Braves vs Nationals Pick
MLB Baseball betting action sees the Atlanta Braves taking on the Washington Nationals Tuesday June 23rd at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. Cappers Picks provides free MLB Baseball handicapping tips all season long.
Atlanta vs Washington
Date/Time: Tuesday, June 23 2015, 7:05 pm EST
Venue: Nationals Park, Washington DC
Atlanta, Washington Nats -149
Over/Under: 7.5 (-110)
Pitching Match-up: Alex Wood (4-4, 3.40 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (3-5, 6.55 ERA)
Both of these NL East division clubs are playing good baseball currently, so it’ll likely come down to a question of pitching when Atlanta (35-35) travels north to take on the vaunted – but underachieving overall – Nationals.
For the past couple of seasons, having Stephen Strasburg on the hill for the Nats (37-33) would’ve been a distinct advantage for the home team.
Yet, Strasburg has been a dumpster fire so far in 2015, limping to an ERA of six and a half and battling injury – he’s been off for three weeks with a strained left trapezius muscle.
With other important pieces on Washington either underwhelming or getting hurt (2B/3B Anthony Rendon, OF Jayson Werth and 1B Ryan Zimmerman come to mind) it means the Nationals, who were supposed to crush the NL East in a runaway, are only four games above .500.
It makes it seem like the door is open for the Georgians. The Braves were supposed to have a horrible offense, but they’ve scored the second-most runs in the division to date.
First baseman Freddie Freeman is having a predictably great year (he was recognized as the one bright star in the batting order before the season) but OF Nick Markakis has really taken to his new surroundings, leading the team in hits (77), on-base (.386) and swatting a .293 batting average.
Toss in solid pitching from young acquisition Shelby Miller and tonight’s starter Wood, and the Braves are in the mix in a struggling division. A three-game sweep of the rival Mets punctuate how the Braves have played recently.
All this is to say it won’t be a cakewalk for DC. On paper, Washington has the far superior team, but we all are familiar with that cliche.
The Nationals are thanking their lucky stars that superstar OF Bryce Harper wasn’t badly hurt when he went down clutching his knee a few days ago; Harper has almost single-handedly carried the offense without Werth and Rendon and with Zimmerman sucking.
Off-season grab (and former Brave) 3B Yunel Escobar has been a revelation for the Nats, batting .331. Sustained success for this ballclub, though, will be contingent on players coming off the DL and key pitchers like Strasburg returning to form.
Washington still has a crazy-deep starting rotation, but Strasburg was supposed to be a key element of it. If he has another stinker performance, Atlanta should capitalize in the nation’s capitol.
MLB Free 4* Pick: Atlanta 6, Washington 4
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