Max Fried will make his third straight Opening Day start Thursday afternoon as the Atlanta Braves begin their quest for a sixth straight NL East title against Patrick Corbin and the Washington Nationals.
Fried turned in another banner season in 2022 and finished second in voting for the NL Cy Young Award. He was a workhorse logging a career-high 185 1/3 innings while posting a 2.48 ERA and a 2.70 FIP. He was worth 5.0 fWAR which was also a career best mark. Interestingly, Fried hasn’t always pitched his best against the Nationals and has a 4.52 ERA for his career in 15 games (14 starts) against Washington. In three starts last season against the Nationals, Fried allowed 20 hits and nine runs in 18 innings.
Corbin helped the Nationals win a World Series title in 2019, but his been all downhill for the veteran left-hander since. He did make 31 starts for Washington in 2022, but posted a 6.31 ERA and a 4.84 FIP in 152 2/3 innings. The FIP suggests he was somewhat unlucky, but it isn’t what you want from someone who will be paid just south of $60 million through the end of the 2024 season. To put his 2022 season in context, Corbin allowed a league-high 210 hits and 27 home runs.
A lot of that damage came at the hands of the Braves who beat him up for 27 hits and 15 runs in 14 1/3 innings stretched over four starts.
Orlando Arcia will be the Braves’ Opening Day shortstop Thursday replacing the now departed Dansby Swanson. Arcia put together a solid campaign in 2022 and was a league average hitter in terms of wRC+ for the first time in his career while filling in mostly at second base. His performance against the Nationals played a heavy part in that as he posted a .400/.468/.775 line with five of his nine home runs coming in 14 games against Washington.
Thursday’s game is set for a 1:05 p.m. ET start and can be seen on Bally Sports Southeast. The series has a built in off day for weather on Friday, but the forecast is clear with some albeit chilly temperatures.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, March 30, 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park, Washington DC
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Streaming: MLB TV
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan