The boys are back in town. After a 5-1 road-trip, the Braves will welcome the defending champs to Truist Park for a three game weekend set. We’ve got good pitching matchups lined up across the board so let’s get you primed for this inter-league showdown.

Friday, April 21

The Braves will try to get back in the win column on Friday night when Bryce Elder squares off against fellow right hander, Hunter Brown. Both pitchers will take the mound with a sub two ERA and a couple of wins under their belt. Elder will try to build on his excellent performance this season but this will be arguably his toughest challenge yet. This Houston team has been a bit slow out of the gate but I think they’ll be aggressive in the box and try to get to Elder early tonight. I’d expect to see heavy slider usage from Bryce. Eleven of his seventeen K’s on the season have come from that offering. His four seamer and sinker have gotten mashed in 2023 so I’d really like to see him limit contact and rack up 7-8 strikeouts with some off speed stuff. Brown has found his stride in the early goings and he’ll try to stifle a loaded Atlanta lineup. He offers a steady diet of four seamers, sliders and curves. They’ve all been clicking. The league is slugging just .215 against Brown so it will be interesting to see how the Braves approach him.

Where: Truist Park – Atlanta, GA

When: 7:20 pm ET

Watch: Apple TV+

Saturday, April 22

Framber Valdez and Kyle Wright are penciled in for game two of this series. The left handed Valdez comes to town with a 1-2 record but a measly 1.80 earned run average in 2023. Framber has tallied twenty five strikeouts over as many inning through four starts this season. The only thing that stands out to me is the hard contact rate. That percentage is about 7 ticks higher than league average and he’s facing a lineup that can barrel up the baseball. Kyle Wright will try to keep things moving in the right direction and build on a solid outing in Kansas City last weekend. I think all we can hope for is to continue to see progress. Wright is still getting stretched out after missing spring training with shoulder inflammation. Every start is a building block and Kyle looked better in KC than he did in Cincinnati. Let’s root for the same trajectory coming into Saturday.

Where: Truist Park – Atlanta, GA

When: 7:20 pm ET

Watch: Bally Sports South

Sunday, April 23

This is the matchup that I’m looking forward to the most. Max Fried versus Cristian Javier. I mean, come on. Javier sports a 3.68 ERA on the year. He’s inducing ground balls at an almost 40% clip and walking almost no one (4 BB/22 IP). His K/9 is down quite a bit from previous years so we will see if the Braves can find some of that contact that the rest of the league has found in Javier. Max was tremendous in his first full start against San Diego this week and I expect nothing less on Sunday afternoon. We know what he’s capable of. I know he’s great. You know he’s great. What else is there to say?

Where: Truist Park – Atlanta, GA

When: 1:30 pm ET

Watch: Bally Sports South, MLB Network

And there you have it. This should be a fun weekend of Braves baseball. Atlanta is off to a red hot start and this team will only get better as some key players continue to get healthy. Let’s hope for a series win against an AL favorite and maybe even dust off the brooms.