Well, I don’t think this is where any of us wanted to be coming into Sunday. The Braves find themselves in the midst of a three game losing streak and will try to salvage the series today to avoid their first sweep since September 2021. Max Fried (1.08) will toe the bump and try to get Atlanta back in the win column. He will be facing off against Houston’s Cristian Javier (3.68).

Max was tremendous last week against San Diego. He threw 79 pitches (55 strikes) over five scoreless innings against the Friars and picked up his first win of the season. Four K’s and no walks also paved the way to a shut out victory in his first full start of 2023. After the start in SoCal, Brian Snitker said the gloves were coming off and Fried would be fully ramped up for his next start. We need a good one and I trust Max to give us just that. I would really like to see 7 strong innings from Max and take some pressure off of a bullpen that has had some tough sledding this weekend.

The bats have been good but not great to start this seven game homestand. Some runs are being scored, a few balls are flying out of the yard, but timely hitting has completely vanished. Pair this with the production the team is getting from the bottom of the order and it’s really not all that surprising that Atlanta has dropped the first two games of this series. I can look past the bullpen hiccup on Friday night, but the bottom third of this lineup is a glaring weakness for the Braves as we start to move toward the month of May. This team needs to get back to full strength. Quickly.

Javier is off to a solid start in 2023. He comes into Sunday with a 2-0 record as well as 19 K’s through 22 innings, Opponents are slugging .500 against his fastball in 2023 so that’s what I expect the Braves to be hunting. The slider and curve have been gems this year. I predict that Matt Olson will put a 93 MPH Javier fastball into the Chop House. Olson has taken him deep twice in his career and I’d like to see Matt get back on track. He’s had a rough week.

Let’s salvage the series today and move on to the Marlins.

Where: Trusit Park, Atlanta GA

When: 1:35 pm ET

Watch: Bally Sports South, MLB Network