Riding an eight-game home winning streak, the Atlanta Braves will try to keep the good vibes rolling when they begin a three-game series against the Washington Nationals Monday night. Kyle Wright will get the start for the Braves while the Nationals will go with right-hander Cory Abbott.
For the Braves, Travis d’Arnaud is back in the lineup after getting the day Sunday. d’Arnaud will be behind the plate and hit fifth. William Contreras is back in the lineup as the DH and will slot into the seventh spot in the order. Eddie Rosario starts in left field and will hit eighth while Vaughn Grissom rounds out the order in the ninth spot.
Having Ronald Acuña Jr. return to the outfield has enabled the Braves to give Contreras more at-bats as the DH. Contreras has seven hits, including a pair of homers, in his last four games. Rosario has been playing mostly against right-handed pitchers and is hitting .292/.320/.333 albeit with an 83 wRC+ through 10 games in September. Grissom returned to the starting lineup Sunday in place of Ozzie Albies who will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured pinky. Grissom is 2-for-21 with two walks and seven strikeouts over his last seven games.
The Nationals are 51-95 on the season, but are 7-9 in September and are third in the National League in runs scored trailing only the Dodgers and Mets. Washington ranks first in batting average, second in OPS and are third in slugging percentage and wOBA since August 30.
Lane Thomas and Luke Voit have accounted for most of Washington’s offense down the stretch. Thomas has two homers, a 158 wRC+ and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. Voit has a 161 wRC+ and three home runs over his last 16 games. Atlanta fans may remember Joey Meneses who spent seven seasons (2011-17) in the Braves’ minor league system. Meneses spent the 2021 season in the Red Sox system and finally made his major league debut this season with the Nationals. Meneses has gotten off to a hot start hitting .309/.341/.537 with nine home runs and a 142 wRC+ through his first 40 games.
The game will also mark the return of Atlanta native CJ Abrams who will be playing in his first game at Truist Park. The Nationals acquired Abrams at the trade deadline in the Juan Soto trade. Abrams is hitting .231/.252/.308 with four doubles and two triples in 29 games since the trade.