The Nationals are struggling in the month of April while the Braves are doing a modestly better job in the National League East. Who’ll cash on the MLB betting lines on Tuesday?
The Washington Nationals Can Win Because…
They are a very talented team. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Denard Span – the core of a team that won over 95 games last year is intact this season. The Nationals expect to be great, and they should in fact hold that expectation. It’s still early in this season, so there’s plenty of time for Washington to settle down and become the kind of team it wants to be. The Nats are also playing an Atlanta team without closer Craig Kimbrel, having traded him to San Diego. Jason Heyward is no longer on the roster, either, since the Braves have been mindful of the need to cut costs and regroup for the future a little bit. Atlanta is thinking long-term and not short-term this season.
The other main reason to take the Nationals in this game is that their starting pitcher, Tanner Roark, has a 2.89 ERA, while Atlanta starter Julio Teheran has a 4.64 ERA this season. Roark has also done very well against the Braves recently. He had a 2.63 ERA in four starts against Atlanta last season, totaling 24 innings. In those 24 innings, Roark gave up just seven runs. He allowed 21 hits, but he pitched around those hits and stranded a lot of baserunners. Roark has a very good chance of outpitching Teheran and dictating this game. The Nationals are hoping to get a strong start from Roark so that they can relax as hitters and as fielders, not having to make overly difficult plays to win.
The Atlanta Braves Can Win Because…
They are facing a team that can’t play defense very well. Washington committed four errors in its loss to the Braves on Monday night. The Nationals aren’t losing primarily because of bad luck, which is something that can happen in baseball. Washington is losing because it is playing so poorly. This is a team that has stumbled out of the gate and looks very disjointed when it takes the diamond. It’s not an issue that this team is several games out of first place, because the Mets have been white hot. The problem is that Washington looks nothing like the team that cruised to the division championship a year ago. Manager Matt Williams has a flat, sluggish team on his hands.
The other big reason Atlanta can win is that Julio Teheran did very well against Washington last year. He posted a 3.15 ERA in three starts over 20 innings, consistently containing the Nationals and preventing them from posting a big inning. Teheran, similar to Roark against the Braves, scattered a lot of hits. He gave up 20 hits, but only seven earned runs in his 20 innings. He should feel that he can make pitches when he needs to against the Nats.
Washington is in a major funk right now, having lost six straight and while Teheran is a solid pitcher, Roark’s splits against Atlanta are even stronger. Take Washington in this game as your MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Washington at GTBets
No odds have been released for this game at the moment of press, keep checking our MLB odds board for more details.