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Braves vs. Nationals, August 17, 2020: Game Thread & Discussion

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Tonight is the first of nine straight games at home for the Braves

Toronto Blue Jays v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Tonight marks the first time the Atlanta Braves will face the Washington Nationals in 2020. Accordingly, this is also the first time the Braves will face the Nats since they became World Champions.

The Braves will lean on Touki Toussaint, who will try to regain the brilliance he showed against the Blue Jays two starts ago. During his last start facing the Yankees, things got hairy for Touki as he allowed six runs (five earned) over four innings.

Since hoisting the World Series trophy, the Nationals have gotten off to a sluggish 8-11 start. Granted, the landscape has changed for the Nats, losing Anthony Rendon to Los Angeles and Stephen Strasburg to nerve irritation in his right hand. They have also been hamstrung by somewhat of a pedestrian offense, posting a collective 0.0 fWAR. To put that in context, since coming back from COVID, Juan Soto has posted 0.9 fWAR for Washington in 11 games, so his ridiculous performance has helped then pull back even. A healthy version of Soto that builds off his 2019 is unquestionably dangerous.

The Nats will use Anibal Sanchez as their starting pitcher this evening, and if he wants to have a pleasant outing, he’d do well to forget what year it is. Sanchez is 0-3 with a 9.69 ERA | 7.75 FIP, with even unsightlier numbers beneath those. Based on the way the Braves have been swinging the bats recently, it is not a slam dunk they’ll be able to capitalize on his offerings, but it (hopefully) beats facing Jacob deGrom.

We would be honored, delighted, and downright giddy if you decide to join us in the comments section tonight. It’s likely the closest you will get to watching a game at Truist Park with your buddies this year, so let’s pretend that’s what’s happening.

This game thread post might be longer than most of the ones we publish, but if you still want to keep reading, boy have we got some links for you:

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