A National League East battle concludes on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, when the Washington Nationals (9-12) and Atlanta Braves (14-11) finish their three-game series. Atlanta leads the tight NL East, but it is still anyone’s division to win. Miami one game back, Philadelphia 1.5, and both the New York Mets and Washington Nationals are at the bottom of the division, just three games back. This game will air live on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. EST.
The Washington Nationals were well on their way to a game one victory, but a four-run bottom of the ninth gave Atlanta a 7-6 walk off win. Washington held a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom half of the ninth, but an Adam Duvall two-run home run and a Dansby Swanson walk off two-run home run completed the comeback for Atlanta. Juan Soto and Asdrubal Cabrera led the way for the Nationals offensively.
Washington fought back from the tough Monday loss and earned an 8-5-win Tuesday night. Atlanta had a 5-2 advantage heading into the top of the fifth, but Washington turned the game on its head with a four spot. The Nationals added two insurance runs in the later innings to secure the game two win.
Below is my pick for the Major League Baseball showdown between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. All odds are from PointsBet Sportsbook.
Washington Nationals (+118) at Atlanta Braves (-136)
Pitching Matchup: Erick Fedde (1-1, 2.55 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) vs Kyle Wright (0-3, 7.20 ERA, 2.20 WHIP)
Erik Fedde is set to make his sixth appearance of 2020, and third start, and will look to continue his great 2020 form. Fedde’s first two appearances were both starts and those starts combined for 10 hits and four runs (three earned) in 7.1 innings pitched. The righty then made three relief appearances where he pitched 10.1 innings and allowed eight hits and two runs. The 27-year-old has been solid for the defending champions this season.
The opposite can be said about Kyle Wright as he has struggled in three of his four starts this season. One of Kyle Wright’s starts saw him go 3.1 innings and give up five hits and zero earned runs. In Wright’s other three starts, the righty as combined to give up 12 hits and 12 runs in just 11.1 innings pitched. Wright will need to turn things around if the Braves want to avoid the loss Wednesday night.
The Washington Nationals are well balanced offensive team as four different players are team leaders in major categories. Shortstop Trea Turner leads the team with a .291 average and 25 hits in 2020. Left fielder Juan Soto leads the way with seven home runs and second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera has a team high 16 RBI’s. Speedy center fielder Victor Robles leads the Nats with .371 on base percentage.
Atlanta is also well balances as they have three players leading those important offensive stats. Shortstop Dansby Swanson leads the Braves with a .303 batting average, 16 RBI’s, and 30 hits. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna has a team high five home runs and first baseman Freddie Freeman leads the way with a .398 on base percentage.
The Washington Nationals will be without second baseman Starlin Castro, who is on the 10-Day IL, and relief pitcher Sam Freeman, who is on the 60-Day IL. Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg is also on the 10-Day IL. Designated hitter Howie Kendrick is listed as day-to-day.
Atlanta will be without their two key players as second baseman Ozzie Albies and center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. are both on the 10-Day IL. Nick Markakis has been placed on the Covid-19 IL, so the left fielder will also be unavailable.
History: The Atlanta Braves lead the all-time series 378-358.
Free MLB Picks: I like the Washington Nationals to get the win and win this midweek series.
2020 Picks Record: 29-16