No Gray Area: Braves Will Pummel Nationals

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Braves vs. Nationals, 4:05 ET

Can you think of two teams with more opposite expectations in this season? The Braves have expectations that they are going to compete for the World Series. The Nationals have expectations that they might lose over 100 games this year. Does that mean the Braves will win every game against the Nationals, no. But, they will absolutely crush the Nationals in this one.

The season opener was both good and bad for the Braves. They were able to cruise to a 7-2 victory over the Nationals, but it came with the cost of losing Max Fried to injury in this game. He was only able to go 3.1 innings before he was pulled. It didn’t much matter as the rest of the team ended up allowing just one run over the final 5.2 innings. Now the Nationals have an even tougher task trying to take down Spencer Strider, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year runner-up. Strider didn’t even pitch a full season last year but ended with an 11-5 record, 2.67 ERA, and was 11th in strikeouts during the season. Somehow, the two teams he struggled the most against were the Nationals and the Marlins. He had three appearances with two starts against the Nationals last season and allowed eight earned runs over 13 innings. In fairness, the loss came in a game when the Nationals still had all of their best players, including Juan Soto. This year he should breeze through the lineup that is pretty much void of any real threat.

The Nationals don’t offer much hope as they will likely sell off anyone that doesn’t have team control and has any value by the end of July. Baseball is one of those sports where pretty much any day any team can win, but I think this is going to be quite the uphill battle for Washington. Not only do they have to face Strider, but they need to combat him with Josiah Gray. Gray is at best a fifth starter on a team, but he is certainly not a second starter. He really struggled at home last season with a 6.12 ERA and only had one month where his ERA was lower than four runs in the month. Tip of the cap to him though, against Atlanta last year he was lights out. He was able to hold them to one earned run over 11 innings. Is he just some sort of superstar pitcher against the Braves? I really doubt it. Most of the Braves hitters are due to get some hits off of him.

I’m taking the Braves to win this and cover the run line. I normally like the run line plays to be plus money, but with the pitching disparity in this one, I’m willing to make an exception. Strider should help the Braves coast to an easy victory. Back them at -135.

For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024

Written by David Troy

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