Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 7/10/2014
Doc's Sports is a firm believer that specialization when wagering on MLB games can be a very successful betting strategy, and in an effort to prove the point we have been releasing free MLB picks each week for the Washington Nationals during the entire MLB regular season. My job has been to track and handicap the Nationals this season with the goal of developing a high-level of familiarity with the team that should enhance the predictability of the actual outcome of their games. The goal of my weekly free picks is to return a long-term profit over the course of the year.
I have also been using Doc's Unit Betting System with every pick as part of proper money management when it comes to wagering on the games. Doc's will publish these free picks once or twice a week, so be sure to take advantage of this specialized betting approach by checking our homepage daily to follow along with my progress.
Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Friday, July 11, 7:05 p.m. EST (Citizens Bank Park)
The Washington Nationals head into next week's all-star break with three games on the plate against the divisional rival Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park this upcoming weekend starting on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. (ET).
The Nationals are looking to ride a wave of momentum heading into the break, with an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, including a 6-2 victory over Baltimore this past Wednesday as +100 even-money road underdogs. They will close out the series against the Orioles on Thursday as slight -104 favorites as part of their current six-game road trip.
Philadelphia made a move to get back into the NL East Division race with a rare five-game winning streak in mid-June, but that gave way to just two wins in its next 12 games. Since that slide, the Phillies have gone 4-3 on the strength of three straight victories this week against Milwaukee as part of a four-game set. This series will wrap things up on Thursday with Philadelphia listedas a +187 underdog on the road.
Washington at Philadelphia Betting Storylines
The oddsmakers are bullish on Washington's chances to keep things rolling in the second half as a +425 second-favorite behind Los Angeles to win the NL Pennant this season. Things have come together in all phases lately with a pitching staff that is ranked first in the NL with a team ERA of 3.07. The Nationals have also been much more effective at the plate over their last 10 games with an average of 5.2 runs a game. They are now ranked seventh overall in the NL in scoring with an average of 4.12 runs a game.
Look for Jordan Zimmermann to get the start in Friday's series opener. The right-hander held the Chicago Cubs scoreless through six innings this past Sunday but failed to get the decision. He has now allowed three earned runs or less in his last eight starts to lower his ERA on the year to a solid 2.79. Zimmermann faced the Phillies at home on June 3 and held them scoreless through eight innings on five hits.
Philadelphia once again finds itself in the selling mode heading into the second half of the season after dropping 10 games of the pace in the division race. This team has become a mere shell of the one that dominated the NL East in the late 2000s. The Phillies' pitching staff has fallen to 13th in the NL with a 3.87 team ERA, and their once-powerful lineup is 11th in the league in scoring with 3.81 runs a game.
AJ Burnett is slated to get the start in this game. As one of the Phillies more attractive starters he could be on the move before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Through 19 previous starts he is 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA, but over his past six starts he has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of those games. The right-hander did get lit up in his last go-round against Washington on June 4 by allowing eight earned runs on 10 hits in six innings of work.
Washington at Philadelphia MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Nationals have been opened by BetOnline as -128 road favorites for Friday night's series opener against NL East-rival Philadelphia. The Phillies have been listed as +118 home underdogs, with the total line set at 7.5.
The Nationals are 5-2 in their last seven division games, and they are 5-2 in their last seven road games against a right-handed starter. The total has gone "over" in Game 1 of their last four series.
The Phillies are 1-4 in Game 1 of their last five series and 1-6 in their last seven games against the NL East. The total has stayed "under" in five of Burnett's last six starts at home.
Head-to-head in this division clash, Washington is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings, including a 4-2 mark this season. The total has stayed under in seven of the last 10 meetings in Philadelphia.
Washington at Philadelphia Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Washington has built up a head of steam heading into this series, and Zimmermann is in his best form of the season. While there is always some risk involved betting against a home underdog in a division matchup, I am still going with a 4-unit play on Washington to grab the early edge in this series with a win on Friday night.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 7-7 (+$214)
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