After taking three of four games against the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves will turn their attention to the other New York team when they return home to begin a three-game interleague series with the Yankees on Monday
The Braves blew an early three-run lead and lost 7-6 to the Mets on Sunday. Atlanta has the best record in the major leagues and leads the National League East by 11 games over Philadelphia, although the Braves are 5-5 over their last 10 games
The Yankees are coming off a gut-wrenching 8-7 loss to Miami on Sunday. They allowed five runs in the ninth inning and dropped two of three games in the series. New York is 2-4 on its nine-game road trip and is five games out in the American League wild-card race
The starting pitchers for the series opener will be Atlanta's Max Fried (3-1, 2.50 ERA) against New York's Clarke Schmidt (8-6, 4.23)
Schmidt will make his 25th appearance (24th start) for the Yankees, and it will come on extended five-days rest due to Thursday's off day. In his most recent outing last Tuesday against the White Sox, Schmidt picked up a win after giving up one run on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings
"That's the biggest thing is being able to be consistent down the stretch," Schmidt said
Schmidt has been New York's most consistent pitcher over the last three months and has given up three runs or fewer in each of his last 14 starts, dating back to May 19, and in 17 of his last 19 starts, dating back to April 23
"It's been two, three months now of really consistently good starts," New York manager Aaron Boone said. "It's been fun watching him. He's super competitive.
Schmidt has never faced the Braves
Fried will be making his third start since spending three months on the injured list with a left forearm strain. After returning with a six-inning scoreless start against the Chicago Cubs, Fried struggled at Pittsburgh in his most recent start on Wednesday, when he gave up four runs in four innings. He wasn't worried, though
"For me, personally, being able to go out there and not have to worry about anything with my arm and knowing it's feeling good, the ball is coming out good," Fried said. "It's really relieving.
Fried will be making his second career start against the Yankees. He is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA after giving up one run over six innings against New York in 2020
The series features many of the game's top sluggers. Atlanta's Matt Olson leads the majors with 43 homers and 107 RBIs and teammates Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley both have 28 homers, with Ronald Acuna Jr. at 26 and a major-league-leading 55 stolen bases. New York's Aaron Judge, the 2022 AL MVP, and Giancarlo Stanton, who have both missed extended time because of injuries, have 22 and 18, respectively
Atlanta and New York have been regular opponents since interleague play began in 1997, with the Yankees holding a 26-16 edge. The teams did not meet in 2022, but New York went 3-1 against the Braves in 2021
Atlanta removed Albies in the eighth inning of Sunday's game as a precaution with cramping in his left hamstring
--Field Level Medi