Baseball Betting Picks, Braves vs. Nationals Predictions

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals Odds

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals MLB Betting Series Preview

By Mike Rose

Both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals went into the All-Star break trailing the Philadelphia Phillies for NL East honors by a half game and 5.5 games respectively. The Nats figured to be the team to coast to the division pennant at the outset of the season. If they’re to live up to expectations, at the very least a series win over one of the teams ahead of them in the standings is a must! They got two of their aces going, so it’s hardly a shock to see them the decisive chalk to win this three-game set.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Dates:
Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 22, 2018
Location:
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

For all intents and purposes, the Braves are ahead of schedule. Not many predicted Brian Snitker’s team to be a factor in the NL East this season, but alas, they’re right in the thick of it. At 10 games over the breakeven point heading into Friday night’s series opener, Atlanta checks in as the fourth most lucrative bet in all of baseball ( $1208 ). They’re 27-22 on the road which has amounted to a solid $1065 return on investment.

It’s quite a different story in our nation’s capital where the Nationals have largely disappointed through better than half of their regular season docket. Dave Martinez has some work to do in their next 66 games if Bryce Harper and company are to live up to expectations. Though currently in third place of the division, Washington checks in with the second shortest odds to win the division ( +194 ) behind the Phillies ( +149 ).

Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Friday, July 20, 2018, 7:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Anibal Sanchez vs. Stephen Strasburg

The veteran right-hander has found new life in the National League. After throwing nothing short of batting practice against AL bats his last three seasons in Detroit, Sanchez has rediscovered how to get opposing bats out. He’ll enter start No. 12 the owner of a 4-2 record and nifty 2.60 ERA. Opponents are only batting .204 against him to date, and he’s yet to allow an earned run in 10 innings thrown at the Nats this season.

Strasburg has proven to be a China doll year in and year out. This season has unfortunately once again been the case. Be that as it may, the righty is one of the best in the game when healthy and firing on all cylinders. This will be his first start in over a month since going on the DL due to shoulder inflammation. Before hitting the shelf, he went 6-6 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. The Nationals only won two of his seven home starts, but he’s handled Atlanta’s offense with ease limiting Freddie Freeman and company to a .189 BAA and 3 ER over 14.2 innings.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Saturday, July 21, 2018, 7:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Sean Newcomb vs. Gio Gonzalez

Newcomb was arguably the Braves best starting pitcher through the month of June. Then July hit and the feces hit the fan. In his three made starts before the All-Star break, the lefty is 0-3 with a bloated 9.75 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. He failed to pitch through the sixth inning in each, and didn’t make it through the fourth twice. Though the Nationals have struggled against lefties, he’s had issues with them in going 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. This will be his second career start in D.C. He got rocked for 4 ER through four innings in the first.

Though not as dominant as he was a season ago, Gio Gonzalez continues to be the steady anchor that holds down the Nationals starting rotation. No, he doesn’t have the wipeout stuff of Scherzer or Strasburg, but he’s an innings eater and gets the job done more times than not. Relegated to more or less a six inning pitcher, only 36.8 percent of his starts have been of quality. He’s been his best at home where he sports a 3-2 record and 3.09 ERA, and took a no decision versus Atlanta earlier this season after tossing seven innings of 3 ER ball.

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Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Sunday, July 22, 2018, 1:35 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Mike Foltynewicz vs. Max Scherzer

With a 2.66 ERA and a 10.6 K/9 average, Folty has been the Braves staff ace. Unfortunately, his 7-5 record doesn’t state as such, but that has more to do with the 4.4 runs per start he’s received from the offense. Still, he needs to work on his longevity evidenced by a 27.8 quality start percentage. The Braves stand 4-5 in his nine road starts where his ERA falls to 2.54 over 49.2 innings. None of his last six starts have been of quality, but he’s been hard on the Nats through three starts to date in allowing only 3 ER with a 22:5 K/BB ratio over 19.1 innings. He tossed a complete game shutout last time he opposed them back on June 1.

What else can you say about Mad max that hasn’t already been said. He’s without a doubt one of the best starting pitchers in the game, and that won’t change in Sunday’s finale when he toes the bump for the 21st time this season. He’ll be out to snag win No. 13 in this one against a Braves offense he’s limited to just right hits and 2 ER through 14 innings over a pair of starts. Lifetime against Atlanta, Scherzer stands 8-6 with a 3.61 ERA and .254 BAA over 17 starts. Washington’s won seven of his 10 made home starts where he’s only given up 20 ER through 70+ innings of work.

MLB Baseball Betting Picks, Dodgers vs. Cubs Predictions

MLB Betting

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs Series MLB Betting Preview

By Mike Rose

Off a near sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs return home to the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field in search of a second straight series win. Up next on the docket will be the Los Angeles Dodgers outfit that took them out behind the woodshed and served up a good ‘ol fashioned beating when the teams last met in last year’s NLCS. LA has held the upper hand of the recent rivalry in winning eight of the last 10 meetings with all but two of those games combining for low scorers.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs
Dates: Monday, June 18 – Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Dave Roberts’ squad got out to a wretched start to their 2018 campaign, but since the calendar turned to the month of June, Los Angeles is playing like the team many envisioned at the outset of the season. In winning 11 of their 14 June games ( $655 ), the Dodgers enter this series to be held in Wrigleyville only 1.5 games in back of the front running Arizona Diamondbacks. That deficit was close to 10 only a short month ago!

Chicago had a shot to take over sole possession of the NL Central lead on Sunday night, but came up short in yet another shutout. Putting zero runs on the board is something Joe Maddon’s troops have done a bunch over the last week. Of their six played games against Milwaukee and St. Louis, they were shut out three times! That said, Anthony Rizzo and his mates combined for 26 runs in the other three.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Monday, June 18, 2018, 8:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Kenta Maeda vs. Tyler Chatwood

The book on Maeda has been easy to read this season. Back him in Chavez Ravine and fade him till the cows come home when toeing the visitor’s bump. Within Dodger Stadium, the righty checks in 2-3 with a 3.41 ERA. When on the road, his ERA jumps up to 3.86 and ground ball to fly ball ratio down to 1.62. Those numbers would be even worse if his last four road starts didn’t take place in Miami, San Diego, San Francisco and San Diego again. He owns a lifetime 4.44 ERA on the road and has never pitched at Wrigley Field in hot weather. Chicago’s sticks should eat Monday night.

Regardless of whether the Cubs offense gets going once again, they might need to hang a crooked number on the board just to come out on top with Chatwood on the bump. The righty has been a huge disappointment since being signed as a free agent this past offseason. He’s 3-5 against the MLB betting odds with a 4.12 ERA and .233 BAA. Not terrible. However, his numbers would be so much better if he could figure out a way not to issue free passes. Chatwood’s walked and struck out 58 batters through 63.1 innings – that’s an 8.2 BB/9 people! How the over has only cashed in seven of his 12 starts is beyond me.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers – Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 8:05 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Rich Hill vs. Mike Montgomery

Hill is set to come off the DL for this start, again. The veteran has been on and off the designated list all season. When healthy, he’s been nothing to write home about in going 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA and .303 BAA. In other words, he wasn’t missing bats evidenced by the 30 hits allowed through 24.2 innings. Though he registered better than a K per inning, he also issued 13 walks. The lefty last took to the starting bump back on May 19, and the last thing a rusty arm wants to see right out of the chute is an offense that leads the league in runs scored per game against southpaws ( 6.4 ).

Montgomery is making it known that he deserves a spot in the Cubs starting rotation. The spot starter/long man has been nothing short of a godsend for Maddon since Yu Darvish hit the DL. In his four starts made since, Montgomery has conceded a grand total of 13 hits and 3 ER with as K/BB ratio of 14:3 through 23.2 innings. He came one out away from throwing a quality start in each outing! He haw however had a rough go of it versus LA evidenced by his career 4.15 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.

Game 3 Probable Pitchers – Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 2:20 p.m. ET ( MLB Network )

Ross Stripling vs. Jon Lester

Like Montgomery for Chicago, Stripling has been the same type of saving grace for Los Angeles. The righty is 6-1 with a miniscule 1.76 ERA and opponents are only batting .224 against him. Since getting blown up in his first start after getting yanked from the pen due to Clayton Kershaw’s injury, Stripling has tallied quality starts in five of his eight made starts. He allowed two or less ER in each of them, and the Dodgers have come out on the right side of the scoreboard in each of his last six made starts.

Aces gonna ace! Lester has a down 2017 season. Some might say he was simply hungover and fatigued from the Cubs championship run the year prior. That’s not the case in 2018. The lefty has far and away been the best arm within Chicago’s rotation in going 8-2 with a 2.28 ERA and .207 BAA. Though 17-7 versus left-handers, Los Angeles has only plated an average of 4.0 runs per game against southpaws. He owns a 3.89 ERA and .220 BAA lifetime against the Dodgers, and the Cubs have won five of his six home starts. The finale of this series should play out to an excellent pitcher’s duel.Baseball Betting Picks

Indians vs Orioles Predictions, Baseball Betting Picks

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Indians at Orioles Picks

By Mike Rose

After earning a split with the AL Central leading Twins in Puerto Rico, the Cleveland Indians will look to gain some ground in Game 2 of their weekend set with the hapless Baltimore Orioles. The O’s have gotten out to a wretched start to their 2018 campaign managing just five wins through 19 overall tries. One has to wonder just how much hotter the seat can get under Buck Showalter before a change is in order.

Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles
Date and Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018, 4:05 p.m. ET
Location: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
MLB Odds: Check Back Later
Probable Pitchers: Mike Clevinger vs. Chris Tillman
Indians at Orioles TV Coverage: FS1

The Tribe’s offense continues to flounder. That was eerily apparent in their 2-1 sixteen inning loss to the Twins on Wednesday that prevented them from surpassing Minnesota in the standings. Though the club enters this series averaging 5.0 runs over its last five games, it gets chopped down to just 3.5 runs over their last 10. None of Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez or Edwin Encarnacion is currently batting their weight.

Thankfully, Terry Francona has gotten a huge boost from his pitching staff. If not, the Tribe would no doubt be hanging out at the bottom of the league standings instead of second place. The staff ranks No. 2 in the quality starts department with 10, while the bullpen checks in at No. 6 with a 2.79 ERA. MLB bettors are still waiting for it to all fall into place.

If things have been bad in Cleveland and the Indians still sit a couple games over the breakeven point, words simply can’t describe what’s going on in Baltimore right now. Save for Manny Machado and to an extent Try Mancini, the Orioles are getting next to nothing from the offense right now. It’s scored three runs or less in six of its last 10 games and ranks No. 27 overall with a .223 batting average.

Unlike today’s opponent, the Orioles are also getting next to nothing from their pitching staff. Dylan Bundy and Andrew Cashner have been reliable, but it’s been nothing short of ugly after that. Baltimore ranks No. 26 in staff ERA ( 5.11 ), No. 29 in WHIP ( 1.57 ) and below league average in strikeouts. Add to the mix a bullpen ERA of 4.72 ( No. 23 ), and it’s clearly apparent the team is struggling in most facets of the game.

Key Stat

13 –Unlucky No. 13 is the amount of errors Baltimore’s defense has committed through its first 19 games. No Bueno! Along with failing to hit for an above average batting average and having next to nothing to rely upon on the bump, the O’s are also making their pitcher’s jobs that much harder by booting balls in the field. This only adds insult to injury for a team that’s only won back-to-back games once this season, and sports an embarrassing 2-4 record ( -$224 ) in front of the hometown faithful.

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Indians at Orioles Picks

The Tribe made a mockery of this AL rivalry a short season ago in winning six of the seven overall meetings. With Chris Tillman getting the starting nod in this one, Cleveland is going to be in an excellent position to improve upon that gaudy record. The O’s veteran has been peppered relentlessly each of the last two seasons. He enters this tilt 0-3 with a bloated 11.91 ERA and allowed at least 4 ER in his three made starts. Mike Clevinger hasn’t excelled like his fantasy owners would’ve liked, but at least he’s been reliable in allowing just 5 ER over 19.2 innings of work. I don’t foresee it getting any better for the home team in this matchup. Cleveland is by far the better of the two ball clubs, and I thoroughly expect them to show that throughout this series on the MLB betting lines at top online sportsbooks.

MLB Pick: Bet the Indians at BookMaker.eu
MLB Score Prediction: Cleveland 8 – Baltimore 3