MLB Picks: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals

The Atlanta Braves (67-45) and Washington Nationals (54-57) will open up a three-game National League East series Monday night at Nationals Park, with the first pitch

Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals 

The Washington Nationals are 3-5 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 this season
The Washington Nationals are 3-5 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 this season

Atlanta has won 10 games in a row, including a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies as +115 road underdogs on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.  The Braves will now be focused on trying to increase their lead to 13.5 games in the division standings.  “We’re playing good baseball right now,” commented Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.  Second baseman Dan Uggla will likely lead the offensive charge in this affair, as he has more hits and at-bats against tonight’s opposing starter than any other MLB player.

Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (11-5, 2.75 ERA) has won back-to-back efforts, including a 9-0 home victory over the Colorado Rockies last time out, as he allowed two hits over seven shutout innings.  The left-hander is 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 10 road outings, with opposing hitters batting just .233 against him.  In six career games versus the Nationals, Minor has compiled a 3-2 record and 4.55 ERA.

Washington returns home after a 2-3 road trip, which ended with a disappointing 8-5 defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers as +104 underdogs yesterday afternoon, while going OVER the betting total of 8.  “They are getting to be all important at this point,” commented Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.  The Nationals plated just 14 total runs and hit .162 with runners in scoring position over their last five contests.  Washington is 3-5 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 this season, with the OVER going 4-2-2 in that situation.

Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (5-9, 3.04 ERA) has watched the club drop his last four efforts, including a 5-1 setback on the road to the Detroit Tigers, as he allowed five runs and six hits over seven frames.  The right-hander is 4-4 with a 1.68 ERA in 11 home outings, with opposing hitters batting .197 against him.  In 10 career games versus the Braves, Strasburg has compiled a 3-4 record and 3.55 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Braves due to their 5-1 record in Minor’s last six outings as an underdog.

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