Tracking the Nationals: Season-Long MLB Picks and Handicapping for Washington Baseball
by Dave Schwab - 7/1/2014
Specialization when wagering on MLB games can be a very successful betting strategy, and to try and prove the point Doc's Sports has been releasing free MLB picks each week for the Washington Nationals during this MLB regular season. I have been tracking and handicapping the Nationals' games each week in an effort to develop a high level of familiarity with the team. Familiarity helps to improve predictability, which should hopefully lead a long-term profit with my free MLB picks.
I am combining my picks with Doc's Unit Betting System to help ensure that each play is released with proper money management in mind. 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
Wednesday, July 2, 6:05 p.m. EST (Nationals Park)
The Washington Nationals will wrap up their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies in the friendly confines of Nationals Park this Wednesday night as part of their current eight-game homestand. This matchup is set to get underway at 6:05 p.m. (ET).
The Rockies dropped the series opener 7-3 on Monday night as prohibitive +225 underdogs on BetOnline's closing MLB moneyline to post their 12th loss in their last 14 games. Heading into Tuesday night contest as +240 underdogs they are now 36-47 on the year with a road record of 16-28. The total has gone "over" in six of their last seven games.
Washington has actually won its last three games heading into Game 2 of this three-game set and it is a healthy 7-3 in its last 10 outings. The Nationals have moved within a half-game of Atlanta in the NL East Division title race at 44-38. They are 24-17 at home this season, and the total has gone over in four of their last seven home games.
Colorado at Washington Betting Storylines
It would be hard to pin Colorado's recent slide on a lack of run support considering that this lineup has still averaged 4.4 runs over its past 14 games. While this average is still lower than its 4.98 runs per game season average that is ranked first in the National League, it is still more than enough runs to win games. The problem has been a pitching staff that has sunk to dead last in the NL with team ERA of 4.96. Over the last 14 games, the Rockies have allowed an average of 6.8 runs a game.
Look for Tyler Matzek to get the start for Colorado on Wednesday night. The left-hander has only made four previous starts in the majors, but he looked sharp his last time out by holding Milwaukee to just one run on five hits through six innings of work. Through these four starts he is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.24.
Washington continues to lead the NL in pitching with a 3.07 team ERA, which is the big reason it has finally started to win far more games than it has lost lately. The Nationals still continue to struggle with consistency at the plate, and over the past 10 games they have averaged 3.8 runs a game, which is slightly lower than a 4.1 season average that is ranked eighth in the NL. The big three of Adam LaRoche, Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond continue to provide the bulk of the production with a combined 139 RBIs through Monday's win.
The Nationals will go with Doug Fister as their starter for the final game of this series. The right-hander posted another quality start his last time out by holding the Cubs to three earned runs on seven hits in six full innings. He had an ERA of 2.38 in the five starts he made in the month of June as compared to a 2.83 season ERA over the course of 10 total starts this year.
Colorado at Washington MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as prohibitive -215 home favorites for Wednesday night's series finale, with Colorado listed as a +200 underdog on the road. The total for this game has been set at 7.5.
The Rockies are now just 8-23 in their last 31 games and 7-21 in their last 28 games against a right-handed starter. The total has gone over in 13 of their last 17 road games.
The Nationals are 5-2 in Game 3 of their last seven series and 7-2 in Fister's last nine starts. The total has gone over in six of their last seven games against a team with a losing record.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Colorado has now lost five of the last seven meetings, and the total has stayed under in nine of the last 12 meetings in Washington.
Colorado at Washington Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
Given the current betting trends for both teams in light of the pitchers that are slated to get the start, my first instinct is to go with a play on the over against a lower-than-expected total line. However, the better selection in this matchup is to take advantage of the favorable numbers on the run line by taking the Nationals (-110) and laying the 1.5 runs on a 3-Unit play.
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