Jake Irvin will get the start for the Nationals (68-85, 33-44 home) as they host the Braves (97-55, 49-28 away) at Nationals Park. The Braves will give the starting nod to Max Fried. Check out my prediction for game one of this NL East matchup between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.
ATLANTA BRAVES VS WASHINGTON NATIONALS BETTING PICK
The Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 Runs
This game will be played at Nationals Park at 7:05 ET on Thursday, September 21st.
WHY BET THE ATLANTA BRAVES:
- Against the runline, the Nationals have gone just 2-3 in their last five home games.
- Looking at the Braves’ last ten games as the underdog, they are just 4-6 vs. the runline.
- Opponents are hitting just .203 against Max Fried in his last three starts.
ATLANTA BRAVES LOOK TO CONTINUE WINNING WAYS ON THE ROAD
This season, the Braves are 97-55, putting them 1st in the NL East. On the road this season, Atlanta has been above .500 team at 49-28. Overall, they have gone 33-11-4 in their 48 series.
Max Fried has been a major contributor for the Braves in 2023, boasting an impressive 7-1 record. He will take the mound for Atlanta in this game, having made 13 appearances so far this season. His ERA is a stellar 2.64, and his K/9 is an impressive 9.17. Additionally, his FIP stands at 3.11 and opponents have only managed to get on base against him at a rate of .287.
Max Fried’s most recent outing saw him surrender four hits over five innings, with one earned run. The Braves ultimately came out on top in a 7-6 victory over the Phillies, though Fried did not factor into the decision.
Having gone deep 18 times in their last ten games, the Braves are 1st in that span. At 5.8 runs per game, Atlanta is 1st in the league. This figure has come on a team batting average of .274 while hitting a total of 291 home runs (1st).
Matt Olson has been a major contributor to the Braves’ offensive success in 2023, leading the team with 52 home runs and 131 RBIs. His slugging percentage of .606 is indicative of his impressive power at the plate.
WILL THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME?
The Nationals’ overall record of 68-85 puts them 5th in the NL East. Their straight-up record at home stands at 33-44 compared to a runline mark of 34-43 when playing at Nationals Park. It is worth noting that the Nationals have a series record of just 9-13 at home. Washington’s over/under record comes in at 73-75.
Jake Irvin is on the mound for Washington with a 3-6 record so far this season. He’s made 23 appearances, boasting an ERA of 4.33 and a K/9 of 7.45. His FIP stands at 5.30, while his OBP is .326.
Jake Irvin was handed the defeat in his last start against Milwaukee, as he yielded four runs on three hits. The Nationals ultimately lost the game 5-3.
Offensively, Washington is ranked 19th in the league with an average of 4.3 runs per game. When looking over their last five matchups, the Nationals averaged 5 runs per contest, which is 9th best in that span. In terms of their power numbers, Washington is 26th in all of baseball, with a total of 143 home runs.
Dominic Smith has been a key contributor to the Nationals’ offensive success this season, leading the team with 4 home runs over their last ten games and 11 homers overall. His batting average stands at .257 for the year.