The Washington Nationals threatened late, but it wasn’t enough to claw back from a 5-1 deficit. Atlanta racked up 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th to take a 5-1 lead, which was ultimately enough for a 5-4 victory. Brian McCann led the way for the offense with a 2-run jack. McCann’s 2 RBI’s was the difference maker for the Braves offensively. Credit should also be given to Julio Teheran who was hot on the bump.
He allowed just 3 hits and 1-run across 6 innings of work for the Braves. Teheran has been one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball this season. There have been a few out there, but Teheran is certainly near the top of that list. It might take a hot performance in the postseason to get some respect from the media, though.
Teheran and Mike Soroka have combined to be an effective 1-2 punch for the Braves. The Braves were expecting a lot out of Soroka as a rookie, but maybe not instantly get into ace territory as a 21-year-old. Soroka has been pitching like a seasoned veteran with years of experience. The pressure of pitching for a contending team hasn’t impacted him much at all. That’s not easy to find from a 21-year-old.
Without Soroka and Teheran pitching at this level, the Braves are likely struggling to be at the top of the NL East right now. With the win over the Nationals, they’ve secured a double-digit lead. They will go into Sunday with a healthy 10-game lead in the division.
Despite a record of 89-54, the Braves will be going into the postseason as underdogs and sleepers. They’re a dangerous sleeper. Soroka hopes to show why on Sunday afternoon. He gets the call against Max Scherzer of in the series finale. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Braves pick.
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
A win today and the Braves have their tenth in a row. They’ll be going for a ten-game winning streak and a sweep over a divisional rival. The Nationals were the only threat left in the NL East, and after this weekend, there aren’t any threats left for the Braves.
All left to be done is clinch the division and start focusing on October baseball. It’s important to finish strong, and thanks to this recent run, they have a shot at the top seed in the National League. They’re lurking over the Dodgers right now and ready to pounce on a sloppy September by the Dodgers.
Soroka will look to put on a show to get the Braves their tenth straight victory. He has been outstanding, with a 2.53 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 152.2 innings of work. It’s been a while since Soroka has allowed more than 3 runs in a game. This Nationals team was the squad to do it with a 5-3 loss on July 20th. Since then, Soroka has allowed 3 or less runs in eight games in a row. In five of those eight outings, he allowed 2 or less runs. He is a tough matchup against Scherzer in this one. Soroka is likely going to have to be at his best Sunday.
Scherzer will be looking for a bounce back effort after the Mets roughed him up for 4 runs in 6 innings. It was the first game for Scherzer since April 20th that he allowed more than 3 runs in a game. Scherzer was on fire with 2 or less runs allowed in 14 of 16 games before getting tagged for 4 runs against the Mets.
Look for him to be able to settle in and pitch a solid game Sunday afternoon. Consecutive poor outings by Scherzer are really rare. The last time he gave up 4 or more runs in back-to-back games was two years ago in September of 2017. Expect Scherzer to look better this afternoon against the Braves. This showdown between Scherzer and Soroka should be of the lower scoring variety. The UNDER looks like a good option here.