The Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals start the season with a three-game divisional series. The first game will be on Thursday, March 30 followed by an off day on Friday for both teams. First pitch from Nationals Park in Washington D.C. is set for 1:05 p.m. ET and won’t be televised nationally. Atlanta will send Max Fried to the mound, with Washington countering with Patrick Corbin.
At DraftKings Sportsbook, the Braves are the -245 moneyline favorites, while the Nationals are the +205 underdog. The total for the game is set at 8.
Braves-Nationals picks: Opening Day Thursday, March 30
OUT: SP Kyle Wright, SP Mike Soroka, RP Raisel Iglesias, RP Kolby Allard, RP Tyler Matzek
Out: RP Tanner Rainey, RP Sean Doolittle, C Israel Pineda, SP Stephen Strasburg, RP Victor Arano, 3B Carter Kieboom
Max Fried vs. Patrick Corbin
It’s a battle of the southpaws. Fried started 30 games last season and had a 14-7 record with a 2.48 ERA. He struck out 170 batters in 185.1 innings Friend pitched against Washington three times last season and finished with a 2-1 record with a 4.50 ERA and 14 strikeouts.
Corbin struggled against Atlanta in 2022. He started four games and ended with an 0-3 record and a whopping 9.42 ERA. Corbin did strikeout 16 batters, but he gave up at least four earned runs in three of the appearances. He totaled a 6-19 record and 6.31 ERA last year with Washington.
Atlanta’s lineup is one of the better ones in the NL, and they have a history of hitting Corbin well. It will be tough for Washington to muster any significant rub production if Fried is his usual self, but the Braves should score ample runs.
Pick: Over 8
The Braves take on the St. Louis Cardinals in their second series of the year. They can’t afford to look past the Nationals to open the season but should be able to handle business if they don’t start the season slowly. It has been a minute since we have seen Corbin pitch confidently, and he has too tough of a task to open the year.
Pick: Braves ML