Braves will face Nationals in doubleheader Wednesday

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The Braves and Nationals will play a doubleheader Wednesday in Washington to complete their full three-game series, MLB announced Monday. Game 1 will begin at 12:05 p.m. Both games will be seven innings in accordance with MLB’s new doubleheader rule, which was first implemented last season.

The series, which begins Tuesday, was originally scheduled to start Monday, but COVID-19 issues with the Nationals have delayed their season. The team had four players test positive for the coronavirus. Seven others, five players and two staff member, were in quarantine after being deemed in close contact to an infected individual.

The Nationals’ opening-weekend series against the Mets was postponed as a result. The team worked out at Nationals Park Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s opener.

A doubleheader allows the Braves-Nationals series to be completed in its entirety. The Braves will hope to continue the success they found in seven-inning games last season, when they went 5-1 in such contests.

Max Scherzer is expected to start for the Nationals Tuesday. Barring a change, the Braves will start Drew Smyly in the first game. Max Fried will start one of the doubleheader contests, while the Braves will use a bullpen game for the other. The team initially planned to use a bullpen game Tuesday, which is one reason it entered the season with a 10-man bullpen.

The Braves’ rotation will expand during the first homestand, which begins Friday. It’s likely Bryse Wilson will be recalled from the alternate site to assume the fifth starter role. The Braves will host the Phillies for three games and the Marlins for four.

The Braves (0-3) are seeking their first win after getting swept in Philadelphia to open the season. They haven’t started 0-4 since 2016, when the rebuilding Braves lost their first nine games.