Braves Preview: Atlanta looking to clinch midweek series against Twins

Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves
Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves continue to tear through major league baseball this month, currently rocking an 18-4 record in June and holding the best record in the National League. 

What seemed prime for a hangover game after an exhausting series with the Reds turned into another hard-fought win for the Braves. Home runs from Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna on Monday night ended up being the difference in the 4-1 victory over the Twins. 

The two division leaders will go at it again on Tuesday, each trying to finish the first half strong and in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot. 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN TUESDAY’S GAME

Elder’s All-Star Campaign 

While his ERA has jumped a bit in the month of June after being tagged for nine earned runs in his first two starts of the month, Bryce Elder has still been the unexpected star of this Braves rotation. 

He’s pitched at least six innings in his last two starts, including seven shutout innings against the Phillies during the Braves' most recent win streak. 

Elder can put a stamp on his candidacy for the NL All-Star team with a big outing against the Twins. 

Swing and Miss Minnesota 

Elder and the Braves' pitching staff could have big days against a Twins team that has a tendency to walk back to the dugout empty-handed more than anyone in baseball this year. 

Minnesota has struck out 819 times so far in 2023, the most in MLB this year. The next closest team is Seattle with about 70 fewer strikeouts. 

Spencer Strider has already carved up this Twins lineup with 10 strikeouts on Monday. Elder and the bullpen may not hit that mark, but this Twins lineup may get them close. 

Twins (40-40) at Braves (51-27)

When: 7:20 p.m. ET
Where: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
How to Watch: BSSO/TBS
How to Listen: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan