Atlanta Braves (65-78; 74-64-5 O/U) vs. Washington Nationals (88-56; 63-71-10 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 14, 2017 at 7:05pm EST
Line: Washington -190/Atlanta +178
The Washington Nationals will host the Atlanta Braves in the three game series finale Thursday evening from Nationals Park. The Braves will give the nod to 25-year old right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, and the Nationals will send 30-year old right-hander Tanner Roark to the mound. The season series is tied seven games apiece.
Foltynewicz Looks to Avoid Seventh Straight Defeat
Mike Foltynewicz is back on the mound for the 29th time of the season, looking to finally end his losing streak. Foltynewicz notched the Quality Start last time out, allowing three runs in six innings to the Marlins but took another loss. The young right-hander has pitched well in three consecutive starts but still owns a 4.74 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP to go with a 10-12 record in 150 innings pitched. The Nationals have given him some trouble as he has conceded 12 runs in 16.1 innings in three starts this season, and now sits at 2-1 with a 5.46 ERA in five career starts against the division rivals. Anthony Rendon is 2 for 10 with three RBI’s against Foltynewicz, while Ryan Zimmermann is 3 for 8, and Daniel Murphy is 7 for 16. Freddie Freeman has done big damage against the Nationals pitching this season, posting a .438 average with four homers and 13 RBI’s. The 27-year old first baseman has been the Braves most reliable hitter all season, currently hitting .323 with 26 home runs and 68 RBI’s.
The Braves are currently averaging 4.65 runs per game, ranking them 16th in the Majors, and are hitting .266 as a team. The Atlanta pitching is carrying a 4.81 team ERA, positioning them down at 25th in the Majors.
Roark Eyes Fourth Consecutive Quality Start
Tanner Roark will get the nod for the 29th time of the season, looking to improve his record to 13-9. Roark tallied the Quality Start in his latest effort, conceding three runs in six innings to the Phillies, and recorded the win. The veteran right-hander has been very steady as of late, and now possesses a 4.48 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 162.2 innings logged. He allowed seven runs in five innings in his first start against Atlanta this season and conceded three runs in five innings in the second meeting, and now owns a 5-2 record with a strong 2.79 ERA in 84 career innings against the Braves. Matt Adams is 3 for 6 against Roark, while Freddie Freeman is 11 for 33, and Matt Kemp is 5 for 15 with five RBI’s. Michael Taylor has given the Nationals some great production this past week, belting three homers along with nine RBI’s over his last five games. The 26-year old centerfielder is having a solid season, hitting .276 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI’s. Taylor is 11 for 32 with two RBI’s against the Braves this season.
The Nationals are swinging the bats well and averaging 5.19 runs per game, good for third in the Majors, and feature a .269 team batting average. The Washington pitching is carrying a strong 3.87 team ERA, placing them seventh in the Major Leagues.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- 0-6 in Foltynewicz’ last 6 starts.
- 7-26 in their last 33 games in Washington.
- 0-4 in Foltynewicz’ last 4 road starts.
The Washington Nationals are:
- 5-1 in Roark’s last 6 home starts against the Braves.
- 4-0 in Roark’s last 4 starts against a team with a losing record.
- 5-1 in their last 6 games against a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
I am taking the Nationals on the run line (-1.5) in this matchup. Foltynewicz owns an awful 5.46 career ERA against the Nationals, and they have scored 12 runs in 16.1 innings against him this season. Furthermore, Roark has been very consistent, allowing three or fewer runs in seven consecutive starts, and he features a 2.79 career ERA against Atlanta. Also, five of Foltynewicz’s last six starts have resulted in a loss by at least two runs, so I am confident the Nats can take this by two runs.