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How To Bet On Nationals Braves – Nationals Need Arms To Carry Them In Atlanta

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 6/27/2012 5:34:43 PM

The Washington Nationals have maintained their lead in the National League East with some cushion between them and the rest of the division despite not playing very good baseball of late. However, another rough series this weekend against the Atlanta Braves could make that lead disappear entirely. The Nationals head to Atlanta this sportsbook weekend for a three-game set against their closest competition in the NL East, with the chance to increase their position on top of the division, or lose their lead altogether.

Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
Friday, 7:35 PM ET

While the Washington pitching staff has been among the most dominant in the majors, the offense has been ice cold, with the exception of a shocking 12-run performance in a win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night. More consistency from the offense will be a key for the Nationals, but until the bats get going it will be up to the pitching staff that ranks first in the majors in ERA and quality starts to keep the Atlanta bats from heating up. Washington manager Davey Johnson will hand the ball to Ross Detwiler to start the opener, and his main focus will be on taking it one inning at a time and keeping the Braves from opening things up early on. Detwiler is 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 12.1 innings pitched, and he should have a favorable MLB betting matchup against Atlanta starter Randall Delgado. Delgado has given up three runs or more in five of his last seven starts, and as long as Detwiler can take care of his business, the Nationals’ offense should be able to do enough to Delgado to get the win.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
Saturday, 4:05 PM ET

Atlanta won’t be in any better shape for game two in terms of the pitching matchups, as they send Mike Minor and his 6.14 ERA to go up against Stephen Strasburg. While Minor has given up at least four earned runs in eight of his last 10 starts, Strasburg has kept his ERA under three while going 9-2, with an incredible 118 strikeouts. The 23-year old Strasburg understands how important this series is to the Nationals regardless of what is said, and will look to bounce back from his first loss since May with another dominant performance.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
Sunday, 1:35 PM ET

Atlanta will have the right arm on the mound for the finale as they look to avoid the three-game sweep. Tim Hudson is 603 with a 3.58 ERA on the season, and he is coming off of a dominant performance in an 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. A home sweep at the hands of the team the Braves are chasing in the standings would be unacceptable, so look for the Atlanta bats to get to Gio Gonzalez early and put Hudson in a comfortable position with the sports betting lead.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta Braves

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