Braves Have 7-Game Lead Over Nationals in NL East
The Atlanta Braves host the Washington Nationals in MLB Action of Thursday night from Suntrust Park in Cobb County. Washington has chased the National League East lead all summer. Now they get their chance to draw closer to the Braves when they open a four-game series tonight. The season series is tied 6-6, but the Braves have won six of the past nine matchups.
The first-place Braves and second-place Nationals play seven times in the next 11 days. Washington has baseball’s best record since May 24th at 59-29, but they remain seven games back. The Braves have almost played just as well with a 58-31 over the same time frame.
TV: 7:20 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MASN (Washington), FS Southeast (Atlanta); LINE: Nationals -112; O/U: 9.5 Under -120.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (16-5, 3.47 ERA) vs. Braves LH Max Fried (15-4, 4.05)
The Nationals missed an opportunity Wednesday to gain ground on idle Atlanta. They lost for just the seventh time in the past 27 games, falling 8-4 at home to the New York Mets. Anthony Rendon had two hits and two RBI’s. The 3rd-baseman’s team-record 114 RBI’s this season is tied for the most in Major League Baseball. Rendon is batting .430 with nine doubles, eight homers, and 27 RBI’s in his past 24 games.
The Braves enter the series riding a six-game winning streak after Tuesday’s 7-2 victory over Toronto. They have won their past 10 home games, and are 17-4 since Aug. 11th. First baseman Freddie Freeman is tied with Rendon for most RBI’s in the majors. He has set career highs in RBI’s and home runs with 38. During Atlanta’s six-game winning streak he is 9-for-22 with three doubles, three homers and nine RBI’s.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Strasburg is putting together one of the best seasons of his career for the Nationals. His maturation has allowed him to pitch to his full potential. He is leading the NL with 16 wins and 179 innings pitched. He also ranks second in strikeouts with 215 and sixth in WHIP at 1.04. The former prema donna has lost just once in his past 13 starts. He has racked up 100 strikeouts in 83 innings. That included a 14-strikeout performance with two hits allowed over eight shutout innings Saturday against Miami. Strasburg is 3-0 with a 3.93 ERA in three starts against the Braves this season. He has struck out 23 with 18 hits surrendered over 18-1/3 innings. OF Juan Soto is hitting .422 with seven doubles, four homers and 15 RBI’s in his past 11 games. He has at least one hit in eight of those contests.
Fried has emerged very capable in his first full season in the Braves major-league rotation. He is trailing only Strasburg in wins in the NL with 15. He has gone 6-0 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in eight starts since the All-Star break. Fried went 4-0 in six August starts. He allowed three earned runs or fewer five times. He finished the month by striking out 11 while allowing three earned runs on four hits over six innings Friday against the Chicago White Sox. Fried lost his only start against the Nationals this season. He allowed four runs on nine hits and five strikeouts across 5-2/3 innings on May 28th. 3B Josh Donaldson has hit 26 homers since June 11. He became the 13th player in franchise history Tuesday to record 30 homers and 30 doubles in a single season.
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The Dart Throw: Braves 6, Nationals 4
Nationals vs Braves Betting & Odds Trends
|Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
|Atlanta is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
|The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Atlanta’s last 16 games
|Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
|Atlanta is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
|The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Atlanta’s last 10 games at home
|Atlanta is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Washington
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta’s last 6 games when playing Washington
|Atlanta is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Washington
|Atlanta is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Washington
|Washington is 15-8 ATS in its last 23 games
|Washington is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
|Washington is 17-5 SU in its last 22 games
|The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington’s last 7 games
|Washington is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
|Washington is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
|Washington is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 6 games when playing Atlanta
|Washington is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
|Washington is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
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