Atlanta faces Washington at home in a game that has no effect on the standings for Atlanta, but perhaps for Washington’s draft position. Spencer Strider will start and he is a couple strikeouts away from breaking John Smoltz’ franchise record and one win away from his 20th, so there are a few personal accolades on the line for him. Additionally, the Braves are still seeking the home runs they need for the MLB record for home runs hit in a season by a team, as they need three more to tie and four to stand alone at the top. Ronald Acuna is currently tied for the franchise stolen base record and needs one to stamp his name alone at the top.
On the other side, they face a bad Nationals’ lineup and a bad pitcher in Joan Adon. Adon is still fairly young, so his career may get better, but he has not been good so far, with both a FIP and xFIP around 5. His minor league stats haven’t been particularly good since rookie ball either, so there isn’t much reason to think that this is simply an early career blip. Adon is a pitcher that the Braves’ offense should be able to mash, even as they likely rotate players to give their regulars some late-season rest. He has sub-par strikeout numbers (8.12 K/9) and walks his fair share (4.15BB/9). His quality of contact is pretty scary as well, allowing some very hard contact, which meshes well for Atlanta’s “hit the ball really hard” offensive approach. His changeup does seem to be a legit pitch, but the rest of his offerings range from fine to bad.
We should probably expect to see Atlanta’s big bats get some rest either from not starting the game altogether, or being substituted out, as was the case for many on Friday. Additionally, Strider’s pitch count will be worth watching as the team may not want to risk pushing him farther in the game than he needs to reach one or two of those individual milestones. It should be a relaxed game to watch for the milestones on Saturday as the regular season winds down and the postseason looms.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, September 30, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM, The Fan