The Braves enter tonight’s game against the Marlins with a chance to clinch their third straight National League East title, but they will require a bit of help in order to do so. Instead of Cole Hamels taking the mound to help them do so, Bryse Wilson comes in as a last minute replacement on the mound with Hamels’ frequently ailing shoulder taking him out for the rest of the season.
The Braves’ magic number to clinch is three and they own the tiebreaker over the pesky Marlins, but in order to secure the division crown tonight, they need to beat the Marlins and will also need the Phillies to lose one of their doubleheader games against the Nationals. The Phillies do have Aaron Nola starting one of the games for certain and the Nationals have been shockingly bad, so this is going to be easier said than done although at least Washington has a couple of shots to help Atlanta out.
For Bryse, this is a chance to prove that he can be a part of the Braves’ future in the rotation. He has struggled mightily in the major leagues with issues with walks and giving up the long ball....both issues that he has not had in the minor leagues historically. The Braves also used their bullpen a good bit yesterday in a tight game against Miami, so getting some real innings out of Bryse would be extremely helpful.
Of course, we are also talking about one of the best offenses in baseball that hung a league record 29 runs on this very team, so it would also be nice if Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, and co. could have a big night and take some of the guesswork out of the outcome. Also, with a big week this week, Freddie Freeman could cement himself as the frontrunner for the National League MVP award...you know, assuming anyone in the national media can be bothered to actually look at his candidacy.
For the Marlins, they will be starting Jose Urena this evening...the pitcher every Braves fan loves to hate and with good reason. It would obviously be extra sweet to clinch against him and that may serve as extra motivation for the Braves lineup, but it is also VERY possible that he will earn that ire honestly and throw at Acuna or another Brave again. Put the odds at both dugouts at least getting warnings because of him doing something stupid at roughly 70%.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, September 22, 7:10 p.m. EST
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network