Date/Time: June 1st, 7:15 PM ET
Probable Starters: Gonzalez (Washington) vs. Hudson (Atlanta)
Moneyline: Braves -135
The Washington Nationals started off this series 5.5-games back of the Atlanta Braves. They took the first game of this series on Friday, and they are going to try to trim the lead in the NL East once again on Saturday when these two meet in MLB betting action.
The Nats were hoping to get OF Bryce Harper back in the lineup on Friday night, but they aren’t rushing him back. OF Jayson Werth is also out of the fold. That said, without those two, the offense did just enough to pick up the slack of losing RHP Stephen Strasburg after just two innings of work on Friday night. Now, after a long night of work for the bullpen, LHP Gio Gonzalez is going to have to pick up a lot of the slack and pitch deep into this game in all likelihood. Gonzalez is a good man to have in this situation, knowing that he has thrown at least 199 innings in three straight seasons. This year though, Gonzalez hasn’t been the best. He is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA, and he has issued 30 walks in 64.2 innings of work this year. Over the course of his last three starts, he has thrown at least 109 pitches, so the count shouldn’t be an issue. However, all of the walks are making it so he isn’t lasting that deep into games. Tonight is a night where Gonzalez has to be much more efficient than he usually is.
The Braves are still in fine shape right now, and though they are sending a pitcher to the bump who has just a 5.37 ERA this season, they have to be confident that they are going to get themselves a win in this game. RHP Tim Hudson has had four terrible starts and four remarkable starts this year, and as a result, he has a 4-4 record. The team hasn’t been able to pick up the slack for him when he has been off of his game, but when he has been good, Hudson has been great. His strikeout total isn’t quite there this year, as he has just 45 Ks in 62.0 innings of work, but still, that would put him on a pace for around 130 strikeouts on the season, and that isn’t all that far off from what we are expecting. Hudson has 109 wins under his belt since he has joined the Braves, and he would love to get win No. 110 on Saturday night.
Hudson has already thrown seven innings and allowed just one run twice against the Nationals this season, and he is now 16-5 against them in his career. That’s more than good enough for us to want to back the hosts at a relatively cheap price.
Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves Pick: Atlanta Braves -135
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.