Run-Line Bettors Take Note: Nationals -1.5 vs. Braves is a Lock

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 11:36 AM GMT

Even casual baseball bettors are aware that the Washington Nationals are a better team than the Atlanta Braves, but it takes a skilled handicapper to know how best to work the MLB odds for maximum profit.

Washington Nationals (Fister) (-1 1/2 R/+130) vs. Atlanta Braves (Wisler) 7:10 ET
The Washington Nationals visit the Atlanta Braves for the 2nd game of their early week set.  With last night's 6-1 victory, the Nationals boosted their road record to 21-20 (only St. Louis and San Francisco have been over .500 previously in the National League).  With that victory, Washington opened a 7-game lead over Atlanta in the National League East.  This had been a far closer race prior to the last 10 days.   Since that time, however, Washington has gone 9-1, outscoring the opposition 50-18.  Atlanta, meanwhile, has scored just 12 runs in 8 games with a 1-6 record of late.

One look at the Braves' OPS numbers tells us why the Braves are due for a continued dip.  Entering the week, Atlanta had a .685 batting OPS and .737 pitching OPS.  Each of those numbers were ranked 22nd of the 30 teams in MLB.  It is a sure sign that their demise will continue.  This is a rematch of the pitching matchup last Thursday.  In that game, a 7-0 victory by Washington, Wisler lasted just 4 IP, allowing 7 runs on 9 hits.  It is more likely that he will repeat that performance than his first outing from this mound in which he worked 8 innings, allowing just 1 run in a 2-1 victory against the week hitting Mets, whose 11-26 road mark and .664 OPS is better only than the Philadelphia Phillies.  

With last night's 6-1 victory, the Nationals extended their series dominance over Atlanta to 9-0 by a combined score of 66-31.  Fister was the beneficiary of the Washington offense last week.  In the 7-0 Thursday victory, Fister allowed just 5 base runners.  That is a positive performance to build on as Fister continues to work his way back from his stint on the DL.  

Run line players take note.  Since a 7-13 beginning, Washington has played 36-21 ball (.632).  That's the type of baseball that everyone expected at the beginning of the season.  Their dominance in the last 10 games in which they have outscored foes 50-18 and in a 9-game winning streak against the Braves by a 66-31 count goes hand in glove with the Atlanta Braves' home record that has seen Washington drop 14 of their 16 home losses by 2 or more runs.  Lay the runs for the best value MLB pick and take the price in this Run Line Underdog slaughter.    

 MLB Picks: Take Washington Nationals -1.5 (+135) at 5Dimes