Date/Time: April 29th, 7:10 PM ET
MLB Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Probable Starters: Strasburg (Washington) vs. Teheran (Atlanta)
Moneyline: Washington -130
Foes from the NL East duke it out for the first game of a four-game set on Thursday night at Turner Field, and MLB bettors will love to dive right into all of the action between the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.
The Nats came out of their series with the Cincinnati Reds better for wear. They won three of the four games, though that only let them round out their home stand at just 3-4, which clearly isn't good enough for a team that figured to win the NL East going away this year. Washington has averaged just 3.72 runs per game this year, and if you take OF Bryce Harper out of the equation, the rest of the team has just 18 home runs and is batting .228 overall. Those offensive woes never look greater than when RHP Stephen Strasburg is on the bump. The Nationals' ace has clearly not been his best this year. His strikeout rate is a tad lower than what we expected (28 in 31.1 innings of work), while his contact rate is significantly up. He has walked eight batters and allowed three homers in five starts as well. Still, even a 3.16 ERA doesn't sound all that bad, and it seems as though Strasburg should be a 3-1 or so pitcher, right? Not so fast. He's 1-4 to show for his work because the team is only giving him 1.8 runs per game of support.
The Braves have to be glad to be back at home after 10 straight games on the road. In those games, they averaged just 3.50 runs per game, and they averaged 2.78 runs per game if you take out the 10-2 explosion against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Now, it's back to home sweet home, where OF Justin Upton and his mates have been tearing the cover off of the baseball. The question is whether they'll be able to do so once again for RHP Julio Teheran. They have given Teheran 7.0 runs of support on average in his four starts this year, making up for the fact that the righty really doesn't have the greatest numbers in the world. Teheran has just 15 strikeouts against seven walks in 23.0 innings of work, and most importantly, he has a 5.48 ERA. The run support has helped, but so too, has the Atlanta bullpen. The Braves have a fantastic back end of their team, but the fact that they have allowed just one run in 13 innings in games in which Teheran has pitched it remarkable.
Do some math here, folks. Teheran clearly has been more lucky than good, and Strasburg has been a heck of a lot more unlucky than bad. Check the percentages at the door, and realize that this is only a game that Washington has to win 60% of the time to make us huge winners. There's little way that we see the Nats getting beaten more than 40% of the time, even here at Turner Field in this matchup.
Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves Pick: Washington Nationals -130