Max Scherzer (12-7, 2.95 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, starts for the Washington Nationals (72-49) as they square off against Tyrell Jenkins (2-3, 4.89 ERA) and the Atlanta Braves (44-78) in the third of a four-game series at Turner Field. The Braves lost the last game 7-6, continuing a six-game losing streak. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 20 and can be seen on MASN and FSSO.
Jenkins pitched 4.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering seven runs, striking out one and walking three in a 9-1 defeat to the Nationals. Freddie Freeman (.288, 69 Rs, 24 HRs, 58 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with two RBIs. Scherzer went 4.0 innings, surrendering four runs, striking out three and walking two in a 5-4 win over the Rockies in his most recent start. Bryce Harper (.241, 65 Rs, 21 HRs, 64 RBIs, 15 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with two RBIs.
Washington is favored (-238) over Atlanta and the Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs. The Braves have recorded an overall money line of -924 and have shown a weak performance as an underdog this season with a record of 41-66. Atlanta has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 20-24 and 20-28 as the underdog and SU respectively. Atlanta's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 6.2 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.8.
Over in the other dugout, Washington is coming in with an overall money line of +57 and an impressive record of 61-34 as the favorite. They have been playing solid baseball as favorite with a 28-11 record against teams in their division, and a 33-15 record SU. Offensively, they average 4.8 runs per game, which is good for fourth in the NL. Washington is excellent at drawing walks with 3.5 per game, ranking fourth in the NL. Shifting to the pitching staff and defense, the Nationals allow just 3.6 runs per game, ranking them second in the NL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Nationals are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.173 for the season.
The Nationals have controlled the season series, 10-1. The Braves have a 32-50 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Scherzer takes the mound. Jenkins (RHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have a 54-38 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WAS, O/U - Under
The Nationals hold a 34-15 record in matchups against NL East Division rivals, while the Braves currently sit at 20-29 in these games.
For the 24th time this season, the Braves registered at least two errors in a game.
The Braves managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Nationals who are coming in with a 28-10 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
The Nationals are coming into the game with two consecutive wins, while the Braves currently have a losing streak of six.
When they outhit their opponents, the Braves are 32-19. The Nationals have a 53-13 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 30th in runs, Atlanta has earned 435 this season. Washington ranks seventh with 583 runs.
Ranking 18th, Atlanta is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 353 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 423.
When the Braves hit at least one home run, they are 25-30. When the Nationals hit at least one homer, they have a 56-27 record.