The Atlanta Braves meet up with the Washington Nationals Wednesday night for their second game of their series. Last night the Nationals took a 3-1 win behind Stephen Strasburg on the mound. Strasburg was previously one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, and then when he got to the majors he looked like one of the best pitchers in the league overall. Strasburg has had to face some adversity though, and looked like a very beatable pitcher towards the second-half of last season and for the greater part of this season. I remember how Strasburg at home was an automatic lock to win games, but now you need to look at his games under a magnified glass to ascertain if betting him is a smart idea. In any case, Strasburg has looked pretty good his last two times out and the Nats have been playing better baseball of late. Last night was actually his first since being activated from the DL and he looked sharp. A slow start for him and the Nationals, but we all know how fast things can change in baseball.
Jordan Zimmermann is at the helm tonight for the Nationals, who in my opinion, is constantly overpriced by the sportsbooks. Good pitcher, but no way should he be -170 to upwards of -200 every time out. He hasn’t shown anything to me this season that warrants that price.
Last night was an easy one, as rain pushed the start time back, but it was all money in the end as the Phillies beat the Yankees 11-6 to send that game way over the total. Sabathia got beaten up again, and it was more proof that the Yankees are going to have to make some moves to acquire a reliable pitcher. If this is their starting rotation later in the season then I don’t know how they will compete. They have an offense, but there is work to be done in the pitching department with Pineda and Sabathia struggling. Girardi came out and said that he would remain in the starting rotation. Let’s see how that one turns out. Back to the Brave and Nationals now. Jump below for my Wednesday night MLB pick.
Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals
Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.99 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.75 ERA)
The last time Shelby Miller has been of relevance was during the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series runs. He has been pitching well with the Braves, but I don’t envision him reaching a World Series with the Braves. There is some work to do there for them. However, Miller has been a nice rotation to the Braves rotation. In all actuality, the guy has been flying under the radar considerably, and here is yet another example of Zimmermann getting the benefit of the doubt over someone that has been playing better than him. Miller enters with a stingy 1.99 ERA and posted a 2.37 ERA over his last three starts. Conversely, things have been a bit of a mess for his counterpart on the Nationals.
Zimmermann has gotten torched of late, putting up an abysmal ERA of 7.63 with a 2.02 WHIP and .419 OBP against. In those three games he allowed 3, 6, and 4 runs. This reminds me a lot of my pick I had on the Rays a few days ago. The Rays were coming off a loss and were being disrespected by the books. The Braves aren’t world beaters by any means, but Shelby Miller is a pretty good pitcher, and the Braves are a decent baseball team. What I see tonight is a good value pick on the Braves.
PICK: BRAVES TO WIN +143