Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 5/8/2014
In an effort to demonstrate the value of specialization when it comes to wagering on baseball games, Doc's Sports will be releasing free MLB picks each week for the Washington Nationals during the entire MLB regular season. We firmly believe that concentrating your handicapping efforts on just one team can be an effective betting strategy that many expert handicappers regularly employ as part of their overall selection process. My goal is to earn a long-term profit using this strategy through these free MLB picks involving select Nationals' games.
Another key to long-term success betting on sports is proper money management, so I will also be utilizing Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for all of my picks. Doc's will publish these articles 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, May 9, 10 p.m. EST (O.co Coliseum)
Washington at Oakland MLB Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
The Washington Nationals head to the West Coast this weekend for a three-game interleague matchup against the AL West's first-place Oakland Athletics starting with Game 1 this Friday night in a 10 p.m. (ET) start.
The Nationals are coming off a 2-1 series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at home to improve to 19-15 on the year. This past Wednesday's 3-2 victory as -141 home favorites was their fifth victory in their last eight games to pull even with Miami atop the NL East. Washington now heads on the road, where it is 8-6 this season.
Oakland's 2-0 shutout over Seattle on Wednesday as -159 favorites at home in the back-end of a doubleheader avoided a sweep against the Mariners after losing the first three games of this extended series. The Athletics are now just 2-5 in their last seven games, but they still have a two-game lead over Seattle in the AL West division race with an overall record of 20-15. They are just 7-9 at home this year.
Washington at Oakland Betting Storylines
Washington comes into this interleague clash ranked fifth in the National League in scoring with an average of 4.2 runs per game. This lineup has the third-best batting average in the NL at .258, and its on base percentage is ranked third as well. Both Anthony Rendon and Adam LaRoche have gotten off to a blazing start with a combined 44 RBIs, and each has hit five home runs. Jayson Werth has also been a pleasant surprise with 17 RBIs and a batting average of .313.
Doug Fister has yet to make his first start for the Nationals after spending time on the DL, but he has been penciled in to take the mound as the team's starter for Friday night's series opener. The right-hander came over from Detroit this past offseason after going 14-9 for the Tigers in 2013 with a 3.67 ERA on the year. Lifetime, Fister is 44-50 with a career ERA of 3.53 and a 1.21 WHIP.
The Athletics have also compiled some impressive stats with their bats in the early going this season. They are ranked third in the American League in runs with 166 in their first 35 games. Even though this lineup is ranked just 10th in hitting with a team batting average of .250, it's ranked fourth in RBI (153) and its OBP is the third-best in the AL. A few of the big bats on this team so far belong to Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson. Moss has knocked in 25 runs, and Donaldson is a close second with 24 RBI. Yoenis Cespedes has 20 RBIs, and this trio has already combined for 18 home runs.
Oakland is set to go with Tommy Milone as its starter for Friday night. The left-hander is coming off a loss to Boston his last time on the mound in which he was tagged for six runs on six hits and four walks in just four innings of work. On the year, he has yet to win a game against three losses in a total of five starts. He has an ERA of 5.86 and a 1.55 WHIP.
Washington at Oakland MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Nationals are 4-1 in their last five interleague road games and 20-8 in their last 28 games following a day off. The total has gone "over" in nine of their last 12 road games.
The Athletics are 22-10 in their last 32 interleague games, but they are 2-6 in their last eight games against the NL East. The total has gone over in five of their last seven games following a win.
The last time these two teams met was back in 2005, with Washington sweeping a three-game series at home. Oakland won all three games at home in 2003.
Washington at Oakland Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Both teams come into this game with major question marks with their starters, so it is hard to know what to expect from either one. The one thing we do know about each team is that they can score runs, which I see adding up quickly behind some active bats. That is why I am going with a 4-Unit play on the over 7.5 runs in this game.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 3-2 (+$214)
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