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Braves begin crucial home stand to close regular season

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A victory tonight over the Marlins would send the magic number to three

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Braves can take one step closer to their third consecutive National League East title tonight. They will send Huascar Ynoa to the mound to face the division rival Miami Marlins.

Ynoa is coming off a career-best start, during which he pitched four spotless innings against the Baltimore Orioles. A tight lower back kept from him continuing during that start, but Ynoa’s first four frames were electric dynamite as he allowed two hits and no walks while striking out five. It was the most comfortable he has seemed on a big league mound this year.

With some of the recent pitching developments for the Braves’ rotation, an encore performance from Ynoa would be another confidence booster for the team as it tracks towards the playoffs.

Ynoa will face Marlins rookie Trevor Rogers, whom will be making his sixth career start. He has pitched to a 1-1 record with a 6.00 ERA | 5.23 FIP, supported by a 12.43 K/9 rate and 4.29 BB/9. His line has been marred by one abysmal start against the Phillies ten days ago, during which he allowed nine runs (eight earned) over three innings. Otherwise, he has posted several solid outings.

He has been plagued by the home run ball (2.14 HR/9), which can be symptomatic of a pitcher who throws a lot of strikes - and with his aforementioned K/9 rate, Rogers fits the bill. If he keeps the ball around the zone, as he tends to do, the powerful Braves may be able to capitalize.

As the magic number to clinch the NL East is now five, the Braves can make some meaningful headway on locking down the division this week. A win this evening would position the Braves to clinch as soon as Wednesday - but that plan requires a victory tonight.

Game Date/Time: Monday, September 21, 7:10 p.m. ET

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Streaming: MLB.tv

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