ATLANTA — If you take the past two seasons into consideration, this announcement by the Atlanta Braves may not be much of a surprise.
The Braves announced Thursday morning that Max Fried will get the ball for their first game of the 2021 regular season April 1 in Philadelphia.
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After an Achilles injury to Mike Soroka in 2020, Fried stepped up and was without question the Braves best pitcher both during the regular season and the playoffs.
Fried went undefeated, 7-0 during the regular season with a 2.25 ERA, he received several votes for the 2020 National League Cy Young award, a big accomplishment for the left-hander.
It’s his first time taking the ball to kickoff the season. The honor went to Soroka in 2020. If you’re keeping track at home, Phil Niekro holds the record for most Braves opening day starts with eight. He’s followed by Greg Maddux with eight and Julio Tehran got the nod six times.
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The Braves are preparing for their march north with a handful of spring training games to round out the month of March. Grapefruit League action wraps up on March 30 with a game vs. the Red Sox.
As mentioned, the season kicks off April 1 in Philadelphia at 3:05 p.m. with the home opener scheduled for April 9 at Truist Park against the Phillies.
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