Joe Ross (5-5, 3.50 ERA) and Manny Banuelos (1-3, 3.33 ERA) take the hill in the last of a four-game series between the Washington Nationals (70-65) and the Atlanta Braves (54-82) at Nationals Park. The Braves lost the last game 8-2, continuing an 11-game losing streak. Washington can finish out the series sweep with a win in this game. Action begins at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sep. 6 and can be seen on FSSO and MASN.
Ross pitched 2.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering three runs, striking out three and walking six in an 8-5 defeat to the Cardinals. Bryce Harper (.337, 100 Rs, 33 HRs, 82 RBIs, 6 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 3 for 4 with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs. Banuelos went 2.2 innings, surrendering three runs and walking one in a 7-1 defeat to the Marlins in his most recent start. Freddie Freeman (.285, 53 Rs, 15 HRs, 50 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run.
This one isn't expected to be close when Washington, a big -245 favorite, takes on Atlanta. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at eight runs for this matchup. The Nationals have an overall money line of -1,218 and a record as the favorite of 56-41. Washington has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 29-16 and 31-21 records as the favorite and SU respectively. The Nationals have no trouble scoring as they rank third in the NL in offense with 4.4 runs per game. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.3 per game. Washington's pitchers put it all together when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game drops to 3.3 against fellow NL East members, compared to its 4.0 season average. The Nationals are the top team in the NL at limiting walks to their opponents, allowing only 2.2 walks per game so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, Atlanta is coming in with an overall money line of -1,794 and a disappointing record of 40-67 as the underdog. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They were winless, managing a 0-6 record when playing as the underdog. Offensively, the Braves have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 3.6 runs per game by averaging 2.2 during that stretch. The Braves have a dynamic offense, leading the league with 316 extra base hits. Atlanta is excellent at not striking out with an NL-low 6.9 per game. The Braves allow 4.8 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 8.7 runs per game during that span.
The Nationals have controlled the season series, 12-3. The Nationals have a 17-15 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Banuelos takes the mound. Ross (RHP) will be on the hill against the Braves, who have a 45-65 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was, O/U - Under
The Nationals hold a 32-21 record in matchups against NL East rivals, while the Braves currently sit at 25-31 in these games.
The Nationals managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Braves who are coming in with a 15-16 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
The Nationals are coming into the game with four consecutive wins, while the Braves currently have a losing streak of 11.
When they outhit their opponents, the Braves are 37-18. The Nationals have a 55-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 30th in runs, Atlanta has earned 484 this season. Washington ranks seventh with 592 runs.
Ranking 11th, Atlanta is in the top half of the league in walks, notching 399 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 442.
The Nationals are 53-33 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Braves are 32-30 when they hit at least one homer.