MLB Picks: Expect Nationals To Handle White Sox In The Windy City

Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:49 AM GMT

MLB Odds makers have made the visiting Nationals a strong road favorite in this spot considering Washington has been one of the better teams in the MLB this season.  

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MLB odds have Washington as a -144 favorite and the total around 9. Although I am not a fan of backing favorites in baseball, especially on the road, I think there is some value on this line in backing the better team with the better pitcher on the mound which makes the Nats my MLB pick. The Nationals have been good on the road and I expect them to win today when breaking down the matchups.

Chicago White Sox
Miguel Gonzalez gets the start for Chicago and comes in with a 3.93 ERA and 1.51 with the White Sox hitting .243 as a team. Gonzalez is on the outside looking in now with Chicago acquiring James Shields but he has been decent this season. He has a steady career ERA under 4.00 with a 1.30 whip but in the last three years batters are hitting .255 against him. Today I think he is going to struggle a bit against a really solid Nationals lineup so I see him giving way to the bullpen early in the ball game. The Sox pen is good not great with a 3.43 ERA and batters hitting .238 against them. At the plate Chicago has been better than most people predicted but they rank from the middle to the bottom of the league in most categories. Currently they are averaging just over four runs per game while ranking 22nd in the league and they are near the bottom ranking 26th in total bases and 25th in OPS. Their averages do go up slightly versus left handers but they have not faced them very much this season and today they are facing not only a solid starter but arguably the best bullpen in the NL.

Washington Nationals
Gio Gonzalez gets the start with a 3.94 ERA and 1.28 whip with the Nationals ranking third in the major leagues in run differential. The run differential seems to be the main reason behind making the Nats such a solid road favorite. This is a really well rounded team and Gonzalez has the type of stuff that should keep the White Sox in check on top of the fact he is overdue for a good outing. In his last three starts he has gotten crushed giving up 18 runs in 15 innings off of 25 hits. However, those starts are not indicative of how good a pitcher he is and I fully expect for him to get a quality start today. When he leaves the mound the White Sox will have to contend with one of the best bullpens in the major leagues as the Nats relievers have a 2.88 ERA with batters hitting just .216 again them. In runs scored, total bases and OPS the Nats rank in the top part of the league and have been very productive on the road ranking fifth in runs and seventh in OPS when they travel.

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MLB Pick: Nationals -121
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline