The Atlanta Braves are surging and now sit just 4.5 games back of the New York Mets in the National League East. They'll also get a huge boost on Thursday for a matchup with their divisional rivals. Max Fried is returning to the rotation after a seven-day absence due to a concussion. He'll take the mound and start against Jacob deGrom.

Via Atlanta Braves:

The Braves ace will be facing the Mets for the fourth time this year, pitching to a 3.18 ERA in three previous outings. Fried has been brilliant in 2022, going 10-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 22 starts, striking out 127 in 138.1 innings and surrendering just 23 walks. He's even in the NL Cy Young mix, although it's likely Sandy Alcantara wins it.

His last appearance was actually against New York as well and Fried sustained the concussion after banging his head on the ground while trying to make a throw to home plate. If the Braves are going to make a World Series run again, they definitely need him healthy.

Atlanta also received some great news on the Mike Soroka front. The righty is close to a return after last pitching in 2020 due to an Achilles tear. He re-injured it last offseason and has been sidelined ever since.

Max Fried and the Braves have taken two out of three from the Mets so far in this four-game series. The finale on Thursday will be very important as Brian Snitker's club continues to gain ground in the division. After NY leaves town, the Houston Astros visit Truist Park.