If it wasn’t official before, it is now: the Atlanta Braves absolutely own the Washington Nationals head-to-head. To this point, the Braves have only lost one game to their division rivals in their first two series that were played earlier this season.
The Braves are playing some of their best, and most clutch, baseball against the Nats. While their bullpen has seemed to struggle over the past month, they have been lights out most of the games against their division foe (not counting Craig Kimbrel‘s blown save last night). While the Braves have scored 41 runs against the Nationals this season, the Nats have only been able to push across 20 runs. The staff is holding Adam Laroche and friends to a .223 batting average and own an ERA of 2.01 against them. Clearly, the pitching is carrying the team against them right now.
Not only are the Braves pitching well, they are hitting with good power. However, what can’t be lost in the shuffle is the fact that they are hitting better with runners in scoring position against the Nationals than they are against pretty much any other team. Also, their batting average against the division rival is higher than they have hit against most other teams and their on-base percentage is second highest against them (.334), behind their numbers against the Los Angeles Angeles.
As long as the Braves are able to push a few runs across the plate for their pitchers, don’t expect them to slow down at all. With Julio Teheran pitching like a true ace and Alex Wood likely to join the rotation soon, there’s a good chance they extend their dominance over the Nationals as the season goes on.