Max Fried will try to get Braves another day closer to NL East title

It would be difficult for Max Fried to replicate the success of his most recent outing, but if he comes anywhere within the same stratosphere, the Braves will be in fine shape.

Fried (13-7, 3.12) starts Wednesday’s tilt opposite Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola (9-8, 4.64). It will be Fried’s first start since logging a 98-pitch shutout against the Padres on Friday, which manager Brian Snitker deemed the best start of his career. It was Fried’s second career shutout.

Pitcher comparison

The lefty owns a 1.78 ERA in the second half, best in the majors. He has a 1.59 ERA across five starts this month, posting a 30:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that span. The southpaw has established himself as a frontline starter over the past two seasons, and this season, he’s kept getting better as October draws nearer.

If Fried can silence the Phillies and help the Braves to a win, that would drop their magic number to clinch their fourth consecutive National League East title to one. The earliest the Braves can clinch the division is Thursday by sweeping the Phillies.

To have a chance at that, they’ll need Fried at his best. And for the last few months, that’s exactly what they’ve gotten.

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