Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 8/14/2014
The betting theory of specialization has been put to the test this season with my weekly free picks for the Washington Nationals. Doc's Sports has been releasing these free picks for Washington games on a weekly basis with the use of their Unit Betting System. My ultimate goal is to earn a respectable profit over the course of the entire MLB regular season.
As the Nationals continue their pursuit of the NL East title, be sure to check Doc's homepage for these free Nationals' picks to follow along with my progress.
Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Friday, August 15, 7:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
Washington returns home from a six-game road trip for an extended 10-game homestand, starting with Friday night's clash against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of a three-game weekend series. Game 1 is set to get underway at 7:05 p.m. (ET) from Nationals Park.
The Pirates have gone just 2-3 in their last five games heading into Thursday's series finale on the road against Detroit. Despite these struggles they remain just a game and a half behind Milwaukee for the lead in the NL Central. Pittsburgh has been a solid play on the total line lately, with the final score going "over" in 10 of its last 14 games.
Washington will be going for the three-game sweep over the Mets this Thursday night. The Nationals are 5-2 in their last seven games, and their lead over Atlanta stands at five full games as of Wednesday's results. The total stayed "under" in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over New York after going over in four of their previous six outings.
Pittsburgh at Washington Betting Storylines
The Pirates have had their ups and downs the past week or so , but overall this team has been playing at a high level during the second half of the season to put themselves squarely in the NL Central Division title race. Their lineup is ranked third in the National League in scoring with an average of 4.24 runs a game, and their pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.71. Some of Pittsburgh's recent woes can be traced to the absence of its best player, Andrew McCutchen, who is currently on the 15-day DL with sore ribs.
Charlie Morton is scheduled to get the start on Friday night for Pittsburgh. The right-hander has not missed a start in the rotation this season, and in 24 outings he is 5-11 with a 3.62 ERA. He did get tagged for five earned runs in five innings his last time out against San Diego, and Morton has now allowed four or more earned runs in three of his last four starts.
Wednesday's win over the Mets was the first time that Washington failed to score at least four runs in its last 17 victories, which simply proves the point that when this lineups' bats are clicking this team wins games. Conversely, when they are cold it's like ice. The Nationals have averaged only 2.3 runs in their last seven losses. The biggest bats this season belong to Anthony Rendon (66 RBI and 16 home runs) and Adam LaRoche (60 RBI and 16 home runs). Another key bat, Jayson Werth (63 RBI and 12 home runs), remains day-to-day with a sore shoulder.
The Nationals will turn to Tanner Roark as their starter in this game. He went seven innings this past Saturday and held Atlanta to one run on six hits but could not get the decision. The right-hander is 11-7 this season in 23 previous starts with an ERA of 2.86 and a 1.09 WHIP. He has not allowed more than one earned run in seven of his last 10 starts.
Pittsburgh at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Pirates are 6-1 in their last seven games against the NL East and 6-2 in their last eight games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone over in five of their last six road games.
The Nationals are just 1-5 in Game 1 of their last six series and 1-8 in their last nine games played on a Friday. The total has gone over in five of the last six series openers.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Pittsburgh has won six of the last eight meetings, and it is 4-1 in its last five games at Nationals Park. The total has gone over in five of the last seven games played in Washington.
Pittsburgh at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Roark has been pitching lights out as of late, but there are some strong scoring trends for both of these teams that favors more than a few runs being scored in this one. Given the total line that has been set for this matchup, I am going with a conservative 2-Unit play on the over in this game.
Year-to-Date Betting Record: 10-10-1 (+446)
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