Mar 29, 2024 - News

Atlanta Braves open against rival Philadelphia

Braves players Matt Olson, Sal Fasano, Sean Murphy and Travis D'Arnaud before their spring training game with the Orioles in Florida this month. Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We're only hours away from the first pitch of the season for the defending National League East champion Atlanta Braves, who open at rival Philadelphia at 3:05pm Friday.

Why it matters: The Braves are entering the 2024 campaign as one of the MLB's best teams and the No. 2 favorite to win this year's World Series, just behind the Dodgers.

What we're watching: The Braves' high-scoring offense, including reigning MVP Ronald Acuña Jr., and new outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who closed spring training with a 452-foot home run Tuesday.

  • Atlanta's pitching staff is equally impressive. Max Fried and Spencer Strider (and his mustache) are Cy Young hopefuls. The team also added veteran Chris Sale, who's healthy for the first time in years and had a promising spring. The Athletic projects Sale will be the NL's Comeback Player of the Year.

Yes, but: Although the Braves have a World Series title and five consecutive division titles over the past five years, they've won only once on opening day during that span, the AJC writes.

  • But the ultimate goal isn't to win Friday; it's to bring another World Series win back to the A.

Watch the Braves vs. Phillies on NBC, MLB Extra Innings, Bally Sports South, or Bally Sports Southeast.

  • An Opening Day block party is at 3pm in Summerhill, with free parking along Georgia Avenue.
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