The Atlanta Braves won the bidding for free-agent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel, and the former AL Cy Young winner is expected to make his Braves debut on Friday night at the Washington Nationals. The Nats are favored on the MLB Odds behind Stephen Strasburg.
How to Bet Braves vs Nationals MLB Week 12 Lines & Game Info
- When: Friday, 7:05 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Dallas Keuchel/Stephen Strasburg
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: ESPN 1420
- MLB Week 12 Lines: Washington Nationals -135 (Total 9)
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Braves have surged to the top of the NL East with a 44-31 record and haven’t lost a series since June 4-6 in Pittsburgh. They come off a 7-2 home win over the Mets on Wednesday to take two of three.
Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 and blasted a two-run homer on Wednesday. He gave the Braves an early lead by launching a long drive to the opposite field against Steven Matz in the first inning. Freeman has been one of the top all-around hitters in the majors the last several seasons and is continuing that with a .315/.403/.606 slash with 21 home runs, 55 RBI and 58 runs scored. He is on pace to set new career highs in nearly every offensive statistic except stolen bases.
Center fielder Ender Inciarte (back) has resumed baseball activities but is still “a ways away” from a return, per Braves manager Brian Snitker. There’s no timetable for when Inciarte might be ready for a rehab assignment. Rookie Austin Riley has been great in his place so Inciarte might have lost his job anyway.
Former AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel signed a one-year $13 million deal with the Atlanta Braves a couple of weeks ago and has made two Minor League starts since then. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.
Keuchel joined the Braves after six seasons with the Houston Astros, the last of which came last season where he went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout and the fact he doesn’t throw very hard. Keuchel has a career 3.66 ERA and will likely be the Braves first starter come postseason time because he has plenty of postseason experience and the other Atlanta pitchers don’t.
- Runs: 5.43
- Hits: 9.23
- Walks: 3.68
- Strike Outs: 8.49
- Runs: 4.83
- Hits: 8.56
- Walks: 3.80
- Strike Outs: 8.64
Why Bet on Washington?
The Nats haven’t had first baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, nearly all season, but he ran the bases on Wednesday before Game 2 of the doubleheader with the Phillies on Wednesday. It makes back-to-back appearances for Zimmerman on the bases before games, and he could start a rehab assignment soon. Zimmerman has been on the shelf since late April due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Sean Doolittle retired the side in order in the ninth inning to earn a save against the Phillies on Wednesday. He induced both Rhys Hoskins and Jay Bruce to pop out to the third baseman, then got a ground-out from Cesar Hernandez. He now has 15 saves and a 3.34 ERA on the season. Washington’s bullpen has been atrocious this season and Doolittle is the only guy Manager Dave Martinez can count on.
The Nats’ Stephen Strasburg (7-4) previously lined up to start Thursday versus the Phillies but two postponements to begin the week plus Wednesday’s doubleheader led to a change of plan. The 30-year-old threw a bullpen session earlier Wednesday. In his most recent start, Strasburg gave up six runs over five innings on nine hits over five innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks last Saturday. Strasburg gave up nine hits, and four of those hits were homers. He did strike out five and walked just one, but that’s the only positive.
Strasburg gave up three home runs in his previous 10 starts over 68 1⁄3 IP before taking the mound on Saturday and giving up four. Strasburg was unbeaten in his past five starts (4-0) with a 2.91 ERA, seven walks, 35 Ks, and a .208/.263/.275 line against over 34 innings pitched in that stretch before Saturday. His ERA jumped to 3.75 with 115 strikeouts in 96 innings with a 1.06 WHIP in the defeat.
Strasburg allowed two runs over seven innings vs. the Braves on May 28, while matching a season high with 11 strikeouts.
- Runs: 4.96
- Hits: 8.53
- Walks: 3.27
- Strike Outs: 8.62
- Runs: 4.82
- Hits: 8.45
- Walks: 3.20
- Strike Outs: 9.42
Braves vs Nationals MLB Betting Trends
- Braves are 1-7 in their last 8 games following an off day
- Nationals are 4-1 in Strasburg’s last 5 starts during game 1 of a series
- Over is 6-1 in Strasburg’s last 7 home starts vs. Braves
- Braves are 12-4 SU in their last 16 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Washington
- Nationals are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games against an opponent in the National League
Expert Final Score Prediction for Braves vs Nationals
Atlanta Braves 3 – Washington Nationals 4