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Series Preview: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

April 12th, 2013 at 8:03 AM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves get their first look of the 2013 Washington Nationals starting Friday night in a three-game series. Here are some things to watch over the weekend.

The Braves carry the Majors' best record at 8-1 into the series while swinging red hot bats, and B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward haven't even gotten started. If they can snap out of their cold spells, the Braves offense will be downright scary.

Fredi Gonzalez has already confirmed that Gerald Laird will catch rookie pitcher Julio Teheran, though he didn't completely rule out starting Evan Gattis at first base to keep his bat in the lineup. The logic adds up, considering he's hitting .391 with three homers.

Friday night could be a great day for Heyward to break out. He's 5-for-14 (.357) lifetime against Ross Detwiler. That'll be the Braves' best chance to string together runs; they draw Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez later in the series.

Braves pitching won't treat Bryce Harper quite like they did Giancarlo Stanton, but they'll have to be extraordinarily careful. Harper's hit .417 with four home runs this year.

The Nationals, who are nothing to sneeze at with a 7-2 record, won last year's season series 10-8.

Friday, 7:05 p.m. on Fox Sports South: Braves RH Julio Teheran (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. LH Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.00)

Saturday, 1: 05 p.m. on FOX: RH Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. RH Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.38 ERA)

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. on Fox Sports South: LH Paul Maholm (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs LH Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.82 ERA)


Photo credit: Scott Ableman / / CC BY-NC-ND

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, MLB, Washington Nationals

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