The Braves took care of business behind a strong complete game shutout outing from Bryce Elder and an explosive eight run offensive performance. The division deficit now sits at 1.0 games now that the Braves and Mets have played the same number of games.
The Braves will need to continue to take care of business against the exceedingly beatable Nationals as they have a low margin for error to win the division. They have Kyle Muller taking the mound, which is a high variance proposition in a game of high variance. Muller has had a solid season in triple-A, with strong strikeout numbers (10.63 K/9) and reasonable walks (2.67 BB/9), despite breaking his arm during the season. He had one solid MLB start and one disastrous start in which his command completely failed to show up. With that being said, his triple-A numbers are solid and a complete disaster doesn’t seem extremely likely.
The Braves face a familiar face who has a somewhat dubious stat of appearing in 40 games thus far this season without recording a win. This is pretty wild even if I have general disdain for the win as a stat. Espino has been able to eat innings and not be a complete disaster, which is nice for a bad team like the Nationals. Espino makes his living throwing a pretty awful upper 80s four-seamer about half of the time, with a pretty good curve that surpasses 3000 RPM and a solid slider.
Despite the uncertainty of Muller on the mound, the Braves offense should be able to win this game against Espino and the Nats’ bullpen, barring a disaster from the Braves pitching staff.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, September 27, 7:05 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan