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Ian Anderson and Max Fried hope to serve as 1-2 punch for Braves doubleheader against Yankees

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There’s a lot of excitement surrounding today’s doubleheader, and it’s pretty easy to see why.

Toronto Blue Jays v Atlanta Braves Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Since yesterday was rained out, today we’re going to get (at least) 14 innings of baseball between the Braves and the Yankees as they close out their four-game season series against each other. The pitching matchups for yesterday’s originally scheduled game and Game 2 today are both the same as they were, so I’ll just port over what Eric had to say about Ian Anderson and Gerrit Cole yesterday:

The Braves’ top pitching prospect was the third overall pick in the 2016 Draft and in his minor league career, he has posted a 2.91 ERA with 451 strikeouts and 169 walks in 377.2 innings of work. Anderson’s call-up has been rumored for a while now and with the Braves’ trials and tribulations in the rotation this season, the team has decided to pull the trigger on the electric righty. He faces off against Gerrit Cole who is one of the best pitchers in the entire league and has won 20 straight regular season decisions which seems...scary.

Yeah, Gerrit Cole has been living up to expectations as the marquee offseason signing for the Yankees. He’s seemingly picked up right where he left off in Houston, and he’s pitched particularly well over his past three starts. He’s sitting on a 38.9 percent strikeout rate over those three starts and outside of getting completely BABIP’d against the Rays back on August 8, it’s safe to say that we should expect the Braves to be in for some tough sledding against New York’s ace today.

The Braves will still have to be on point going into Game 2. The Yankees will be sending Masahiro Tanaka to the mound for the second game this evening and the Braves will surely be hoping to do better than what they managed against Tanaka back on August 12. Atlanta actually got out to an early 2-0 lead against the Yankees after Johan Camargo took Tanaka deep in the very first inning.

After that happened, the Braves made Tanaka sweat a bit and eventually ran him from the game following the fourth inning. Ideally, you’d like to see the Braves chase Tanaka out early once again while also capitalizing on the major chances that they get to do some damage. Tanaka was able to get himself out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning, which was important because the Yankees offense eventually did what the Yankees offense usually does: They scored a bunch of runs in an inning and took the lead for good.

Fortunately for the Braves, they will be sending a pitcher to the mound who knows a thing or two about keeping runs off of the scoreboard. That’s right, folks: It’s Max Fried Day. Fried has been one of the best starters in 2020 for not just the Braves, but across the board in Major League Baseball. Right now, Fried is 10th on the fWAR starting pitching leaderboard and it’s easy to understand why. He hasn’t had a bad start all year — his “worst” outing was during the opening weekend at Citi Field, where he gave up a whopping two (2) runs against the Mets over five innings. Ever since then, Fried has basically been a saving grace for the Braves when it comes to starting pitching. He’s been consistently good all season and unless the Yankees just prove to be completely overwhelming today, there’s no reason to really anticipate any major slip-ups from Fried today.

All-in-all, it seems like we’ve got an exciting day ahead of us. Love them or hate them, it’s always interesting when a good New York Yankees team comes knocking on the door. It’s especially interesting when the Braves figure to be capable enough to face the challenge that’s coming their way. It’s especially nice to have guys like Ronald Acuña Jr. and Nick Markakis back in the lineup as well. Offensively, the Braves are nearly at full strength again and having those two back should provide a lift against what figures to be some tough competition against the Yankees and their starters today. I’d expect both of these games to be very competitive and the intensity should also go up a notch since the games will be shortened as well.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, August 26, 4:10 p.m. EST, Game 2 will start soon after Game 1 ends.

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Game 1: FSSE, YES. Game 2: FSSE, YES, ESPN (Out-of-market only)

Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network