The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves got into a tight pitching duel last night, with Julio Teheran getting the better of Pat Corbin on Friday night. Teheran held the Nationals to just 1-run on 4 hits across 5.2 innings of work. Corbin was sharp as well, but the 2 runs that he yielded ended up putting the Nationals in a come from behind position.
With two outs on the board in the top of the 9th, Victor Robles sent a 2-run shot over the fence in left center to tie the ballgame up. So, you have the stomach to bet on Major League Baseball? It’s certainly not a sport for the faint of heart.
Atlanta have been looking to get an upgrade from Luke Jackson in the closer spot and fans are going to want things expedited after blowing last night. Jackson already burned me a few weeks ago, so if you were on the Braves, I know the feeling all too well with him. At least the Braves were able to respond quickly with a run in the bottom of the 9th to win the contest.
And with that, they took a 6.5-game lead in the NL East. Baseball games and seasons can change so fast and if you’re not paying attention it’s impossible to keep up. Case in point, the NL East which was neck and neck between the Braves and Phillies for much of the season.
That quickly changed leading up to the All-Star break. The Braves will be looking to tack onto their lead with ace Mike Soroka on the bump Saturday. Soroka is one of the reasons why the Braves are where they are. The rookie has been fantastic and is still in the mix for the NL Cy Young.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is currently the favorite in that regard, but there is still time for him to slip and Soroka excel. Wily veteran Anibal Sanchez is scheduled to start for the Nationals in this one. Sanchez saved his career last season after joining the Braves and he’s continued to pitch well in 2019. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Braves pick.
Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Anibal Sanchez has had a steady arm for the Braves since leaving the Tigers and going to Atlanta. The Tigers are left wondering where this production was for them in the later stages of his career in Detroit. Sanchez was beneficial to the Tigers for a couple of seasons and then his numbers began to tail off. As soon as the Tigers started tanking and looking to sell, Sanchez fell into quicksand that he couldn’t get out of. In his final season in Detroit, he posted a 6.75 ERA with a record of 3-7.
Sanchez was able to quickly turn it around last season, with a 2.83 ERA in 136.2 innings. That’s a considerable difference in just one season. His re-emergence has played a role in getting the Nationals into wildcard contention this year. His production will go unnoticed by most people, but Sanchez has been a valuable arm for the Nationals.
He enters this one with an ERA of 3.71 in 89.2 innings pitched. Sanchez has been particularly strong recently, with a 2.50 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in his last three outings. Note that he hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in a start in seven of his last nine games. In his last trip to Atlanta, Sanchez allowed just 1 hit and no runs on May 29th.He might have to be just as good with Mike Soroka getting the nod on the other side. Soroka has been the ace of the club with an impressive 2.24 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
He is coming off a fantastic outing against the Padres, where he was flawless with a scoreless 7 innings in a 4-1 victory. Soroka was rolling with just 11.9 pitches per inning to get through the Padres quickly. The Nationals as a team have been pitching well recently. They’ve gone 8-1 to the UNDER in their last nine matches. The Nats allowed 4 runs or less in eight of those outings. With Sanchez and Soroka dueling, the total looks a tad too high here at 10.