Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 5/13/2014
Specialization when it comes to wagering on MLB games has proven to be a profitable betting strategy, so Doc's Sports decided to release free MLB picks each week for the Washington Nationals during the entire MLB regular season to try and prove the point. Concentrating your handicapping efforts on just one team builds familiarity, which in turn should help to make it all the more predictable. My goal is to earn a long-term profit using this strategy through these free Washington Nationals' picks.
Proper money management goes hand-in-hand with sports betting, 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
Wednesday, May 14, 3:40 p.m. EST (Chase Field)
Washington at Arizona MLB Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
The Washington Nationals will wrap up a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks this Wednesday afternoon in a 3:40 p.m. (ET) scheduled start before heading back east for a six-game homestand starting this Friday against the New York Mets.
The Nationals started this six-game swing out west with three straight losses to Oakland this past weekend by a combined score of 21-4 in what was one of their worst performances of the season. They bounced back with a 6-5 victory in Monday's series opener against Arizona as slight -111 road favorites to improve to 20-18 on the year. BetOnline has listed Washington as a -130 favorite for Tuesday night's Game 2, with Stephen Strasburg getting the start
The Diamondbacks are already 11 games back in the NL West after a dismal 15-26 start to the season. While they have gone a respectable 12-10 on the road so far, Monday's loss dropped them to just 3-16 at home. The one ray of hope is a 6-4 record in their last 10 games. The total went "over" the 8.0-run closing line on Monday night after staying "under" in three of their previous four games.
Washington at Arizona Betting Storylines
Washington briefly held the lead in the congested NL East last week before this past weekend's slide, but as of Monday night's win it was a game and half in back of Atlanta in the standings. The Nationals are 3-6 in their last nine games and still struggling with consistency both on the mound and at the plate. Leading up to the Oakland series they had only scored more than four runs in one of their previous six outings. The six runs on Monday night were a welcomed sign as these once-potent bats finally made some noise.
Pitching has also been hit-or-miss with much of the starting rotation, so it is hard to know what to expect from Doug Fister as the starter for Wednesday night. He will be making his second start as a National this season after spending time on the DL with a back strain. The right-hander got bounced around last Friday in his debut by allowing five earned runs on nine hits in just 4 1/3 innings. Three of those hits just happened to be home runs.
Arizona is ranked fifth in the National League in runs scored with 156, and it has the fourth-best team batting average in the NL at .254. The Diamondbacks have six players with at least 13 RBIs on the year, led by Paul Goldschmidt's 24. Even though the run support has been pretty good so far, the pitching has not. The staff as a whole is ranked dead-last in the NL with a 4.84 ERA, and it has already allowed 220 runs in just 41 games.
Brandon McCarthy is slated to get the start for this series finale. The right-hander had not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his previous four starts coming into last Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox. After three strong innings that quickly changed when he was shelled for nine hits from the first 10 batters he faced in the fourth inning that resulted in seven runs crossing the plate.
Washington at Arizona MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as slight 102 road underdogs for this series finale, with the total set at 8.5.
The Nationals are 1-5 in their last six road games heading into Tuesday night's game but 5-2 in their last seven games against the NL West. The total has gone over in 12 of their last 16 games on the road.
The Diamondbacks are 7-19 in McCarthy's last 26 starts and 6-20 in their last 26 games at home. The total has gone over in 16 of their last 23 home games against a right-handed starter.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Washington has won six of the last eight meetings in Arizona, and the total has gone over in six of those games.
Washington at Arizona Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
I cashed in on a 4-unit play on the over in last Friday's game, and the Nationals did not even score a run in an 8-0 loss. While I am only going with a 3-Unit play in this contest, I am going to continue to ride the "over 8.5" in what I see as another high-scoring affair given the two starters that will be on the mound.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 4-2 (+$614)
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