MLB Picks: Strasburg and Nationals vs. Braves

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Saturday, August 17, 2013 2:57 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 2:57 PM UTC

Will the Braves be able to get anything on Stephen Strasburg tonight? Check out our MLB pick for this divisional battle.

Odds Overview

The Braves are MLB Odds favorites once again today, but the lines are a lot closer this time around because of who's on the mound for the Nationals.

You can find Atlanta anywhere from -110 to -125, while Washington is primarily listed at +105 at the sportsbooks. The total, as you'd think with Strasburg and Minor on the mound, has opened at a low number of seven.

Atlanta Braves (Mike Minor)

Not only have the Braves won three in a row, but they've gone a spectacular 20-6 so far, in the second half of the season. That is a solid number for SU MLB Picks.

Atlanta subsequently has the best record of any team in the major leagues, while building up a 15.5-game cushion on Washington in the NL East.

Mike Minor starts tonight for the home team and, though he wasn't too sharp in his last start, he's still got some impressive overall numbers. The left-hander is 12-5 on the season with a 2.87 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.

In 13 starts at home, Minor is 6-3 with a 3.16 ERA, with 82 strikeouts and only 10 walks. Opposing hitters are batting just .212 against him at Turner Field.

How's he done against Washington? This season he's only faced them once, holding the Nationals to two runs over six innings in a no decision. For his career he's 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA an 1.49 WHIP in seven starts.

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Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg)

The Nationals have gone an even 5-5 over their last 10 games and now stand at 59-62 overall. Only a miracle run here to close out the regular season would give them a chance at a playoff spot, but don't count on that happening.

Most of Washington's trouble has come outside of the capital, as they're just 23-33 on the road this season, as opposed to 36-29 at Nationals Park.

There's been no trouble for Stephen Strasburg whatsoever. He continues to evolve as a starter and threw a complete-game gem against the Phillies in which he needed only 99 pitches. Strasburg allowed only four hits and struck out 10.

However, check out the home/away splits and you find Strasburg has been struggling out on the road, where he's 1-5 with a 4.88 ERA in 10 assignments. That's not a good sign when you're coming up against the best home team in the entire MLB.

Strasburg is extremely familiar with Atlanta's lineup though and has performed well against it this season. In four starts (21.0 innings, he's allowed 18 hits and only five earned runs, while racking up 26 strikeouts against six walks.

MLB Pick

A main reason why the Braves have been so good overall has been their terrific play at Turner Field, where they've gone 43-17. Since the All-Star break they've gone 12-2 inside their own stadium.

And while Strasburg looked practically untouchable his last time out, Atlanta has become very familiar with his stuff over the years and, more importantly, they're just the overall better ballclub from top to bottom.

Coming in, the Nationals are hitting a poor .221 against lefties, so we expect a good outing from Minor here at home.

Atlanta keeps finding ways to win and we can't pass up backing them at this kind of number, regardless of who's on the bump on the other side.


Free Pick: Atlanta Braves -110 at Bet 365

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