22 1/3 innings.