The Atlanta Braves are on the verge of clinching a second straight NL East Division title and could potentially clinch a playoff spot this weekend at rival Washington. However, the Nationals are favored on the MLB Odds in a terrific pitching matchup in Friday’s opener.
How to Bet Braves vs Nationals MLB Odds & Game Info
- When: Friday, 7:05 PM ET
- Where: Nationals Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Mike Soroka/Max Scherzer
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: SiriusXM
- MLB Odds: Washington Nationals -165 (Total 8)
- Mostly Cloudy: 22°C/72°F
- Humidity: 62%
- Precipitation: 1%
- Cloud Cover: 78%
- Wind: 12 mph ESE
- Stadium Type: Open
Why Bet on Atlanta?
Center fielder Ender Inciarte is not expected back until the end of September, which obviously means his regular season is over. He’s been out since August 17 with a strained right hamstring.
On the bright side, the Braves are expected to activate outfielder Nick Markakis from the injured list on Friday. He has been on the IL since July 27 with a fractured wrist. He’ll be mostly manning left field rather than his normal right field, Manager Brian Snitker said. Matt Joyce is more comfortable in right. Markakis, a lefthanded hitter more likely to hit a double than a home run, will slot into an Atlanta lineup in the fifth spot, following the stellar top four of Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson.
Donaldson’s 37 home runs (as of Thursday) are the fifth most homers hit by a player in his first season for the Braves in franchise history. The four higher: Andres Galarraga (44 in 1998), Davey Johnson (43 in 1973), Jeff Burroughs (41 in 1977) and Wally Berger (38 in 1930).
Atlanta appears to have made a smart pickup in reliever Mark Melancon from the Giants. Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn a save against the Phillies on Wednesday. He has solidified the back end of the Braves bullpen down the stretch and now has 11 saves and a 3.92 ERA on the season.
The Braves go with excellent rookie Mike Soroka (11-4). He) gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out seven in six innings last Sunday against the Nationals and took the loss. Prior to September, Soroka had not allowed more than one home run in an outing in 24 starts. However, he gave up two home runs in his first start of the month and a career-worst three long balls Sunday. He also has also upped his strikeout rate over his last two starts (13 strikeouts in 11 innings).
- Runs: 5.35
- Hits: 8.87
- Walks: 3.80
- Strike Outs: 8.99
- Runs: 4.65
- Hits: 8.84
- Walks: 3.50
- Strike Outs: 8.64
Why Bet on Washington?
Juan Soto’s 33 home runs this season (entering Thursday) are second-most by a 20-year old in Major League history behind Mel Ott (42 in 1929) and his 102 RBI are sixth-most (Al Kaline, 5th/102). He ranks in the National League in on-base percentage (4th, .404), OPS (5th, .980) walks (T5th, 89) and slugging percentage (9th, .576). Washington has nine players with at least 13 home runs this season, the most in the National League and tied for the most of any team in Major League Baseball.
At the beginning of August, Soto’s 2019 slugging percentage was within a handful of points of last year (.524 vs. .517), and he had 20 homers. Fast-forward to September and he’s slugging .576. He’s only played 16 more games this year than last year, but he’s added 11 extra homers.
Anthony Rendon currently has the 9th best OPS in a season by a third baseman since 1902, everyone above him either current or future Hall of Famers (and Alex Rodriguez). In his last 29 games, Rendon is hitting .405 with 11 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 27 RBI, 14 walks and 28 runs scored. He has hit safely in 25 of the 29, posting a .470 on-base percentage and a .724 slugging percentage along the way.
It’s Nats ace Max Scherzer. Scherzer (10-5) gave up one run on two hits and two walks while striking out nine in six innings Sunday in Atlanta. He picked up the win. Scherzer’s postgame comments were less cheery as he expressed frustration at how long it took him to return to this form. He came into this start with a 4.40 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 14.1 innings over his only three outings since the end of July.
Manager Dave Martinez said Scherzer threw a bullpen on Tuesday and reported feeling good, setting up the right-hander to start Friday against the Braves. Scherzer has been easing his way back to full strength after a back injury.
- Runs: 5.35
- Hits: 8.99
- Walks: 3.51
- Strike Outs: 8.15
- Runs: 4.55
- Hits: 8.36
- Walks: 3.20
- Strike Outs: 9.31
Braves vs Nationals MLB Betting Trends
- Under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings
- Over is 5-2 in Scherzer’s last 7 home starts vs. Braves
- Braves are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Washington
- The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Atlanta’s last 13 games played in September
- Nationals are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the National League
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington’s last 7 games at home
Expert Final Score Prediction for Braves vs Nationals
Atlanta Braves 3 – Washington Nationals 4