The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are set to go head-to-head again on Saturday evening. These two division rivals have already begun their series. With the Nationals taking the first game of the series on Friday evening, Atlanta will look to get even. Currently, most sportsbooks have Washington as the favorite at -1.5.
Washington has the advantage head-to-head over the last 10 games. The Nationals have scored 6.10 runs and gotten 10.80 hits per game. With 5.40 walks per contest, they also lead in that category.
The one advantage Atlanta does have against Washington is the number of strikeouts they’ve recorded. The Braves have 8.50 whiffs in their last 10 against Washington.
Washington has a 23-23 record as the favorite, while Atlanta is 7-11 as the underdog. Washington is 19-18 ATS home, while the Braves are 17-17 ATS away. Overall, Washington has a 20-17 record at home.
To their credit, the Braves have played solid baseball on the road. They have a 20-14 record away from their friendly confines.
Foltynewicz looks to dominate
Mike Foltynewicz pitched well his last time out. In six innings of work, he gave up four hits and a run while striking out six batters on 100 pitches. The Braves won that contest 15-1. With the win, he improved his record to 2-5 on the year.
This has not been an easy go of things for him to this point. Washington hitters are guaranteed to give him a run for his money. Anthony Rendon, in particular, fits that bill. In 25 at-bats, he has recorded seven hits, including a home run. With six runs batted in, he has seen Foltynewicz well.
Geraldo Parra is another player who has hit Foltynewicz well. In eight at-bats, he has collected three hits and three runs batted in. His efforts have rewarded him with a .375 batting average.
Sanchez hopes to remain sharp
Anibal Sanchez looks to build off his tremendous outing against Arizona on June 16. In that contest, he pitched six innings giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out three batters on 98 pitches. That improved his record to 3-6 on the year. In addition, it lowered his ERA to a respectable 3.84.
This is an Atlanta Braves lineup that has not seen Sanchez too much. The batter with the most success against him is Josh Donaldson. In 26 at-bats, Donaldson has seven hits, including a home run, and five runs batted in.
Donaldson has also struck out seven times, and his batting average is .269. Even still, he should be a threat to Sanchez. Sanchez has to make sure he can avoid giving Donaldson the opportunity for contact.
Braves vs Nationals Pick
I would give the edge to Atlanta in this one. They will be looking to rebound on Saturday. I expect the Braves offense to fully complement the pitching staff nicely and help lead Atlanta to a victory. I would definitely take the Braves at +1.5 in this one, as an emerging rivalry continues to blossom.