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Three things to watch for the Braves’ upcoming series against the Yankees

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Something will have to give with the Braves and Yankees both riding nine-game winning streaks

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After an exceptional, perfect nine-game road trip, the Atlanta Braves will return to Truist Park, Monday where they will take on the red hot New York Yankees in a brief two-game series. Atlanta has won nine straight games and are 68-56 on the season. The Braves are 16-2 over their last 18 games and have opened up a cushion over the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets in the NL East standings.

As hot as the Braves have been, the Yankees have been their equal with a nine-game winning streak of their own. New York comes into the series at 72-52 and are 4.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the division lead.

Road Warriors

Given their recent success, this could be a time where the Braves might prefer to stay out on the road. Atlanta has won 13 straight road games, which is a modern era franchise record. They’re also coming off the first time that the team has gone undefeated on a three-city stop since 1992. The Braves are now 37-27 on the road this season and are the only NL East team with a winning record away from their home park.

Schedule turn coming up

After playing nine straight games against teams with a sub-.500 record, the Braves are about to get a test with their upcoming schedule. Following their two-game series with the Yankees, they will host the NL West-leading Giants for three games before heading out west for a three-game series against the Dodgers. They will finish that trip up with four games against the Colorado Rockies, who are 57-66 on the season but are 43-21 at home. So, the next two weeks will serve as an opportunity to see how the Braves measure up against the National League’s best.

Left-handed starters

The Braves have been feasting on left-handed starters of late and will see two more against the Yankees. Counting Sunday’s win, the Braves have won 10 straight games against lefty starters and 20 of their last 26 overall. They entered play Sunday with an .819 OPS against left-handers, which is tops in the majors.

Monday, August 23, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)

Jordan Montgomery (22 GS, 119.1 IP, 24.6 K%, 7.5 BB%, 3.77 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 3.95 xFIP, 81 FIP-)

Left-hander Jordan Montgomery will get the start for the Yankees in the opener. Montgomery has put together a solid season overall and is currently in a stretch of nine straight starts where he has allowed three runs or fewer. After a stint on the COVID-Injured List, Montgomery returned to the mound last week and allowed five hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. Montgomery features a very unorthodox five-pitch mix, and the Braves may need to wait out his less-commonly-used fastballs to do any real damage against him.

Huascar Ynoa (10 G, 9 GS, 50.0 IP, 27.3 K%, 6.1 BB%, 2.70 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 3.21 xFIP, 86 FIP-)

Huascar Ynoa will make his second start since returning from the injured list in Monday’s opener against the Yankees. Ynoa picked right up where he left off before the injury, allowing three hits and a walk over 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Marlins. He has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his nine starts this season.

Tuesday, August 24, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)

Andrew Heaney (22 GS, 116.0 IP, 27.4 K%, 7.9 BB%, 5.51 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, 110 FIP-)

Andrew Heaney will get the start for New York in Tuesday’s finale and is coming off his best start in a Yankees uniform. Heaney came over from the Angels at the Trade Deadline and struggled over his first three outings in pinstripes, allowing a combined 15 hits and 15 runs in his first 15 innings. He bounced back in his most recent outing, holding the Red Sox to just two hits and one run over a season-high seven innings. Home runs have been an issue for Heaney, who has allowed nine in 22 innings for the Yankees.

Charlie Morton (25 GS, 140.0 IP, 28.4 K%, 8.1 BB%, 3.47 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 3.34 xFIP, 78 FIP-)

Charlie Morton will get the start for Atlanta in the finale Tuesday. Morton looks like one of this past offseason’s best signings as he has been rock solid for the Braves pretty much all season. Morton allowed three hits, two runs and struck out nine over six innings in his last start against the Marlins. Through four starts in August, Morton has allowed a total of six runs and has 29 strikeouts and just five walks in 24 innings. He faced the Yankees back on April 20 and allowed three hits and one run in six innings.