Rubber Game MLB Picks for Nationals vs. Braves: Washington Starting to Live Up to Sportsbooks' Expectations

David Lawrence

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 1:04 PM GMT

The Washington Nationals came back from a 10-2 season deficit to stun the Atlanta Braves and gain ground in the National League East. Can they cash again on the MLB betting lines on Wednesday?

The Washington Nationals Can Win Because…
They are going to come to the ballpark Wednesday night with a spring in their step, a good vibe that’s been missing for much of the season. Washington had really been struggling through its first 20 games. The Nationals started 7-13 and were playing horribly in all facets of competition. This team was in the doldrums and needed to find a game that could enable everyone’s outlook to change. The Nationals just might have found such a game on Tuesday.

Down 10-2 after four innings, the Nationals scored eight runs over the next three innings to draw close, 12-10. Then, in the top of the ninth inning, Dan Uggla – who is still getting paid by the Braves from a monster deal that turned into a complete disaster for Atlanta – hit a three-run homer to lift Washington to a 13-12 victory. Overcoming an eight-run deficit sure feels like the kind of spark this team has been waiting for. If you were to take stock in this line of thought, you should surely bet on the Nats to win here.

Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann had a 2.50 ERA last year in three starts against the Braves. He pitched 18 innings over those three starts and allowed only five earned runs. Zimmermann stands a good chance of being able to contain Atlanta’s bats on Wednesday.

 

The Atlanta Braves Can Win Because…
They have the better starting pitcher right now, a guy who can overcome the pain of Tuesday night’s collapse by the Braves’ bullpen. Alex Wood has a 3.00 ERA this season, while Zimmermann has been struggling at 5.23. Zimmermann has the better reputation, but Wood has been consistently superior in the month of April, and that’s certainly worth paying attention to from a betting standpoint. Beyond the 2015 numbers, though, Wood was hell on Washington bats last season. In four starts, he posted a 1.78 ERA. He was simply excellent, giving up only five earned runs in 25 1/3 innings. It’s true that this is a new season with a different feel, and it’s also true that Washington will be confident at the start of Wednesday’s contest. Yet, Wood knows how to get these hitters out. His ability to pitch to the scouting report is something that should be taken seriously. When you also realize that Zimmermann has a 5.23 ERA and that Atlanta banged out 17 hits in Tuesday’s loss, it’s pretty realistic to say that the MLB Odds' underdog Braves could be locked in at the plate and might have another productive game in them.

 

Outlook
The Nationals are way too good to stay down, and now that they’ve done something special, changing the mood in their clubhouse, they should come out with guns blazing in this game and pull out another win in Atlanta. Take them with your MLB Picks.

MLB Pick: Washington -111 at Pinnacle