After a pyrrhic victory on Opening Day that cost the Braves a few weeks of Max Fried, due to hamstring issues, the Braves have their ace 1b on the mound for game 2. While Strider doesn’t have the track record that Max does, he was simply one of the best pitchers in the game on a per-inning basis last season. He gave no indication of slowing down in spring training, striking out well over a batter per inning and allowing over one home run over the 16.0 innings.
The Nationals will have Josiah Gray on the mound, who was once a top prospect traded to the Nationals for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. His major league career has not gone quite as well so far, however. ZiPS projects him for a 4.64 FIP this season, which would be more than a 1.00 improvement over the last two seasons’ numbers he has posted in the majors. There aren’t many reasons to feel encouraged about Gray’s upcoming 2023 season or his career as a whole, but that should be encouraging for Braves’ batters preparing to face him today. He does strike out a healthy amount of batters, at over 9 K/9, but the combination of a high walk rate (over 4.0 BB/9) and giving up a ton of homers is not likely to be a successful one. Atlanta’s power bats are surely licking their chops at the combination of Gray’s start and the following Nationals’ bullpen.
As far as weather goes, there is some potential for some rain in the morning, but it looks like we should be clear by gametime.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, April 1, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park, Washington DC
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Streaming: MLB TV
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan