Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 8/4/2014
Taking the time to focus your handicapping energy on just one team can pay some huge dividends if you buy into the theory that the more you know about that particular team, the better you will be able to predict the results of its games. Doc's Sports has put this specialization theory to the test this season by having me focus my efforts on picking games for the Washington Nationals.
Doc's has been releasing these free picks for Washington on a weekly basis with the use of their Unit Betting System. The ultimate goal of this project is to earn a respectable profit over the course of the entire MLB regular season.
As the MLB heads into its stretch run to this year's playoffs 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
Tuesday, August, 7:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
Washington will host Baltimore this Monday for a make-up game from a rainout in early July before welcoming the Mets to town on Tuesday night for the start of a three-game set at Nationals Park. Game 1 of this NL East clash is set to get underway at 7:05 p.m. (ET).
The Mets followed up a 2-1 series win over Philadelphia at home last week with two losses to San Francisco in the first three games of an extended four-game series that wraps up at Citi Field this Monday afternoon. New York is 4-2 in its last six road games, but overall it is just 25-32 away from home this year. The total has stayed "under" in eight of its last nine games on the road.
Washington's 4-0 shutout against the Phillies this past Sunday as a -150 home favorite coupled with Atlanta's current six-game losing streak extended its lead over the Braves in the division to 3.5 games. The "under" in four of their last six games overall.
New York at Washington Betting Storylines
New York is basically riding out the string for yet another season after going 53-58 in its first 111 games even though it is still technically within striking distance at eight games off the pace. The Mets' pitching staff is ranked in the middle of the pack in the NL with a team ERA of 3.53, and their lineup is 10th in the league in scoring with an average of 3.86 runs a game. One of the lone bright spots this season has been the bat of Lucas Duda. He leads the team with 61 RBI and 20 home runs.
The Mets will send Zack Wheeler to the mound as their starter for Tuesday night. The right-hander is coming off a quality outing against Philadelphia last Wednesday in which he allowed just two runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. He has now gone at least six innings in his last six starts with an impressive 1.63 ERA and 1.22 WHIP during that stretch.
The Nationals are finally creating some breathing room in what has been an extremely close division race all season long. They are just 5-5 in their last 10 outings; so much of the current lead is based on Atlanta's 3-7 slide in its last 10 games. Washington's pitching remains its primary strength with a team ERA of 3.10, but consistency at the plate continues to be an issue at times. The good news is that the Nationals are still ranked fifth in scoring in the NL, and their .317 on-base percentage is tied for fourth.
Gio Gonzalez will get the start in Game 1 of this series for Washington. The left-hander got bounced around in his last start after giving up five earned runs to Philadelphia in just 3 2/3 innings, but this followed a one-run gem against Cincinnati over seven innings in his previous outing. Overall, Gonzalez is 6-7 in 17 starts with a 3.88 ERA and a WHIP of 1.26. He did get tagged for five earned runs in a May 17 start against New York.
New York at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Mets are 2-6 in their last eight games against a left-handed starter and 4-10 in Wheeler's last 14 starts against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed under in 11 of their last 15 games.
The Nationals are 16-7 in their last 23 home games but just 2-6 in Game 1 of their last eight series. The total has stayed under in seven of their last 11 games.
Head-to-head in this NL East matchup, Washington is 7-1 in Gonzalez's last eight starts against New York and the total has gone "over" in three of the last five meetings at Nationals Park.
New York at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
I have been getting beat up lately in some of these head-to-head matchups in the NL East to fall into the red for the year, but I am very confident in Tuesday night's play of 3-Units on the under 7 in this game. I really like the current form of both these starters and the fact that they have pitched deep into games this year. Wheeler has been hard to hit lately and Gonzalez is due for a better effort than his last time out.
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