The Atlanta Braves (97-58) will attempt to complete a series sweep of the Washington Nationals (53-101) when the teams face off Wednesday evening. Veteran Jake Odorizzi (5-6) is projected to start for the Braves while righty Josiah Gray (7-10) will take the bump for the Nationals. First pitch is slated for 7:05 ET. Below we will continue our MLB odds series with a Braves-Nationals prediction and pick.
Jake Odorizzi will make his 21st start of the season for the Braves tonight. On the season, Odorizzi holds a 5-6 record to go along with a 4.61 ERA. Odorizzi has had a rough go since being acquired by the Braves in early August. Since being traded to Atlanta Odorizzi has gone just 1-3. He has finished the 6th inning just twice and allowed multiple runs in 6 of his 8 starts as a Brave. The righty is coming off one of his worst starts of the season – a loss to the Phillies in which he allowed 8 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings of work. He has yet to face the Nationals this season.
For the Nationals, Josiah Gray has had an up-and-down year as a starter. The 24-year-old has struck out 152 batters in his 27 starts but holds a paltry 5.17 ERA. Gray has been particularly troubled in the month of September. In four September starts, Gray has gone 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA. He has allowed at least four runs in each of his previous four starts. In his most recent appearance, Gray picked up the loss thanks to the Miami Marlins lighting him up for 4 runs on 8 hits across his 6 innings of work. Gray’s recent string of poor starts has to be considered when making a Braves-Nationals prediction.
Here are the Braves-Nationals MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Braves-Nationals Odds
Atlanta Braves: -1.5 (-130)
Washington Nationals: +1.5 (+108)
Over: 8.5 (-104)
Under: 8.5 (-118)
Why The Braves Could Cover The Spread
Atlanta has continued to be one of the best teams in baseball. Thanks to their 8-2 drubbing of Washington last night, Atlanta moved into a tie with the New York Mets for first place in the National League East. This was the Braves fourth straight victory and seventh in their last ten games. With the win, the Braves have ensured that they’ll be the 2nd seed in the National League playoffs if they win the NL East. Tonight Atlanta will be going for a series sweep of Washington after winning the first two games by a 16-2 margin. The Braves are 14-4 against the Nationals this season.
Ronald Acuna Jr. continued his strong play of late in last night’s win. The leadoff man finished 2-5 with 2 solo home runs in en route to the victory. Prior to the breakout game, Acuna had struggled against Washington. Despite being the team he has batted against the most this season Acuna holds just a .177 average when facing the Nationals. Acuna does seem to be heating up at the right time after a strong August – good for backers of the Braves tonight and the rest of the season. A hot Acuna bat is something to take into consideration when making a Braves-Nationals prediction.
Rookie Michael Harris also had a strong game for the Braves last night – a common theme in his rookie season. The 21-year-old picked up 2 hits for Atlanta in the win. For the season, Harris has a .306 batting average to go along with 19 home runs and 64 RBIs.
Why The Nationals Could Cover The Spread
Contrary to their division rivals, Washington has been one of the worst teams in baseball this season. They have been brutal both in straight-up games (53-101) and even against the spread (69-85). Despite having an above-average team batting average, Washington has scored the fifth fewest runs in the league.
In last night’s loss, Washington managed just two runs. However, if there was a silver lining for Nationals backers it was the re-emergence of DH Luke Voit. Voit was in the midst of a mini-slump but managed two hits in the game. The power hitter has blasted 21 home runs this season but has done so while maintaining just a .231 batting average. Voit managed not to strike out for just the first time in two weeks – an encouraging sign for tonight’s game.
Final Braves-Nationals Prediction & Pick
Atlanta has gotten hot at the right time as the season comes to a close. After moving into a first-place tie in the NL East, the Braves will be highly motivated to close out the series against Washington with a sweep. There is a major talent disparity between these two teams and I expect the Braves to make quick work of the Nationals.
Final Braves-Nationals Prediction & Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 (-134)