I will be exclusively handicapping the Washington Nationals all season long in an effort to demonstrate that specialization on a single team when it comes to wagering on MLB games can be a viable betting strategy. To further prove the point, I will also be releasing weekly picks for their games with the use of Doc's Sports Unit Betting System. My goal for the season is to return a solid profit on these unit plays.
Doc's will be posting these free picks for select Washington games on its homepage, so be sure to follow along all season long to chart my progress. The Nationals are fighting through a slow start out of the gate, but there is still money to be made on one of the top teams in the National League.
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Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Thursday, April 30, 7:10 p.m. EST (Citi Field)
The Nationals continue their current 10-game road trip with an extended four-game weekend series against the division rival New York Mets starting this Thursday night. The first pitch from Citi Field is set for 7:10 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
The start of this trip has not gone so well for Washington with a 1-4 record heading into Wednesday's series finale against Atlanta. The Nationals also lost the last two games at home against St. Louis before this trip began as part of 3-7 record in their last 10 games. They are already seven full games off the pace in the NL East with an overall record of 8-13.
The Mets continue to set the pace in this division on the strength of a 15-6 start. They will wrap up a three-game set against Miami on the road this Wednesday after splitting the first two contests. New York has gone a perfect 10-0 in its first 10 home games this season and it is 11-1 on a moneyline bet as a favorite.
Washington at New York Betting Storylines
The Nationals pitching staff posted the best ERA in the majors last year. This staff was expected by many to be even better this season, but so far things have not gone according to plan. Through Tuesday's games, they are in the middle of the pack in the National League with a 3.81 ERA. Washington's bats have not helped the cause with an average of 3.9 runs a game, which is also well down the list in the NL.
Stephen Strasburg is expected to get the start for Thursday's series opener. The right-hander has not had his best stuff through his first four starts with a 4.88 ERA in 24 innings of work. He faced the Mets on the road back on April 9 and was rocked for three earned runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings to pick up the loss. He also took the loss his last time out against Miami after allowing four earned runs on eight hits in six innings pitched.
The Mets are rolling in just about every phase of the game. They are ranked third in the NL in runs scored (92), and their pitching staff has the second-best team ERA (3.00) in the league. Daniel Murphy has had one of the biggest bats in this lineup with 14 RBI and two home runs, and both Lucas Duda and Juan Lagares have knocked in 11 runs.
New York is slated to go with Jacob deGrom as their starter for this game. This will be the right-handers fifth start of the season, and he comes into this game with an even 2-2 mark in his first four outings. One of those loses came against Washington in early April after allowing two earned runs in New York's 2-1 loss. deGrom got rocked in his last start against the Yankees with six earned runs after three of the eight hits allowed made their way out of the park for home runs. He was rock-solid in his middle two starts with no earned runs allowed in 13 innings pitched.
Washington at New York MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Nationals as slight +103 road underdogs for Thursday night's series opener against the first-place Mets with New York listed as a -113 favorite at home. The total for this game has been set at 7.
The Nationals are 1-5 in their last six games against a right-handed starter and 3-9 in Strasburg's last 12 starts against a team with a winning record. The total has gone "over" in their last four road games.
The Mets are 4-1 in Game 1 of their last five series and 4-1 in deGrom's last five starts at home against a team with a losing record. The total has gone over in four of their last five games at home.
Washington is 4-1 in Strasburg's last five road starts against New York, and the total has stayed "under" in five of the last seven games between these two. The Mets hold the early 2-1 edge in the season series, and the total stayed under in two of the three games.
Washington at New York Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
It is hard to bet against the Mets in this situation given their early success both at home and in the opening game of a new series. deGrom also gives them the slight edge on the mound, so I am going with a 3-Unit play that New York remains perfect at home by extending its winning streak to 11 games.
3-Unit Play: Take New York (-113) over Washington
YTD Record: 1-1 (-$48)
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