Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals Pick 9/14/19
Atlanta Braves (92-57) vs. Washington Nationals (81-65)
When: 4 p.m., Saturday, September 14
Where: Nationals Park, Washington
Moneyline: ATL +105/WAS -115 (BetNow)
Runline: Braves +1.5/Nationals -1.5
Starting Pitchers: Mike Foltynewicz (6-5, 5.00 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) vs. Austin Voth (1-1, 4.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
Waiting It Out
Easily the best quality about the Atlanta hitters is that they’re patient. The Braves’ batting average isn’t as good as some of the other top teams in the NL, including the Nationals, but they make up for the lesser hitting by taking pitches and getting on base. Atlanta’s 562 walks this season rank fourth in the majors and third in the NL, ahead of all except the Dodgers and the Brewers.
Typically, when a team asks a prospect to pitch a late-season game, it’s done to either get a look at what the young pitcher has, catch the opponent off-guard with a surprise announcement or both. But in this case, neither of those possibilities are in play for the Nationals and Austin Voth, because Voth’s familiarity with the Braves is pretty striking.
For his career, this will be the fourth time in 10 appearances on the mound that he’s going to be facing Atlanta. In fact, Voth’s appearances as a professional can nearly all be traced back to either the Braves or the New York Mets, as 70 percent of his pitching performances have come against one of the Nationals’ two big NL East rivals.
Against the Braves, the results have been a bit on the shaky side for Voth. On the one hand, he hasn’t been in a position to take the loss in any of the times that he’s been on the mound, collecting three no-decisions. On the other hand, the loss has gone to his team in each showing. Voth has started a pair of games against Atlanta this year, and his team has ended up taking a 5-4 and 4-3 loss, with Voth giving up a combined five earned runs in those two games.
All He Does Is Win
Talk about a tale of two seasons for Mike Foltynewicz. The Braves hurler initially struggled to get batters out during his first stint of the year, leading to Atlanta taking the loss in seven of his first eight starts of the year and earning Foltynewicz a one-way ticket to Triple-A Gwinnett in late June.
Fast forward to August, and Foltynewicz has suddenly become unbeatable. Since returning to Atlanta on August 6, the pitcher has seen his squad win each of his past seven starts, and in most cases, he’s been a large part of the victory. Only once, in a 5-4 win over Miami, did Foltynewicz need his team to bail him out from a less-than-solid pitching performance. Otherwise, he’s held his opponent to three runs or less in each outing and has limited it to two in each of his past five trips to the slab, a remarkable turnaround from where he was.
The Braves’ win over the Nationals on Friday meant that Atlanta has won the season series with Washington, as the Braves hold a 10-7 lead over the Nats for the year. That it’s happened this year has been a testament to just how much Atlanta has flipped the script this season, as the Braves initially struggled against Washington but have won seven of their past nine against their rivals from the nation’s capital.
- The Braves are 14-3 in Foltynewicz’s last 17 starts against the NL East.
- The Braves are 7-2 in their past nine road games against teams above .500.
- The Nationals have won five of their past six Game 2’s of series.
- The Nationals are 1-4 in Voth’s past five starts.
- The under is 6-1-1 in the Braves’ past eight against a right-hander.
- The under is 8-2 in the teams’ past ten meetings.
Weather ReportSummer continues to hold in the nation’s capital, where it’ll be 83 degrees with the possibilities of a storm.
Dan’s pickWith neither side is sending their best to the mound, I really can’t ignore the work that Foltynewicz has done over the past two months. He’s pitched pretty well and held opponents to two runs or less in his past five starts, and the Braves seem to respond well to him being on the hill. Voth is much more of an unknown to his own team, but he’s far from an unknown to the team that will be trying to hit him, which isn’t a great thing at all. This game could come back to haunt the Nats if it turns out that the Cubs catch them and force them onto the road for the NL Wild Card game, but for the time being, this looks like it’s a mistake on Washington’s part if it’s trying to stay ahead of the pack. I think Atlanta takes advantage of the pitching matchup and gets a key victory. Go with the Braves.
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