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Braves Nationals Betting – Braves And Nationals Open New Season In The Nation's Capital

Posted by Tony Bryant on 3/25/2011 6:13:19 PM
mlb baseball betting

The Philadelphia Phillies are naturally the overwhelming favorites to win the National League East this upcoming season. The Atlanta Braves would be more than happy if they won the N.L. wild card.

Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals - Thursday, March 31

Why Atlanta Will Win

The Braves will be sending Derek Lowe to the mound in their 2011 season opener. Online betting experts know that Lowe is a steady veteran with a well-developed understanding of how to pitch. Lowe will experience butterflies and nervous moments just as any March Madness betting observer would during this crazy month of the sports year, but he will be able to manage his emotions well, focus on the given situation, and execute his pitches. Lowe should be able to go at least five innings and put the game in the hands of a capable Atlanta bullpen that has more than a few young fireballers. The fact that the Braves reached the playoffs last year and gained a taste of what it takes to win in October will make this team gritty and competitive in the next six months. Playing for new manager Fredi Gonzalez, the Braves will be highly motivated to win for their manager and begin a new chapter in their history after the decorated Bobby Cox era, which brought 14 straight division championships to Atlanta. This is a special day in the life of the Atlanta franchise, so expect the Braves to perform with the urgency you'd expect from a team that has a lot at stake this season.

Why Washington Will Win

Baseball, of course, is a game of intense concentration. Intensity is needed in the sport, but players can't be too hyped up when they step into the batter's box. Being overly aggressive leads to strikeouts or weak ground balls. Hitters can't chase pitches out of the zone, and they can't be out in front on soft stuff. Precisely because Atlanta will be appreciably energized for this game, the Braves will be a little bit more vulnerable to breaking balls and change-ups. Moreover, the reality of early-April weather in the Eastern time zone means that Lowe, for all of his attributes, isn't very likely to go deep into the game or possess his sharpest stuff. Washington could certainly take Atlanta's energy and use it against the Braves. The Nationals, by virtue of finishing in the bottom region of the National League East on a regular basis, will want to start strong out of the gate and make a statement – to themselves as much as to the rest of the nation – that they should be taken seriously this year. Washington played well in the first two months of 2010; it's not crazy to think that Washington could make noise in the early stretch of the 2011 campaign. (It's the middle of summer that's likely to catch up with the Nationals.)

How The Game Will Play Out

Lowe will probably go 5 1/3 innings and give up two or three runs before fading. Atlanta, though, should slash several base hits in the early going and establish a mid-game advantage. The Braves' bullpen won't have Billy Wagner around anymore, but sports betting gurus should still trust Atlanta’s young and powerful arms to get lots of clutch outs in 2011. This day promises uneven and sloppy baseball, but it should also generate an early win for the new-look Braves.

Atlanta Washington MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta

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