Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 4/23/2014
Doc's Sports is tracking the Washington Nationals all season long to provide free MLB picks each week while focusing on the same team. Specialization when betting on any sport is a key strategy that many experts employ to successfully build their bankroll. I will try and prove the validity of this betting strategy by attempting to earn a long-term profit on these free season-long MLB picks involving Nationals games.
Proper money management is another important betting strategy 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
Thursday, April 24, 7:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
San Diego at Washington MLB Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
The Washington Nationals will remain at home this weekend after wrapping up an interleague series with the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. They will welcome another West Coast team to town with the start of a four-game series this Thursday night against the San Diego Padres in the first meeting this season between these National League foes.
The Padres have gotten off to a respectable 10-11 start heading into Wednesday's series finale against Milwaukee. They lost the first game of that series 4-3 as slight -102 road favorites, but they bounced back with an extra-innings 2-1 victory in Game 2 as +118 underdogs on the road. The total has stayed "under" in seven of their last eight games.
Washington has lost the first two games against Los Angeles by a combined score of 11-4 as a home favorite in each contest, It has fallen 2.5 games behind Atlanta in the NL East with an overall record of 11-10. The disturbing part of this record is an even 6-6 start at home after traditionally playing extremely well at Nationals Park in the recent past. The total went "over" the eight-run closing line in Tuesday's 7-2 loss after staying under in three of its previous four games.
San Diego at Washington Betting Storylines
San Diego has not been known for its ability to score a ton of runs in recent years, and so far this season it has followed suit with a total of 58 runs that is ranked last in the National League. Jedd Gyorko has been the Padres biggest offensive weapon with eight RBIs in 71 at-bats. However, the team as a whole is averaging just 2.76 runs per game. On the plus side of the ledger, pitching has been another story with a 2.70 team ERA that is ranked third in the NL.
Look for Eric Stults to get the start for San Diego this Thursday night. The left-hander has been impressive in his last three starts by allowing a total of just five earned runs. He posted his first win of the year in his last start by holding San Francisco to one earned run and just three hits in six full innings of work.
The Nationals have really struggled with consistency in almost every phase of the game through their first 21 games, which has made them extremely hard to handicap in the early going. Overall, Washington is ranked ninth in the NL in hitting with a team batting average of .243 and tied for fifth in RBI with 79. The Nationals continue to do a pretty good job at getting runners across home plate with an average of 4.28 runs per game that is ranked third in the league.
They will turn to Jordan Zimmermann as their starter for this series opener. He has been one of the more consistent pitchers in a rotation that has struggled out of the gate. The right-hander is coming off a solid outing against St. Louis this past Saturday in which he held the Cardinals to one earned run on seven hits in seven innings of work. On the year, Zimmermann is 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA and a WHIP of 1.45.
San Diego at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Padres are 11-4 in the first game of their last 15 series and 5-2 in Stults' last seven starts overall. The total has stayed under in five of their last six games against a team from the NL East.
The Nationals are 21-7 in Zimmermann's last 28 starts at home and 4-1 in his last five starts against the NL West. The total has stayed under in three of their last five games played at home.
San Diego is just 4-11 in the last 15 meetings, and the total has gone over in their last six road games against Washington.
San Diego at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Both starters in this game should be able to keep the scoring low against two lineups that have been struggling at the plate in their last few games. While the past betting trends in this matchup might favor a higher-scoring game, current form has me going with a 3-Unit play on the "under 7.5" for Thursday's series opener.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 1-2 (-$296)
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