MLB Network Friday Night Baseball Pick: Atlanta @ Washington
Starting Pitchers: Strasburg (Nationals) vs. Hanson (Braves)
Date/Time: July 20th, 7:05 P.M. EST
Television: MLB Network
MLB Odds from Bookmaker
Moneyline: Moneyline: Nationals -148 Braves +138
Total: 7 (Over +105)
Two of the best pitchers in the National League are going to be meeting on Friday night in our nation’s capitol for what should be a great MLB betting affair pitting the Atlanta Braves against the Washington Nationals.
This is a big time series for the Braves. If they can find a way to come into Nationals Park and take two out of three to cut this lead in the NL East down to just 2.5 games, management might be more inclined to go out on a limb and try to make the big time move to get another arm in the Peach State. Getting swept though, would be a disaster, as that would set Atlanta 6.5 out with only 65 or so to go. On Friday night, Tommy Hanson is going to get the ball. He is coming off of a bad effort against the New York Mets in which he allowed six runs on nine hits in just 5.1 innings of work. Atlanta came back to win that game though, and that saved Hanson’s solid 10-5 record for the campaign. A victory in this one for the youngster would tie his career high for wins in a season, a mark that he set last year. Hanson is allowing far too many homers with 17, and he just doesn’t have the control this year that he did a season ago. Still, a .262 batting average against is respectable, and a 4.02 ERA certainly isn’t anything to blink at either. Hanson could be better, but considering the fact that this has been a down year for the righty, life has to be considered good.
Life isn’t so good right now for Stephen Strasburg. All of the talk out there is that he is really going to be limited in the number of innings that he is allowed to throw. He is already at 105.0 this year, giving him theoretically just 55 frames left before he is supposedly going to be shut down. We’ll see it when we believe it. At 10-4 with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP, it is going to be insanely hard to see Manager Davey Johnson taking the ball out of the hands of his franchise pitcher. Strasburg has struck out 135 batters this year and has issued just 29 free passes. Batters just can’t find the ball against him for the most part, but perhaps there is some silver lining here for the Braves. Atlanta is 3-2 against Strasburg in his career, and the righty has a very humane 4.26 ERA in his 25.1 innings of work against his division rival.
We still tend to believe that we have to give a look to the Nats in this one. Sure, the training wheels are still theoretically on Strasburg, and they aren’t with Hanson, but we still know that when push comes to shove, Atlanta is going to have a very difficult time getting the bat on the ball on Friday night. Washington 3 Atlanta 1