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Why is Juan Soto not in Nationals lineup Tuesday vs. the Braves?

The Nationals will be without Juan Soto vs. the Braves on Tuesday. We break down why.

Milwaukee Brewers v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

For the first time this season, Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto is not in the team’s starting lineup.

Soto was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of Monday’s game after he slipped and smacked his knee on the corner of the dugout bench, according to manager Dave Martinez. Soto had an X-ray done on his knee that night, which Martinez said came back “OK.”

Soto is having a bit of an off year for the moribund Nationals, hitting just .228 with an .833 OPS. Both marks are down significantly from his marks in recent seasons. Since the Nats’ lineup doesn’t boast many other threats, pitchers just aren’t giving the terrific batter much to hit, contributing to his MLB-most 52 walks.

The Nationals will face the Atlanta Braves at 7:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park. Atlanta has won 12 consecutive games to put themselves right back in the hunt in the National League East, but they will have to make do without star second baseman Ozzie Albies for at least two months after he fractured his left foot Monday.

The Braves, with left-handed ace Max Fried on the mound, are listed at -265 on the moneyline, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Nationals starting pitcher Jackson Tetreault is making his MLB debut.