The Washington Times - March 21, 2013, 12:03PM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves will face one another 19 times during the regular season. They will know each other almost as well as they know their own teams by the end of the season.

And most predict they’ll battle all season long for divisional supremacy.


While they’ve played the Braves a handful of times already this spring, the Nationals are taking all of their regulars, save perhaps for Kurt Suzuki who caught nine innings on Wednesday, to Orlando Thursday evening to play the Braves. 

Against Tim Hudson, who may well be the Braves Opening Day starter, this could be the first glimpse at what figures to be a fascinating season series. 

Here is the lineups for Thursday night’s game, which will be broadcast on MLBNetwork in the Baltimore-Washington area:


Denard Span CF
Jayson Werth RF
Bryce Harper LF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Wilson Ramos C
Dan Haren P* 


Andrelton Simmons SS
Reed Johnson CF
Jason Heyward RF
Justin Upton LF
Juan Francisco 3B
Chris Johnson 1B
Tyler Pastornicky 2B
Matt Pagnozzi C
Tim Hudson P 

*This will also be the first time we get to see Dan Haren, who is known as a very good hitting pitcher, step into the batter’s box. Haren has said Stephen Strasburg is still probably the best hitting pitcher on the staff, though.