Braves Nationals Series Preview

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Atlanta.  Freeman sat out for the first time in three seasons, ending his consecutive games playing streak of 234 games because of a sprained right hand.  (AP Photo/Jon Barash)

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Atlanta. Freeman sat out for the first time in three seasons, ending his consecutive games playing streak of 234 games because of a sprained right hand. (AP Photo/Jon Barash)

The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves have both had dominant pitching, which powered both teams in their weekend sweeps.

The Nationals have had fantastic offensive production as of late. Washington (37-33) swept Pittsburgh, scoring 19 runs while only giving up 3 runs and 14 hits to the Pirates in their last three games. Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter on Saturday, but Mad Max wasn’t the only pitcher who dominated for them this weekend. Gio Gonzalez had 0 ER in 7 innings pitched while Joe Ross had only 1 ER over 7.1 innings pitched.

Washington scored 9 of their 19 runs in the first inning of Sunday’s game. Bryce Harper, who has been on fire lately, hit his 24th home run, which is one less than MLB’s leading home run hitter Giancarlo Stanton. In the past 13 games Harper has been batting .404 with 6 homers along with 12 RBI. He is also batting an even .500 against Alex Wood, who is starting for the Braves on Tuesday.

Atlanta, whose record is now an even .500 at 35-35, only gave up 5 runs against the Mets in their home sweep this weekend. Julio Tehran had only 1 ER in 7 innings during his start on Sunday. The weekend series also saw Matt Wisler’s spectacular MLB debut. Wisler had 0 ER over 8 innings on Friday.

Atlanta only scored 9 runs total in the series and Freddie Freeman has missed the last 4 games with a sprained left wrist. Freeman had an MRI on Monday, and is most likely headed to the disabled list. There are some hot bats though for the Braves; Jace Peterson went 3-7 in the series with two doubles and 4 walks while Ansrelton Simmons went 7-11 last weekend.

The Braves have a chance to get their bats going on Tuesday, as Stephen Strasburg seems most likely to start for the Nationals, who is 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA this season. Strasburg has been on the disabled the past three weeks with a sprained left trapezius muscle. Strasburg is 4-7 all-time against Atlanta with a 4.24 ERA in 17 starts. He also hasn’t beaten them at home since 2012.

Alex Wood, who is 4-4 with a 3.40 ERA, has given up 8 runs in 11 innings against Washington in 2015. He was previously 3-1 with a 1.49 ERA in six starts against the Nats.

The Braves have lost 5 straight against Washington while giving up 48 runs. Atlanta looks to build on last weekend’s dominant pitching and get a win at home against their NL East rivals.

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