Nationals vs. Braves, 05/20/17 – Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

Washington Nationals
vs.
Atlanta Braves

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 4:10pm

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Washington Nationals (25-15 SU, 19-21 RL, 23-15-2 O/U) vs Atlanta Braves (16-22 SU, 20-18 RL, 24-14-0 O/U)

When: 4:10 PM EDT, Saturday, May 20, 2017

Where: SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Georgia

Lines: Washington -200/ Atlanta +185

Total: 8.5

Saturday afternoon MLB action within the National League East and the Washington Nationals will rumble with the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Georgia in game two of their three-game series. The Over is 14-3 the last 17 games in this series.  Pitching Probables: The Nationals will send out Max Scherzer and he will be opposed by Bartolo Colon.

Nationals Struggle In Pittsburgh

The Washington Nationals have the best record in the National League and they have an eight-game lead over 2nd place Atlanta in the NL East, but they do come off a three-game series in Pittsburgh, in which they lost the last two games of. Not only did they lose the final two games of the series, but they were outscored 16-5 in those two games. The Nationals have a ton of offense and that should be good for this series as Atlanta’s new park has been a hitter’s park, but their pitching has broken down some of late as they have a 5.20 ERA over their last 10 games. The Nats are 13-8 on the road overall, but just 1-5 in their last six away from home and they have allowed 6.17 rpg in those last six road games. Toeing the rubber for the Nationals in this game will be Max Scherzer and he has gone 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA in eight starts this year, including 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in four starts on the road. Scherzer has gone 25-13 with a 3.91 ERA in 54 games (51 starts) during the month of May and 44-27 with a 3.25 ERA in 102 games (100 starts) in daytime, while against the Braves in his career he is 6-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 13 games (11 starts). He made one start here at SunTrust Park this year and won that game 3-1, allowing no ERs and just two hits in 7.0 innings of work.

Washington has been a very good offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 1st in the league in scoring, putting up 5.92 rpg, while also ranking 1st in hitting at .278 and 2nd in homers with 63. On the mound they have been a bit below average in the early going as they come in ranked 22nd in the league in ERA at 4.43, while also ranking 15th in WHIP at 1.33.

Braves Lose Freeman For At Least 10 Weeks

The Atlanta Braves have no pitching at all and now they have lost their best offensive player as Freddie Freeman will be out for at least 10 weeks due to a wrist injury. Freeman Leads the team in hitting at .341, RBIs with 25 and homers with 14. He is tied for the league lead in homers and leads the league in on-base percentage at .461. That is a lot of offense for this team to be missing, especially since they just don’t have the pitching to keep their opponents from scoring a ton. Here at home, that pitching has really been bad as they have a 5.72 ERA and have allowed 6.27 rpg. The Braves have allowed 26 homers in just 15 home games so far and now they face the 2nd best home run hitting team in the league. That could be a problem for them. Getting the nod for the Braves will be Bartolo Colon and he has gone 2-4 with a 6.80 ERA in eight starts on the year, including 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts here at home. Colon has gone 42-32 with a 4.31 ERA in 93 career starts during the month of May and 83-47 with a 3.86 ERA in 168 games (162 starts) in daytime, while against the Nationals in his career he has gone 4-6 with a 3.71 ERA in 12 games (11 starts).

Atlanta has been a below average offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 16th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.58 rpg, while also ranking 8th in hitting at .260 and 26th in homers with 38. On the mound they have been very poor so far as they come in ranked 27th in the league in ERA at 4.85, while also ranking 24th in WHIP at 1.39.

Trends

Washington is:

  • 49-20 in their last 69 vs. the National League East
  • 9-4 in their last 13 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30

Atlanta is:

  • 3-8 in their last 11 games on grass
  • 3-10 their last 13 home games in this series

The Atlanta Braves have been a sneaky team at times this year and a big reason has been because their offense has bailed their pitching out. Well, that may not happen as much now as they will be missing Freddie Freeman for at least 10 weeks. He is a huge part of their offense and one of the best offensive players in the league right now, so he will be missed, especially when facing a pitcher like Max Scherzer. The Nationals have one of the best offenses in the league and they will hit a lot of homers, which is not good new for an Atlanta team that can’t pitch at home and will yield a lot of homers in this park. I look for the Nationals to win this one very easily, so play them on the runline here.

Pick: Washington -1.5

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Last Updated: May 19, 2017

David Hess

I have always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so I combined the two to become a handicapper and a blogger. I love sports and I love writing about them and all the info I put in my blogs is well-thought-out and well-researched. I am a big fan of all the major sports and the colleges, plus I know golf pretty well, tennis and the WNBA. I am very versatile. Hope you enjoy my content.