Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 9/22/2014
All season long I have been handicapping the Washington Nationals as part of a betting strategy of specialization. The better you know a team, the better you should be able to predict future results. I have put this theory to the test with weekly picks utilizing Doc's Sports Unit Betting System, and my ultimate goal is to earn a positive return on investment with these free picks.
Doc's has been posting these free picks for the Nationals on a weekly basis, so be sure to check our homepage to follow along with my progress over this final week of the MLB regular season.
Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 7:10 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
Washington wraps up the 2014 MLB regular season this week at home with three games against New York starting this Tuesday night followed by a four-game set against Miami starting on Friday. The first pitch from Nationals Park for Game 1 of the series against the Mets is set a 7:05 p.m. (ET) start.
New York is playing for pride in this series, but more importantly its first winning season since 2008. With an overall record of 76-80 and just six games left on the slate, the margin for error is razor thin, but this team will still be motivated to win on Tuesday night. The Mets come in with a three-game winning streak after sweeping Atlanta over the weekend, and they are 4-1 in their last five games.
Washington will try and use this final week of regular season games to position itself for home-field advantage throughout the NLDS and hopefully the NLCS by securing the best overall record in the National League this season. Heading into this series, the Nationals have won eight of their last nine games, and they are riding a four-game winning streak into Tuesday night's Game 1 after sweeping the Marlins this past weekend.
New York at Washington Betting Storylines
The Mets have remained a well-balanced team the entire season, and if a few more breaks would have went their way they would still be competing for a possible wild card spot. Their pitching staff has had its ups and downs, but it is ranked a respectable seventh in the NL with a team ERA of 3.51. New York's lineup has one huge bat in Lucas Duda, who leads the team in RBIs (86) and home runs (28), and this unit has a whole has averaged four runs a game, which is also ranked seventh in the NL.
Bartolo Colon will get the start for the Mets on Tuesday night. The right-handed veteran was bounced around for 12 hits in last Tuesday's start against Miami, but he yielded only one run in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Speaking of motivation, Colon needs just 9 2/3 inning pitched to reach a personal goal of 200 innings on the year, so look for him to push to stay in the game for as long as possible. He has a 4.13 ERA and a WHIP of 1.29 against Washington this season.
The Nationals have been the poster team for balance and consistency, especially over the second half of the season. Their pitching staff sill boasts the lowest ERA in the majors at 3.02, and they boast a lineup that is littered with quality hitters such as Ian Desmond (89 RBIs), Adam LaRoche (25 home runs) and Anthony Rendon (110 runs scored). The overall lineup is currently ranked third in the NL in scoring with 658 total runs.
Washington will send Tanner Roark to the mound as its starter for Game 1. He recently held Atlanta scoreless for seven innings in an effort that helped the Nationals clinch the NL East Division title the other week. Overall, the right-hander is 14-10 this season in 30 previous starts with a 2.85 ERA and a WHIP of 1.10. He faced the Mets on Sept. 11 and allowed just two earned runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
New York at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Mets are 7-1 in Colon's last eight starts in Game 1 of a new series and 5-0 in his last five starts on the road. The total has gone "over" in four of his last five starts on the road.
The Nationals are 14-4 in their last 18 home games and 9-4 in Roark's last 13 starts. The total has stayed "under" in seven of their last eight games overall and in five of Roark's last six starts against the NL East.
The road team in this year's series has won seven of the last 10 games, but Washington holds an 8-1 edge in the last nine games overall. The total has stayed under or ended as a push in four of the last six games.
New York at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Heading into my final pick of the regular season, I am dead-even on the year as far as wins and losses with a slight gain in earnings. Most of my success this season has been releasing picks on the total line, and this game sets up perfectly for a 4-Unit play on the "under 7 runs. Both starters will take the mound in solid form and motivated to pad their stats in what has been a solid season for each of these right-handers.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 13-13-1 (+$86)
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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