The Braves hope to find some early success offensively tonight just as they did yesterday. The hope is that Drew Smyly and the Braves pitching staff can have success as well.
Kevan Smith and Ehire Adrianza will get the start tonight for the Braves, replacing William Contreras and Abraham Almonte. Smith has a career .781 OPS against left-handers, and adds to a lineup with Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley, and Ozzie Albies who typically do their best work against southpaws. If the Braves can find success early, they can take some pressure off Smyly to simply throw strikes and trust his defense to get outs.
Though the Nationals are facing a left-hander for the second straight game, Josh Bell will get the start at first and bat fourth instead of Ryan Zimmerman. Bell has certainly not worked out as hoped so far this season for the Nationals, and carries a .477 OPS against southpaws this season. However, as always, the key for Smyly and the Braves is limiting Victor Robles and Trea Turner in front of Juan Soto. If that can be accomplished, the Braves ability to win certainly improves.