Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 6/25/2014
Doc's Sports has been releasing free MLB picks each week for the Washington Nationals during this MLB regular season with the use of specialization as the primary betting strategy for the games. I have made it my job to exclusively handicap a few Nationals' games each week to develop a high level of familiarity with the team. My goal is to use this familiarity of Washington's trends and tendencies to earn a long-term profit with these free MLB picks.
I am also employing Doc's Unit Betting System with each pick to ensure the proper money management that goes together with any betting strategy that you use. 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
Thursday, June 26, 8:05 p.m. EST (Wrigley Field)
The Washington Nationals continue their seven-game tour of the NL Central with the first of a four-game weekend set against Chicago this Thursday night at Wrigley Field. Game 1 is set to get underway at 8:05 p.m. (ET).
This trip started off with three games against NL Central Division leader Milwaukee, and the Nationals passed the first two tests with flying colors by outscoring the Brewers a combined 7-2 even though it took 16 innings to get Tuesday night's win. Washington has now won its last four games heading into Wednesday afternoon's series finale at Miller Park.
The Cubs will be going for the series win against Cincinnati on Wednesday after the two division foes split the first two games of this week's three-game set. Chicago has gone an even 5-5 in its last 10 games, and it's now 32-43 on the year. The Cubs have had a rough go of it on the road this season, but Tuesday's 7-3 victory over the Reds as slight +107 underdogs evened their record at Wrigley to 17-17.
Washington at Chicago Betting Storylines
The Nationals are finally starting to play with the consistency that most MLB experts expected out of one of the top two favorites to win the NL East this season. Their lineup as a whole is ranked right in the middle of the National League in both slugging percentage and runs scored, but they have some solid bats in Ian Desmond (45 RBI) and Anthony Rendon (43 RBI). Washington's pitching staff has been the difference and it is ranked first in the NL with a team ERA of 2.96.
Look for Doug Fister to get the start in this series opener for the Nationals. The right-hander is coming off a quality start against the Braves in which he pitched eight scoreless innings on five hits. He has allowed two or less earned runs in seven of his nine starts this season to post a healthy 2.65 ERA on the year. Fister's win over Atlanta this past Saturday raised his record on the year to 6-2.
Chicago's bats have shown some life in the second half of June with a total of 24 runs in the team's last four wins, but in its last three losses that production ground to a halt with just five combined runs. Overall, the Cubs are ranked 13th in the NL in scoring with an average of 3.84 runs per game. Their pitching has been suspect as well at times, but this staff 's ERA on the year is still a respectable 3.55 through 75 games.
Travis Wood is slated to get the start for Chicago on Thursday night. The left-hander is having a very productive June with a 2.96 ERA in his last four starts. He has been much better at home this season with an ERA of 2.93 as opposed to his 6.07 ERA on the road. Wood has made 15 starts this season, and he is 7-6 with an overall ERA of 4.55.
Washington at Chicago MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Nationals are 6-2 in Game 1 of their last eight series and 5-2 in their last seven games against a left-handed starter. The total has stayed "under" in their last five games on the road.
The Cubs are 9-3 in their last 11 games against a team from the NL East and 6-2 in Woods last eight starts. The total has stayed under in 15 of Woods last 24 starts at home.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Washington is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings overall and 5-2 in their last seven trips to Wrigley Field. The total has stayed under in 10 of the last 14 meetings in Chicago.
Washington at Chicago Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Both teams have done a good job at creating the early edge in Game 1 of a new series, so I am turning towards the total line in this matchup. Both of these starters come into this game in solid form and pitching deep into games. Along with some of the favorable betting trends, this game sets up as a solid 3-Unit play on the "under 7.5".
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 7-5 (+$814)
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