The Washington Nationals face off against the Atlanta Braves in the ultimate clash of their regular-season series to close down a three-game set at Truist Park in Atlanta, so here’s the best MLB betting pick for Thursday, September 9, 2021.
The Braves are firm -205 favorites for this one, looking to extend their dominance over the Nationals. Excluding Wednesday’s clash, the Braves have won 15 of their previous 19 meetings with the Nats, who are listed at +188 to win the closer, according to Bookmaker Sportsbook.
The Nationals continue to struggle on the mound
Over the last couple of weeks, the Washington Nationals have suffered 11 losses in 14 outings at any location. They’ve scored 63 runs on a solid .254/.338/.424 batting line in the process while posting the second-highest ERA in the majors (6.38) to go with a terrible 1.63 WHIP and a .298 batting average.
Last Tuesday, the Nats yielded 11 hits and four walks in an 8-5 defeat at Truist Park. Paolo Espino gave up five earned runs across the first five innings, and his relievers didn’t help a lot, allowing a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.
Erick Fedde will get the starting call Thursday, and he’s been awful for most of the season, going 6-9 with a 5.27 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 23 starts. Over his last eight showings, the 28-year-old righty has recorded a rough 6.00 ERA, allowing a .891 OPS and a .392 BABIP to his opponents.
Fedde is 0-4 with a horrible 11.92 ERA and 2.49 WHIP in six career starts and one relief appearance against Atlanta. He met the Braves three times in 2021 and gave up a whopping 16 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and six walks across 11.1 innings of work.
The Braves are topping the NL East
The Atlanta Braves improved to 73-64 on the season following that 8-5 win over Washington. They were two and a half games ahead of the second-best team in the NL East on Wednesday, as the Braves got things going at the dish. Over its previous five games, Atlanta has scored 32 runs on a .252/.306/.528 triple-slash, smacking 11 dingers in the process.
Max Fried tossed six strong frames last Tuesday, but the Braves bullpen blew a 5-1 lead. Atlanta has registered a 4.12 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and a .224 batting average against in the last two weeks of action, while the Braves ‘pen has recorded a 3.86 ERA and 3.51 FIP in that span.
Huascar Ynoa will get the Nationals on Thursday, and the 23-year-old righty is 1-0 in a couple of starts against Washington in 2021. He’s allowed just one unearned run to the Nats across 12 innings while posting a 9/3 K/BB ratio. Ynoa is 4-5 with a 3.19 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 12 starts and one relief appearance this season.
- 3-11 in the last 14 games overall
- 2-7 in the last nine games on the road
- 15-4 in the last 19 games against Washington
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
The Braves pitching staff should make all the difference, as both teams look very dangerous at the plate. The Nationals bullpen is one of the worst in the majors at the moment. It has registered a poor 5.72 ERA and 5.21 FIP in the past two weeks, while Erick Fedde could be easily destroyed by the Braves once more.
Fedde has allowed 13 runs (nine earned) on 17 hits and a couple of walks in his last two starts (8.1 innings). The Braves have owned him so far this season, and I’m expecting more of the same Thursday at Truist Park.
Pick: Take Atlanta Braves at -205
The Nationals are a good offensive team, but they’ve struggled mightily against Huascar Ynoa in 2021. Also, they are more dangerous when hitting the lefties, so the totals are a tricky wager, although I’m leaning to the over because of the Nats’ pitching staff and the Braves’ powerful lineup.
Going with the side bet should be the best move, while the over has hit in seven of the Nationals’ last ten outings and four of the previous five duels between Washington and Atlanta.
Pick: Go over 9.5 runs at -125
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