MLB Picks: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals

The Atlanta Braves (36-35) and Washington Nationals (37-33) will face off in a National League East matchup Thursday night at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET on the MLB Network.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals 

The Atlanta Braves have struggled as road underdogs this season
The Atlanta Braves have struggled as road underdogs this season

Atlanta has lost three games in a row, including a 10-5 setback to Philadelphia as -173 home favorites Wednesday, while going OVER the betting total for the fourth time in five contests.  Braves catcher Evan Gattis will lead the offensive charge, as he’s put together a 17-game hitting streak—the longest active one of its kind in the Major Leagues.  Atlanta is 5-5 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 during the 2014 campaign, with the UNDER going 6-4 in that situation.

Braves starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (1-2, 2.98 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 11-6 home defeat to the Los Angeles Angels last time out, as he allowed four runs and seven hits over 6.1 innings of work.  The right-hander is 1-2 with a 2.31 ERA in four road efforts, with opposing hitters batting .256 against him.  In four lifetime starts versus the Nationals, Floyd has compiled a 0-2 record and 4.97 ERA.

Washington won back-to-back 6-5 home decisions against the Houston Astros, while going OVER the betting total in each affair.  Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon will be the main player to handicap at the plate, as he’s batting .429 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in leading the squad to a 7-1 record in its last eight games at this ballpark.  Washington is 5-4 as home favorites of -125 to -150, with the UNDER going 4-3-2 in those nine opportunities.

Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (5-3, 2.98 ERA) was handed a 1-0 road loss by the St. Louis Cardinals in his last trip to the mound, as he allowed a single run and three hits over eight innings.  The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in eight home appearances, with opposing hitters batting .295 against him.  Zimmerman has put together a 3-1 record and 2.98 ERA in eight career starts versus the Braves.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nationals due to the Braves being 3-9 in their last 12 games as an underdog.

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