MLB Baseball Betting: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

MLB Baseball Betting:  Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

The Atlanta Braves have been just what the Washington Nationals’ struggling starters needed. Stephen Strasburg had looked awful and was coming off a stint on the 15 day disabled list in the first game of this series but he had no problem shutting down the weak hitting Braves. Last night, it was Jordan Zimmerman’s turn. He outdueled Shelby Miller to earn a 2-1 win. Now struggling Doug Fister looks to complete the trifecta against Atlanta’s pop gun attack as he takes the hill for the series finale.

The Nationals have extended their lead atop the NL East to 3.5 games–not a particularly impressive accomplishment considering that they’re the only team in the division with a winning record over their last 10 games. The Braves (5-5 L10) are treading water in third but they’ll soon pass the free falling (3-7 L10) New York Mets. Miami is still well off the pace and Philadelphia is the worst team in baseball.

The Braves will start Matt Wisler who looked very impressive in his Major League Debut last time out allowing just 1 ER and 6 hits in 8 innings of work. Then again, he was facing the flatlining New York Mets. At any rate, he’s got a ton of potential and it’ll be interesting to see how effectively he can bounce back from such a strong showing in his first big league start. As far as Washington goes, starting pitcher Doug Fister has been mediocre at best all season with with an ERA over 4 in most situational breakdowns including a 4.80 ERA overall. He’s been terrible in his last three starts–two of which were Nationals losses. In those three games he’s allowed a total of 15 ER in 14 innings of work for a 9.64 L3 ERA. Ouch.

Most handicappers are aware of the old ‘bet against the sweep’ concept but there’s more to like about the Braves in this spot. Fister looks woefully overpriced given his sketchy recent form. Atlanta is still without Freddie Freeman (who has finally gone onto the 15 DL with his wrist issues) while the Nationals could get Bryce Harper back in the lineup today. Overall, however, this game is closer than the price would suggest and particularly given Fister’s recent struggles.