Game Preview: Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves (Game 1)


Tuesday, August 17 – 7:10 (SportSouth)
Washington Nationals (51-67) vs. Atlanta Braves (69-49)

Scott Olsen
(5.11 ERA, 4.44 xFIP, 3.04 BB/9, 5.91 K/9, 9 SwStr%)
(Career vs. ATL: 15 G, 14 GS, 4-5, 5.65 ERA, 35 BB, 62 K)
Mike Minor
(6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 K)
(Career vs. WAS: First Start)

Braves vs. Olsen:
Matt Diaz: 12-31, 4 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, BB, 8 K
Brian McCann: 6-23, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K
Troy Glaus: 2-14, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB, K
Martin Prado: 5-15, 3 2B, RBI, BB
Omar Infante: 5-14, 2 RBI, BB, 3 K
Melky Cabrera: 0-4, 2 K
Jason Heyward: 0-3

Nationals vs. Minor:

What to Look For:
How the Braves handle Scott Olsen the third time around. Olsen shut the Braves down in early May but managed three runs in six innings off him in late July. A lefty usually spells doom for the Braves so they need to swing the bats tonight. Just as important is Mike Minor’s Atlanta debut. He may have to overcome nerves in the beginning. And perhaps the biggest news is the return of Martin Prado, who is batting third and playing third, as most expected.

My Take on the Opposition:
Olsen has always struggled with walks and doesn’t get enough strikeouts to make up for it, but he has improved in 56 innings this season. Command and inconsistency have long troubled Olsen and the way to beat him is taking advantage when he loses command. He gave up five runs and seven runs in his past two starts. He has terrible numbers against the Braves in 78 innings, allowing 55 runs on 80 hits, but he has had success against them this season in two starts, due in large part to the Braves’ weakness against lefties.

Game Notes:
Prado returns to the lineup