Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 4/7/2014
This baseball season Doc's Sports will be focusing on the Washington Nationals for MLB free picks. The top sports bettors in the game are well aware that specialization is the key to sports betting profit. To try and prove this point, my goal is to earn a profit on these free season-long MLB picks involving Nationals games, and my plan is to offer one or two game previews with free picks each week.
All of the picks will include a betting recommendation utilizing Doc's Sports Unit Betting System since proper money management is also an important slice of the betting pie. We will publish these articles once or twice a week, so be sure to take advantage of this specialized betting approach by check our homepage daily to follow along!
Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Tuesday, April 8, 7:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals MLB Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
The Washington Nationals kick off their third series of the new season with a three-game set against the Miami Marlins this Tuesday night at Nationals Park. It will also be their third straight go round against a rival team from the NL East.
Miami was once again picked to bring up the rear in the NL East this season, but it has shown some solid form in a 5-2 start that included series victories against Colorado (3-1) and San Diego (2-1) at home. This Tuesday night will be the Marlins first road game of the year, and the total has gone "over" in four of their first seven games.
The Nationals got off to a slow start last season from which they never really recovered. So far this season they have gone 4-2 with a three-game sweep of the New York Mets on the road and a tough 2-1 series loss to Atlanta at home this past weekend. Washington has closed as a favorite on BetOnline's moneyline in all six games, and the total has been evenly split at 3-3.
Miami at Washington Betting Storylines
The Marlins were ranked near the bottom of the National League last season in several key categories, including total runs scored. In an early worst-to-first climb, they actually lead the NL in runs scored with 42 as of Sunday's games. This lineup is hitting .294 through its first seven games, and it is also at the top of the list in RBI with 41. Giancarlo Stanton and Adeiny Hechavarria have had the hottest bats with a combined 22 RBI.
Henderson Alvarez is slated to get the start for Miami in Tuesday's series opener. The right-hander allowed three earned runs on seven hits in his season debut against Colorado in the team's only loss in that series. He ended the 2013 season with a record of 5-6 and an ERA of 3.59 in 102.2 innings pitched. Alvarez went 0-1 in three starts against the Nationals last season with a 4.05 ERA.
Washington's bats came out of the gate hot in the sweep of the Mets with 22 combined runs in three games, but they quickly cooled with just five total runs in three games against the Braves. This is the kind of inconsistency that plagued them last season, so they will be looking for a return to form starting with a good showing against Alvarez. Adam LaRoche leads this lineup in RBI with eight, and both he and Ian Desmond have belted two home runs so far.
Gio Gonzalez is expected to make his second start of the season after posting a solid win against New York in his first outing of the year. The left-hander pitched six innings while allowing just one run on three hits. He even helped his cause with a solo home run of his own. Gonzalez was 11-8 in 2013 with an ERA of 3.36 and a 1.25 WHIP. He picked up one of those wins in his last start against Miami with a 3-2 victory on Sept. 19 of last season.
Miami at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as -204 home favorites over the Marlins for Tuesday's series opener, with the total set at 7.0.
The Marlins are 6-0 in their last six games against a left-handed starter and 4-0 in the first game of their last four series. The total has stayed "under" in four of their last five games against the NL East.
The Nationals are 17-8 in their last 25 home games and 5-1 in Gonzalez's last six starts against the NL East. The total has stayed under in five of their last eight games following a win.
Head-to-head in this division matchup, Washington has won five of the last six meetings overall and it is 16-5 in the last 21 games against Miami at home. The total has gone over in six of the last nine meetings overall.
Miami at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
I took it on the chin with a two-unit play in my first Nationals' pick of the season with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, but he is obviously still trying to find his form. Gonzalez is a whole another story after looking great against the Mets last week. I am keeping the plays small on Doc's Unit Betting System until I get a better feel for this team, so I am going with two units on Washington as a prohibitive -204 home favorite to open this series with a win on Tuesday night.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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