The Braves offense bounced back in convincing fashion last night. Can they do the same behind Max Fried today?
The Braves offense used Citi Field as their own launching pad on Tuesday, blasting four home runs en route to a 12-5 victory. Atlanta has sandwiched multiple blowouts around a three-game stretch in which they scored just three runs, which makes their paltry showing on Monday even more frustrating. The Braves will look to carry over their electric performance tonight against Mets right-hander Tylor Megill, while Max Fried draws the assignment for Atlanta.
Megill has been outstanding in his first month at the major league level. Though his record is only 1-0, his 2.10 ERA and 3.35 FIP suggest that the right-hander has been very effective. He has struck out 33 batters in 30 innings across six starts, and his strand rate is just over 90%. That final number may suggest that Megill has been somewhat fortunate thus far, as does his .267 BABIP against, but he has found success nonetheless. The Braves saw Megill twice last month, managing to score five earned runs on hits hits across 9 1⁄3 innings. The Mets won both of those contests.
Fried has been inconsistent this season, unfortunately. After making a strong run at the NL Cy Young Award last season, his numbers have regressed considerably. July has been especially unkind to the left-hander, with opponents batting .292 against and Fried posting a 5.32 ERA for the month. Of his four July starts, the only good performance was against Tampa Bay, while Pittsburgh, Miami, and Philadelphia have each been problematic. Fried is no doubt a special talent, but something has been off this month. On the season, Fried enters play with a 7-6 record, 4.46 ERA, and 3.92 FIP in 842⁄3 innings.
The Braves now sit just four games back in the division with an opportunity to pull a game closer tonight. If they could leave town on Thursday trailing by just two games, that could open the possibility of making a deadline splash for the front office. They could certainly make a splash regardless, but tightening the race and playing well against the Mets would boosts confidences throughout the organization. Winning tonight against Megill would be a great start, and Max Fried bouncing back will be a storyline to watch.
Atlanta has their shot against the division leader, can they take advantage?
Time: Wednesday, July 28, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Citi Field, Flushing, New York
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network