Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 7/17/2014
The better you know a team, the better you will be at predicting its results. Therefore, 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. Since the regular season got underway this past April, I have been closely following the Nationals with the goal of developing a high level of familiarity with their tendencies and betting trends. I have also been releasing my weekly free picks on their games, with the goal on earning a long-term profit over the course of the year.
Each of my picks also utilizes Doc's Unit Betting System as a measure of confidence that helps ensure proper money management when it comes to wagering on the games. 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
Friday, July 18, 7:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
The Washington Nationals kick off the second half of the MLB regular season with a three-game weekend series against the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers. Friday's Game 1 from Nationals Park is set to get underway at 7:05 p.m. (ET).
Milwaukee has been one of the biggest surprises through the first half of the season with an overall record of 53-43, but it has been a struggle as of late with just two victories in its last 13 games. It is 1-4 in its last five road games, and the total has stayed "under" in four of those outings. The Brewers lead over St. Louis in the NL Central is down to just one game coming off the break.
The Nationals find themselves tied with Atlanta at the top of the NL East heading into the second half of the season with a record of 51-42. They are 10-4 in their last 14 games overall and 7-2 in their last nine games at home. The total has gone over in six of their last nine games.
Milwaukee at Washington Betting Storylines
The Brewers fairytale season looks more like a nightmare heading into the second half of the season after their recent slide. They have suffered through a severe lack of production from a once-formidable lineup, and there has been some suspect pitching lately from a staff that is now ranked 10th in the National League with a team ERA of 3.78. Things have gotten so bad that since June 1 Milwaukee has allowed four or more runs in over 60 percent of their games.
Kyle Lohse will be on the mound for the Brewers this Friday night. The right-hander finished the first half of the season 9-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 19 starts. He has struggled a bit in his last two outings by allowing a combined seven earned runs on 14 hits to get tagged with a loss in both games. The last time Lohse faced the Nationals was August of last year, and he lasted five innings while giving up two earned runs on five hits.
Washington may be tied with Atlanta in the NL East right now, but it remains a heavy -200 favorite to win the division on BetOnLine's most recent futures odds, with the Braves listed at +180 odds. One of the main reasons is a Nationals' pitching staff that has the lowest ERA in the NL at 3.08. Their lineup has also gotten healthy, and the result has been an average of 5.4 runs in their last eight games.
The Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound as their starter in this matchup. While he has not posted the strongest numbers in the first half of the season, the right-hander has allowed a total of just five earned runs in his last three starts. On the year, Strasburg is 7-6 in 20 starts with an overall ERA of 3.46. He recently faced the Brewers on June 25 and was tagged for seven earned runs on eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work.
Milwaukee at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as -156 home favorites for Friday night's series opener with Milwaukee listed as a +146 road underdog. The total line for this matchup has been set at 7.0.
The Brewers are 2-6 in their last eight games against a team with a winning record and 1-6 in their last seven games against a right-handed starter. The total has stayed under in four of their last six games on the road.
The Nationals are 10-4 is Strasburg's last 14 starts at home and 5-2 in seven of his last starts in Game 1 of a new series. The total has stayed under in 10 of their last 13 games against a team with a winning record.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Washington has won five of the last seven meetings, including two of three on the road this season in late June. The total has stayed under in six of the last nine meetings.
Milwaukee at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
I ended the first half of the season on a slide of my own with the wrong call in my last three games to take my overall earnings from $814 in the black to $298 in the red, so I am going to tread lightly in my second-half opener. The recent trends in this series favor a lower-scoring game, and with two quality starters on the mound I am going that way in this matchup with a 2-unit play on the under with the total line set at seven.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 7-8 (-298)
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