Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (8-1) @ Washington Nationals (7-2)

Jonathan Ernst

The two pre-season favorites in the National League East Division get set for their first series of the season. The Atlanta Braves come to Nationals Park to kick off a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

The Washington Nationals have played nine games so far this season, but you can't help but think the real season starts tonight at Nationals Park when they start a three-game series against the National League East leading Atlanta Braves.

These two teams were the two almost everyone expected to battle it out for the NL East crown with the Nationals and Braves both adding key parts to their team to return to the playoffs and improve on their 2012 seasons.

Let's take a closer look at the three-game set.

Probable Pitchers
Friday, 7:05 p.m.
WSH: Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
ATL: Julio Teheran (0-0, 9.00 ERA)

Saturday, 1:05 p.m.
WSH: Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.38)
ATL: Tim Hudson (1-0, 3,27)

Sunday, 1:35 p.m.
WSH: Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.82)
ATL: Paul Maholm (2-0, 0.00)

Projected Braves Lineup
1
. CF B.J. Upton
2. RF Jason Heyward
3. LF Justin Upton
4. C Evan Gattis
5. 2B Dan Uggla
6. 3B Juan Francisco
7. 1B Chris Johnson
8. SS Andrelton Simmons

Braves Bench
C Gerald Laird
IF Ramiro Pena
IF/OF Blake DeWitt
OF Reed Johnson
OF Jordan Schafer

Braves Bullpen
Craig Kimbrel
Eric O'Flaherty
Jordan Walden
Cory Gearrin
Luis Avilan
Anthony Varvaro
Cristhian Martinez

*Luis Ayala will join team Friday

WASHINGTON NATIONALS


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Gio Gonzalez 2 3 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 1.667
Bryce Harper 9 36 8 15 1 0 4 8 2 6 0 1 .417 .447 .778
Wilson Ramos 5 17 3 6 0 0 2 3 3 1 0 1 .353 .450 .706
Dan Haren 2 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .667
Denard Span 9 31 6 10 2 0 0 2 9 3 1 1 .323 .475 .387
Kurt Suzuki 4 10 1 3 2 0 1 3 3 2 0 0 .300 .500 .800
Jayson Werth 9 37 8 11 1 0 3 7 0 9 1 0 .297 .316 .568
Ian Desmond 9 34 5 10 4 1 2 3 1 9 0 0 .294 .306 .647
Steve Lombardozzi 5 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .250 .400 .500
Ryan Zimmerman 9 29 1 7 2 1 0 7 6 9 0 0 .241 .361 .379
Danny Espinosa 9 33 4 6 4 0 0 2 2 6 0 0 .182 .229 .303
Adam LaRoche 7 24 2 4 0 0 2 4 2 9 0 0 .167 .231 .417
Chad Tracy 5 11 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 .091 .167 .091
Tyler Moore 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Stephen Strasburg 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jordan Zimmermann 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ross Detwiler 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .000 .333 .000
Roger Bernadina 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .000 .500 .000
Craig Stammen 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Drew Storen 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ryan Mattheus 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Tyler Clippard 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Soriano 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Henry Rodriguez 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Zach Duke 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Ross Detwiler 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 6 1 0 0 1 1 0.00 1.17
Gio Gonzalez 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 6 1 1 0 4 12 0.82 .91
Jordan Zimmermann 2-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 13.0 15 3 3 1 2 5 2.08 1.31
Drew Storen 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4.0 4 2 1 0 0 5 2.25 1.00
Ryan Mattheus 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 5.2 7 2 2 0 3 8 3.18 1.76
Stephen Strasburg 1-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.1 12 6 6 0 4 8 4.38 1.30
Craig Stammen 2-0 3 0 0 0 0 1 4.0 5 2 2 0 2 4 4.50 1.75
Tyler Clippard 0-0 5 0 0 0 0 0 5.0 2 3 3 1 2 5 5.40 .80
Rafael Soriano 0-0 6 0 0 0 5 1 6.0 7 4 4 2 1 6 6.00 1.33
Henry Rodriguez 0-0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 2 2 2 1 1 1 7.71 1.29
Dan Haren 1-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 19 9 9 4 0 10 9.00 2.11
Zach Duke 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.2 6 6 5 1 0 3 16.88 2.25


ATLANTA BRAVES


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Julio Teheran 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000
Jordan Schafer 3 6 2 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 .667 .667 .833
Freddie Freeman 5 17 3 7 1 0 1 7 2 5 0 0 .412 .474 .647
Gerald Laird 3 10 0 4 2 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 .400 .455 .600
Evan Gattis 6 23 3 9 1 0 3 6 2 5 0 0 .391 .440 .826
Justin Upton 9 34 9 12 3 0 6 9 3 12 0 0 .353 .395 .971
Juan Francisco 8 28 2 9 0 0 1 5 1 6 0 0 .321 .345 .429
Chris Johnson 7 23 2 7 1 0 0 1 1 5 0 0 .304 .360 .348
Ramiro Pena 7 12 1 3 1 0 0 4 0 4 0 0 .250 .250 .333
Tim Hudson 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 .250 .400 .250
Andrelton Simmons 7 29 7 7 1 0 0 2 1 3 1 0 .241 .258 .276
Dan Uggla 9 30 7 6 0 0 2 3 6 11 0 0 .200 .333 .400
Reed Johnson 7 9 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .111 .200 .222
B.J. Upton 8 29 2 3 0 0 1 1 3 12 3 1 .103 .212 .207
Jason Heyward 9 28 6 2 0 0 1 2 5 7 1 1 .071 .257 .179
Paul Maholm 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Mike Minor 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kris Medlen 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Anthony Varvaro 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Cristhian Martinez 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jordan Walden 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Eric O`Flaherty 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Luis Avilan 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Cory Gearrin 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Craig Kimbrel 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Luis Avilan 1-0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3.2 3 0 0 0 1 3 0.00 1.09
Cory Gearrin 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 3.1 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.00 .60
Craig Kimbrel 0-0 4 0 0 0 4 0 4.0 1 0 0 0 2 4 0.00 .75
Paul Maholm 2-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.2 7 0 0 0 4 13 0.00 .87
Anthony Varvaro 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 6.1 5 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 .95
Mike Minor 2-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 13.0 10 1 1 1 1 11 0.69 .85
Kris Medlen 1-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.0 9 3 2 0 6 4 1.50 1.25
Jordan Walden 0-0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3.0 3 1 1 0 0 4 3.00 1.00
Tim Hudson 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 9 4 4 1 5 10 3.27 1.27
Eric O`Flaherty 1-0 5 0 0 0 0 0 4.2 3 2 2 0 3 2 3.86 1.29
Cristhian Martinez 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 5 2 2 0 0 0 7.71 2.14
Julio Teheran 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 8 5 5 2 1 2 9.00 1.80


Atlanta Braves Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brian McCann shoulder 03/23/2013
Paul Janish shoulder 03/23/2013
Freddie Freeman oblique 04/07/2013
Jonny Venters elbow 03/27/2013
Brandon Beachy elbow 03/22/2013

TEMPERATURE CHECK (Last 7 Days)

Who's Hot
Evan Gattis (ATL) 8/19 (.421/.476/.789), 2 HR, 5 RBI
Justin Upton (ATL) 10/27 (.370/.379/.926), 4 HR, 6 RBI
Ian Desmond (WSH) 9/24 (.375/.360/.875), 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Bryce Harper (WSH) 9/24 (.375/.423/.625), 2 HR, 5 RBI

Who's Cold
Jason Heyward (ATL) 0/21, 3 BB (.000/.192/.000), 5 K
B.J. Upton (ATL) 3/21, 3 BB (.143/.280/.286), 9 K
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH) 2/19, 5 BB (.105/.280/.158), 4 RBI

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

The New Leadoff Men

B.J. Upton was linked to the Washington Nationals even before he became a free-agent this off season but Washington went in another direction with Denard Span and Upton went to Atlanta in the first part of their outfield overhaul. The two players are both center fielders and both lead off men but there aren't many similarities in what they bring. Span is more of a on-base guy with little power. Upton is more of a free swinger but has the power to bring to the table. These two will be going at it for at least the next few years.

Dan Uggla vs Rafael Soriano

No player has faced Rafael Soriano more than Dan Uggla and Uggla has had some success against the Nationals closer. Uggla is 5/13 with a double and three home runs against Soriano. He also struck out four times. Soriano has been very successful with his slider against Uggla with only one of the 20 sliders he threw Uggla put in play. If they face each other, be sure to look how Soriano attacks the Braves second baseman.

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