Washington and Atlanta wrap up their three-game series at Truist Park in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, so we’re taking a closer look at this NL East showdown to get you the best Nationals vs. Braves betting pick and odds.
According to Bookmaker Sportsbook, the Braves are firm -200 moneyline favorites with a total of 9.5 runs, while the Nationals are listed as +185 road underdogs.
The Nationals lost seven of their first eight outings in July
At the time of writing, the 30-56 Washington Nationals and 50-35 Atlanta Braves started the middle contest of this series at Truist Park. Back on Friday, the Nats suffered a heavy 12-2 defeat in the opener, recording their second straight loss and seventh in eight showings in July.
Washington holds the second-highest ERA in baseball (5.20). The Nats own a terrible 6.21 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in July, while their bullpen has compiled a pedestrian 5.45 ERA, 5.28 FIP, and 1.73 HR/9 in the last ten days and 36.1 innings pitched.
Paolo Espino will get the starting call Sunday and try to avoid his second straight loss. The 35-year-old right-hander gave up four earned runs on six hits across 3.2 innings of work in an 11-0 defeat at the Philadelphia Phillies this past Tuesday. Espino is now 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in five starts and 20 relief appearances in 2022.
The Braves demolished the Nats in Friday’s opener
The Atlanta Braves went deep four times in that 12-2 thrashing of the Nationals last Friday. They scored eight runs off Erick Fedde, and rookie Michael Harris II went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. On the other side of the ball, Charlie Morton fanned seven across seven frames while yielding a couple of runs on four hits and three walks.
The Braves returned to winning ways and registered their fourth victory in five games. They were sitting at the second spot in the NL East, trailing the New York Mets by two and a half games.
Ian Anderson will get the nod Sunday and face the Nationals for the second time this season. He yielded four earned runs across four innings in a no-decision against Washington on June 13. Anderson has struggled for most of the season and holds a 7-5 record with a pedestrian 5.09 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 16 starts and 81.1 innings pitched.
- 1-8 in the last nine games overall
- 1-4 in Paolo Espino’s five starts in 2022
- 8-3 in the last 11 games overall
- 7-3 in the last ten games at home
- 13-4 in the last 17 games against Washington
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
Paolo Espino has allowed four earned runs in two straight outings. He met the Braves in April and surrendered three runs on four hits in three frames of work. The current Braves have 11 hits, four home runs, and .863 OPS in 39 at-bats against Espino, so give me the hosts at the moneyline odds. Atlanta is slashing a sturdy .282/.336/.517 in the last seven days and 209 at-bats.
I would avoid going with the Braves to beat the runline because of Ian Anderson. If he starts to struggle, the Braves will rely on their bullpen, which leads the majors in WAR with 4.7 and sits at 3.16 ERA and 3.15 FIP for the season.
Pick: Take Atlanta Braves at -200
Each but one of the last eight encounters between the Nationals and Braves have produced runs in double digits. Hereof, I won’t overthink the totals. The Braves are swinging a hot bat at the moment and should torture Paolo Espino and his relievers.
I’ve mentioned how bad the Nats’ bullpen has been lately. Hopefully, Washington’s offense will manage to score a few runs off Ian Anderson, who’s yielded a whopping 12 earned runs over his previous three starts.
Pick: Go over 9.5 runs at -110