Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 8/28/2014
This MLB regular season, I have incorporated the betting strategy of specialization by strictly handicapping the Washington Nationals and releasing weekly picks for their games with the use of Doc's Unit Betting System. Doc's has been posting these free picks to track my goal of generating a positive return on investment over the course of the entire MLB regular season.
As the Nationals continue their march towards the MLB Playoffs, make sure to check Doc's homepage for these free MLB picks to follow along with my progress.
Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Friday, August 29, 10:10 p.m. EST (Safeco Field)
The Nationals will embark on a six-game West Coast swing this Friday night after a much-needed day off with Game 1 of the three-game interleague weekend series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Washington could not avoid a stunning three-game sweep by Philadelphia in Wednesday's 8-4 loss as a -159 road favorite. The Nationals are now just 2-4 in their last six games after posting victories in their previous 10 games. The net result is an overall record of 75-57, which still has the team 6.5 games ahead of Atlanta in the NL East Division title race.
Seattle is a full seven games off the pace in the AL West title race, but at 72-60 it is still in control of one of two wild card spots in the American League. The Mariners are coming off a 2-1 series loss to Texas after getting hammered 12-4 on Wednesday as -164 home favorites. Despite the two losses at Safeco Field this week, they are still 9-3 in their last 12 games at home.
Washington at Seattle Betting Storylines
When the Nationals were winning games left and right earlier this month they were scoring runs in bunches while getting an even better effort from a pitching staff that leads the NL with an ERA of 3.13. The bats stayed hot in a 2-1 series win against San Francisco this past weekend at home by scoring an average of 7.7 runs, but on the road against the Phillies this lineup tallied a total of just nine runs in the three games.
This Friday night Washington will turn to Jordan Zimmermann as its starter to try and end this current skid. The right-hander picked up his ninth win of the season this past Saturday by holding the Giants to two earned runs on seven hits in eight full innings of work. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last six starts, and on the year Zimmermann is 9-5 with a 2.93 ERA.
The Mariners have the misfortune of playing in the same division as Oakland and Los Angeles, but you could easily make the argument that they are the third-best team in the AL this season. Seattle's pitching staff has the lowest ERA in the majors at 2.99, and while their lineup is ranked 10th in the AL in scoring it is still averaging a respectable four runs a game. The bats have picked up the pace lately with a combined 45 runs in the Mariners last seven wins.
Staff ace Felix Hernandez will be on the mound for the Mariners on Friday night. He has lasted fewer than six innings in his last two starts, but the right-hander remains one of the most dominant starters in the majors with a record of 13-4 and an ERA of 2.07 in 27 starts this season. Despite getting bounced around a bit in his last two outings, Hernandez has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last 10 starts.
Washington at Seattle MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as +137 road underdogs for Friday night's interleague series opener, while Seattle comes into this game as a -147 favorite at home. The total for this game has been set at 6.
The Nationals are 4-1 in their last five games against the AL West and 19-7 in their last 26 games following a day off. The total has stayed "under" in seven of their last eight games against a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
The Mariners are 5-0 in Hernandez's last five starts in Game 1 of a new series and 6-2 in his last eight interleague starts. The total has stayed under in five of their last eight interleague home games.
The last time these two teams met was in 2011, with Washington sweeping the three-game series at home. The total has stayed under in six of the last eight meetings.
Washington at Seattle Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Last Friday's loss to San Francisco was extremely costly to my year-to-date betting return, but I am ready to get back to my winning ways with a 3-Unit play on the "under" in this game. Both teams will open this series with a quality starter on the mound, and even though the total line is set rather low, look for both team's bats to stay quiet all night long.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 11-11-1 (+86)
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