Atlanta at Washington- MLB Friday Pick
The race for the top spot in the NL East starts back up on Friday night with the first of three games between the second-place Atlanta Braves and the third-place Washington Nationals. Game time from Nationals Park is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET).
Atlanta at Washington Game Preview
The Braves stumbled into this week’s All-Star break at 3-7 in their last 10 games to fall to 52-42 on the year and a half game off the pace in the division title race behind Philadelphia. Atlanta has gone 1-5 in its last six road games as part of a 27-22 record on the road this year. The total has gone OVER BetAnySports’ closing line in six of its last games played away from home.
Atlanta will start the second half of the season with Anibal Sanchez as its starter for Friday night’s series opener. The right hander has looked sharp in his last three starts over 18 1/3 innings pitched with just five earned runs allowed on 13 hits. Through 11 starts this season, he is 4-2 with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Sanchez held Washington to two runs on two hits over seven innings at home on June 3.
Washington remains the favorite to win the NL East on BetAnySports’ MLB futures board, but at 48-48 on the year it is 5.5 games off the pace set by the Phillies. The Nationals went an even 5-5 in their last 10 games coming off a 2-2 split against the New York Mets prior to the break. They are 22-24 at home this season with a 3-4 record in their last seven home games. The total went OVER in four of those contests.
Stephen Strasburg is expected to make his first start on Friday night for Washington after a month-long stint on the DL with shoulder issues. The right hander is an even 6-6 on the year through 13 previous starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He faced Atlanta on June 1 and got tagged with the loss after giving up three earned runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings on the mound.
Atlanta at Washington Free Game Prediction
Strasburg is a bit of an unknown for Friday night, but I like his chances to quickly shake off the rust to help the Nationals start this series on a winning note.