The Braves are the hottest team in baseball, winners of 25 of their last 32 games. And over the course of that period, they’ve watched the Mets’ lead in the NL East shrink from 10.5 games to just 2.5. Atlanta is now 14 games over .500 — on pace to win 95 games — yet incredibly, they’ve only strung together three straight wins one time all season.
Of course, it does help when your longest win streak is 14. But tonight, the Braves have a chance to set their second-longest win streak by winning their third straight game against the Cardinals, and they have the right person on the mound to do it.
Max Fried toes the rubber for the Braves on national television as he looks to improve his bid for his first NL Cy Young. On the season, he’s 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA, but he’s amid one of his patented tears in which he’s been nearly unhittable. Fried has a 1.74 ERA over his last 14 starts, and the Braves have won 11 of those games. If this team is ever going to win three games in a row again this season, you have to like their chances tonight. But on the other side, another NL Cy Young candidate is standing in the Braves’ way.
Miles Mikolas will be on the bump for the Cardinals. He’s 5-6 on the season but owns a minuscule 2.61 ERA to go along with a 0.99 WHIP. This has the makings of a pitcher’s duel, but Mikolas will have a challenging task against a red-hot Braves lineup that has produced five-run innings in each of the first two games against the Cardinals.
With a win, the Braves would have a fantastic chance to stretch out this streak. They finish their series with the Red Birds on Thursday and then stay at home against the Nationals this weekend before a critical series with the Mets at Truist Park.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire