An important National League East matchup gets started on Monday, August 17, 2020, when the Washington Nationals (8-11) visit the Atlanta Braves (13-10) for a three-game series. Washington currently sits in fourth place in the NL East, just three games back of division leading Miami, and Atlanta sit in second place, though they are technically tied with the Marlins atop the division. This game will air live on ESPN+ at 7:10 p.m. EST.
The Washington Nationals faced the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend and took two of the three in the series. Washington ran away in game one with a 15-3 beatdown, but Baltimore fought back in game two to come away with a 7-3 win. The Nationals escaped with a 6-5 win on Sunday thanks to an unearned run in the top of the 8th inning.
Atlanta faced the Miami Marlins over the weekend and took two of three from the division leading fish. Miami took game one 8-2, but Atlanta was able to fight back with a tight 2-1 win on Saturday. Atlanta took the series with a 4-0 win thanks to a late inning hitting spree. The Braves have a few key injuries right now, but they will not be going anywhere.
Below is my pick for the Major League Baseball showdown between the Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves. All odds are from SugarHouse Sportsbook.
Betting Line: Washington Nationals (+130) at Atlanta Braves (-152)
Pitching Matchup: Anibal Sanchez (0-3, 9.69 ERA, 13K) vs Touki Toussaint (0-1, 7.27 ERA, 23K)
Anibal Sanchez has had a tough start to 2020 as the right hander has not lasted more than 5.1 innings in any start and has not allowed less than four earned runs. Sanchez started the season with a five inning, six hit, four earned run outing against Toronto and followed that up with a 5.1 inning, 10 hit, and five earned run appearance. The righty faced the New York Mets in his last outing and lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up six hits and five earned runs.
Touki Toussaint is ready for his fourth start, and fifth appearance, of 2020 and will look to rebound from his tough start. Toussaint’s first appearance of the season was in relief and he gave up five hits and six earned in just 2.2 innings of work against the Tampa Bay Rays. The righty has since gone on to have three starts and has given up nine runs (eight earned) and 11 hits in just 14.2 innings pitched.
Shortstop Trea Turned leads the Nationals with a .239 batting average and 22 hits on the season. Left fielder has hit a team high six home runs and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera has knocked in a Washington high 14 RBI’s. Victor Robles, the speedy center fielder, leads the Nationals with a .361 on base percentage.
Dansby Swanson, the Braves talented short stop, leads the team with a .284 batting average, 25 hits, and 14 RBI’s so far this season. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna has knocked in a team high five home runs and first baseman Freddie Freeman leads the way with a .376 on base percentage.
Washington will be without relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, second baseman Starlin Castro, relief pitcher Sam Freeman and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Designated hitter Howie Kendrick is day-to-day.
The Braves will be without start center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., star second baseman Ozzie Albies, and slugging first baseman Matt Adams.
History: The Atlanta Braves have won the season series for two consecutive seasons and lead the all-time series 377-357.
Free MLB Pick: I like the Washington Nationals to grab the win in game one.
2020 Picks Record: 28-14