The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals will begin their 2023 seasons at Nationals Park on Thursday, March 30. The two NL East rivals are at very different places in the contention cycle right now. Washington is in the middle of a deep rebuild while Atlanta is a year removed from a World Series championship and poised to contend for another.
As part of MLB's new schedule, every team will play every other team at least once each season, and to make that work, division rivals will play each other 14 times a year rather than 19. For the Braves, that means fewer games against a weak Nationals team and more games against American League clubs. This will be the first of four series between Atlanta and Washington in 2023.
Other information on the Braves vs. Nationals, including live stream details, is below.
Braves vs. Nationals
Date: Thursday, March 30 | Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Nationals Park - Washington DC
Live stream: fuboTV (try for free), MLB.TV | TV: MLB Network, Bally Sports Southeast, MASN
Probable pitchers: LHP Max Fried (ATL) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (WAS)
Odds: ATL -250; WAS +205; O/U: 8 runs (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Braves: All things considered, the Braves had a fairly low-key offseason. They added Sean Murphy, one of the best catchers in the game, in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, and that's about it for notable additions. Atlanta did lose stalwart shortstop Dansby Swanson to free agency (he signed with the Chicago Cubs) and opted to replace him with Orlando Arcia rather than young Vaughn Grissom or Braden Shewmake. The Braves did not need to do much to contend, however. They have one of the best rosters in the game and most of their core is locked up long-term and affordably. The Braves are a World Series contender this year and for the foreseeable future.
Nationals: Since winning the 2019 World Series the Nationals have the second most losses in baseball (238, four fewer than the Pittsburgh Pirates), and they went 55-107 in 2023. They are so committed to the rebuild that Juan Soto was traded away last summer. The Nationals are not expected to contend this season (or even finish close to .500), but there are reasons to be excited. Shortstop CJ Abrams and lefty MacKenzie Gore were the headliners in the Soto trade, and last year's surprise slugger Joey Meneses is entering his first full MLB season. Progress is being made with the rebuild.