The betting strategy of specialization when wagering on MLB games will be put to the test all season long as I continue to exclusively handicap the Washington Nationals. I will also be putting some money behind my efforts with free picks for select Washington games with the use of Doc's Sports Unit Betting System. The ultimate goal is to build a profitable MLB bankroll with these unit plays.
Doc's has been posting these free MLB picks on its homepage, so be sure to follow along to chart my progress. Washington finds itself in a three-way battle for the lead in the NL East as I try and get back on the plus side of the ledger with my free picks for their games.
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Washington Nationals Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Thursday, June 11, 8:10 p.m. EST (Miller Park)
Washington continues its current eight-game road trip with an extended four-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Game 1 of this series is set for Thursday night with an 8:10 p.m. (ET) start at Miller Park. This series opener will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
The Nationals will wrap up a quick two-game interleague set against the New York Yankees this Wednesday afternoon after losing the first game 6-1 as +121 road underdogs. It was their third straight loss and their sixth in their last seven games. Washington has now slipped a half-game behind the New York Mets in the NL East standings at 30-28.
Milwaukee has already won the first two games of this week's road series against NL Central rival Pittsburgh, and it will go for the sweep on Wednesday night. The Brewers are still well off the pace in the division at 22-37 on the year, but they have suddenly strung together six victories in their last nine games. The total has stayed "under" in six of their last eight outings.
Washington at Milwaukee Betting Storylines
The problems that plagued Washington earlier this season in its slow start out of the gate have reared their ugly head over the past few weeks. Going back to a three-game sweep at the hands of Cincinnati at the end of May, the Nationals are just 2-9 in their last 11 games. During this slide the have allowed an average of 5.4 runs a game, while their once-vaunted lineup has sputtered once again with just 2.5 runs a game.
Washington will try and snap out of this funk with Tanner Roark on the mound this Thursday night. The right-hander has worked most of his innings out of the bullpen, but he has been pressed into service as a starter due to injuries to the current rotation. In last Friday's outing against the Chicago Cubs, Roark lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits, but he still came away with the win behind some solid run support.
The Brewers are playing their best ball since early May. While their lineup continues to struggle to consistently score runs with an average of 3.5 over the course of their last nine games, they have gotten quite a few solid efforts from a pitching staff that is ranked 13th in the National League with a team ERA of 4.30. In their six wins during this current nine-game stretch, Milwaukee has only allowed an average of 2.3 runs a game.
Look for Matt Garza to get the start for the Brewers in Thursday's series opener. His overall numbers on the year through 11 previous starts have not been all that impressive with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP, but the right-hander is coming off one of his best outings of the year. Last Saturday he held a hot Minnesota team to just one earned run on six hits over the course of seven full innings to pick up his fourth win of the year. This followed five innings of shutout ball against Arizona in an emergency relief role.
Washington at Milwaukee MLB Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has listed the Nationals as -111 road favorites for Thursday night's series opener, with the home-town Brewers set as +101 underdogs at home. The betting odds for the total have been set at 8.5.
The Nationals are just 1-6 in their last seven games against the NL Central, and they have lost their last five road games against a right-handed starter. The total has stayed under in five of their last seven games on the road.
The Brewers are 1-4 in Garza's last five home starts, and they are 2-5 in their last seven home games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone over in five of their last six games played at home.
This will be the first meeting this season, but Washington has won seven of the last 10 games overall, and it is 6-2 in its last eight road games against Milwaukee.
Washington at Milwaukee Free MLB Picks and Betting Predictions
The Nationals have gotten the best of Milwaukee in the recent betting trends in this matchup, and they come into this series with a heightened sense of urgency given their play over the past few weeks. I am not overly thrilled with Roark as the starter in this matchup, but I am counting on Washington's bats to get to Garza early to provide some solid run support. I am keeping this one to a 2-Unit play on the Nationals to get the win.
2-Unit Play: Take Washington over Milwaukee
YTD Record: 3-5 (-$672)
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