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How To Bet On Nationals Braves – Braves Look To Take Advantage With No Strasburg In Clash With Nationals

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 9/9/2012 6:21:43 PM

Heading in to the 2012 MLB season the majority of online sports betting experts would have agreed the Atlanta Braves had the better shot of coming out on top of the National League Central ahead of the Washington Nationals. That certainly hasn’t been the case with the Nationals compiling the best record in the majors to this point, and while the Braves have held down one of the two NL Wild Card spots any chance at catching Washington in the division will come down to a three-game set between these rivals this upcoming weekend.

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

One of the biggest reasons for the Nationals doing so well this year is the play of Stephen Strasburg, who after opening the season 15-6 with a 2.94 will now watch from the sidelines in a game he would have been scheduled to pitch in before he was shut down by management. Strasburg was clearly upset about not getting the chance to pitch, but it wasn’t to the point where he forced Washington’s hand to play him. Losing Strasburg will be a big deal no matter who the Nationals insert in to his spot in the rotation, and it could start right away with Tim Hudson getting the start for the Braves in the series opener. Hudson is 14-5 with a 3.59 ERA, and he is coming off a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rockies in which he pitched seven scoreless innings for the betting win.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta Braves

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

While the loss of Strasburg will hurt now and potentially even more when the playoffs begin, the Nationals do have some arms that can step up in the rotation. Ross Detwiler has had a solid season and will get the call Saturday for Washington when he will look for his third-straight win. Detwiler’s 3.15 ERA has given the Nationals a chance to win almost every game that he starts, and he should have the edge again in this game pitching opposite Paul Maholm. After a solid start to the second half of the season with his new team, Maholm has struggled with 13 earned runs combined allowed in his last three starts, and is 0-2 over that span. 9

MLB Betting Pick: Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves
Sunday, 8:00 PM ET

The Nationals can learn a thing or two from the way that the Braves have handled Kris Medlen, who will get the start in the series finale. Medlen, another pitcher that required Tommy John Surgery, is 7-1 with a 1.56 ERA after five-straight wins and is one of the biggest reasons that Atlanta is on the verge of clinching a Wild Card spot. While Washington does have Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Detwiler to rely on, the fact that everyone in the rotation has to move up leaves holes at the bottom of the rotation, including Edwin Jackson as the fourth option. Jackson has improved to 9-9 with consecutive wins, but he has struggled with consistency all season and the Nationals won’t be able to afford that in this sportsbook contest.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta Braves

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