The Atlanta Braves are about to start a three-game series against the red-hot Chicago Cubs, who have won 11 of their last 13 and are back in the playoff race. The Braves have been running away with the National League East and, entering play today, currently lead the Philadelphia Phillies by 11.5 games. The Braves will also be getting reinforcements as they will be getting back their best pitcher, Max Fried, from the Injured List, and he will start today’s game at 2:20 PM EST. Fried has been out since May 5th from a forearm injury. Before the injury, Fried was 2-1 in five starts with a 2.08 ERA; he pitched 26 innings before the injury, posting a 3.04 FIP, a 1.077 WHIP, a 2.1 BB/9, and an 8.7 K/9.
Fried had worked in High-A and AAA on rehab assignments before returning to the mound for the Braves today. In the minors, he made four starts going 0-2 combined between the two teams with a 3.75 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, a 3.0 BB/9, and a 9.8 K/9. His last outing came for the Braves AAA affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers; he went 4.1 innings in that one giving up two runs on five hits; he walked two and struck out four. Fried last season finished as the runner-up for National League Cy Young award, going 14-7 in 30 starts with a 2.48 ERA, a 2.70 FIP, a 1.01 WHIP, a 1.6 BB/9, and an 8.7 K/9. If Fried returns to that form for the Braves this season, the National League may be all but wrapped up; the Braves are currently the favorite as it is to win the National League Pennant this season, and now they get back their best pitcher on their roster.