Jordan Zimmermann (11-8, 3.45 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (67-65) go up against Matt Wisler (5-5, 5.22 ERA) and the Atlanta Braves (54-79) in the first of a four-game division series at Nationals Park. The Braves enter this series on an eight-game losing streak. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sep. 3 and will air on SPSO and MASN.
In his most recent outing, Zimmermann pitched 7.0 innings, allowing one run, striking out four and walking one in a 5-1 victory over the Marlins. Ryan Zimmerman (.237, 39 Rs, 16 HRs, 67 RBIs, 1 SB) played well again yesterday, going 3 for 4 with two runs, two home runs, and three RBIs. The Braves were unsuccessful the last time Wisler pitched. He had a good outing, pitching 6.0 innings, giving up two runs, striking out four and walking four in a 3-1 loss to the Yankees.
Washington is a considerable -256 favorite at home and the Over/Under (O/U) for this matchup is seven runs. The Nationals are 54-41 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -1,418. They have performed well against their division to earn an SU record of 29-21 and a 27-16 record when they were the favorite. The Nationals have one of the most prolific offenses in the entire NL, averaging 4.3 runs per game. They have been very patient at the plate, ranking third in the NL with an average of 3.2 walks per game. Whenever an NL East opponent shows up on the calendar, the Nationals pitch better. They allow an average of 4.1 runs per game, but allow just 3.4 against teams from their own division. The Nationals don't give up many walks to opposing batters, leading the NL with only 2.1 walks allowed per game.
Switching gears, the Braves come into this game with a weak win percentage of .381 when playing as the underdog (40-65) and an overall money line of -1,594. Over the last 10 games, they were winless as the underdog with a 0-5 record and 1-9 SU. The Braves will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, Atlanta's run production has dropped to 2.7 runs per game, compared to 4.3 for the duration of the season. The Braves are known for their bats, hitting a league-leading 312 extra base hits. The Braves average just 6.9 strikeouts per game, good for least in the NL. Atlanta's pitching staff has allowed an average of 7.9 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 4.7.
The Nationals have gotten the best of the Braves in head-to-head matchups this season, going 9-3. This game will feature Wisler (RHP) on the mound against the Nationals, who have a 50-50 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Braves will be the right-hander Zimmermann. They sport a 45-63 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was, O/U - Under
Atlanta is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games.
Atlanta is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Atlanta's last 8 games on the road.
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 6 games when playing Washington.
Atlanta is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games when playing Washington.
Atlanta is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Washington.
Atlanta has won 35% (23-42) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Washington has won 53% (33-29) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Braves are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Nationals have a 6-21 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Braves are 37-18. The Nationals have a 52-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 30th, Atlanta sits at the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 479 this season. Washington ranks in the top half at 13th with 564.
Ranking 13th, Atlanta is in the top half of the league in walks, notching 385 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 426.
The Nationals are 50-33 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Braves are 32-30 when they hit at least one homer.