Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 4/4/2014
Saturday, April 5, 7:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
Atlanta at Washington MLB Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Doc's Sports will be tracking the Washington Nationals this season. Specialization is key to sports betting profit, and we feel confident we will earn a profit on these free season-long MLB picks involving Nationals games that we will offer in these weekly articles. All of the picks will follow Doc's Sports Unit Betting System, and we will publish these articles once or twice a week, so be sure to check our homepage daily and follow along!
The Washington Nationals will play the second of a three-game weekend series against the Atlanta Braves this Saturday night at Nationals Park. These NL East rivals are the top two favorites to win the division this season, so the Nationals will be looking to gain the early edge in what should be a season-long battle.
Atlanta kicked the new season off on a down note with a 2-0 loss to Milwaukee as a -116 road favorite, but it bounced back with two straight wins to claim its first series of the year. Behind some stellar pitching from both teams, the total stayed "under" in all three contests.
Washington wrapped up its season-opening series against the New York Mets this past Thursday afternoon with an impressive three-game sweep by a combined score of 22-10. The Nationals outlasted the Mets 9-7 in the season opener as -171 road favorites and followed that up with a 5-1 victory on Wednesday and an 8-2 romp on Thursday. They won as road favorites in all three games on BetOnline's closing moneyline.
Atlanta at Washington Betting Storylines
Atlanta has had to deal with some major changes to its starting rotation this spring due to unexpected injuries, but it still felt confident that its re-tooled lineup would provide the necessary run support until the pitching staff worked out the kinks. If a total of six runs against Milwaukee in three games is considered solid run support then Braves could be in trouble coming out of the starting gate. Freddie Freeman is one of the few Braves that had a hot bat in that series with two solo-shot home runs. Jason Heyward also belted a home run, and he had two RBIs against the Brewers.
The Braves will send Julio Teheran to the mound for Saturday's contest. The right-hander opened the season with a loss after getting tagged for the only two runs scored in the game in a shaky fourth inning. In six full innings of work, he allowed the two earned runs on seven hits for an ERA of 3.00. Teheran posted a solid 2.25 ERA in his final four starts against the Nationals last season.
The Nationals had no problem knocking the ball around the park against the Mets in their opening series. Anthony Rendon has had the hottest bat so far with five hits and five RBIs, but Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond have also been productive with a combined two home runs and eight RBIs in their first three games. The team as a whole has hit .304 with an OBS of .362 in a solid display of power at the plate.
Stephen Strasburg opened the season as the third-favorite to win this year's NL Cy Young award , but the right-hander was not in his best form in the Nationals' opener this past Monday against the Mets. He did post 10 strikeouts in six innings of work, but he also allowed four earned runs on five hits for an ERA of 6.00. Lifetime against the Braves he has a 3.68 ERA in 13 career starts.
Atlanta at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as a -168 home favorites over the Braves for this NL East matchup, with the total set at 6.5.
The Braves are 5-1 in their last six road games against a right-handed starter, and Teheran is 4-0 in his last four division starts. The total has stayed under in five of his last seven starts on the road.
The Nationals are 6-1 in Strasburg's last seven starts, and they are 22-7 in their last 29 games against the NL East. The total has stayed under in five of their last eight games against a right-handed starter.
Head-to-head, Atlanta came into this series with an 8-2 record in its last 10 trips to Nationals Park, and the Braves are 4-1 in Teheran's last five starts against Washington. The total has stayed under in 10 of the last 14 meetings.
Atlanta at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Strasburg may have not been at his best in his first start, but he should have strong night at home against a Braves' lineup that has struggled at the plate. Since it is still early in the season, I would limit the play on the Nationals to 2 Units on Doc's Unit Betting System given the current moneyline of -168.
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