The Washington Nationals have used a recent hot streak to move into one of the National League wild card spots. However, the goal this season is more than that, as they would love to track down the Atlanta Braves for the National League East crown. Atlanta has a nice lead and the National need to win the majority of their head-to-head matchups to make up some ground. The teams will face off in a crucial clash on Sunday.
The Braves have the superior record and will get this game at home, so they will feel confident about their chances to win this game, but the odds will depend on the starting pitching matchup.
This MLB game between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves will be held at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Georgia at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 21st, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
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The Nationals have a record of 51-44 on the season, which is good for the top spot in the crowded National League wild card standings. Washington has done a nice job of late with seven wins in its past 10 outings. The National have a record of 25-24 on the road this season. They are 5.5 games behind the Braves after beating them on Thursday.
Atlanta has a mark of 58-40 on the year, which is the second best in the National League behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers. Atlanta has also played well of late and is hoping to make a nice postseason run. The Braves are 28-20 at home this season. If they can take care of business in this series they will feel good about their chances at running away with the National League East.
The Braves are scheduled to send right-hander Kevin Gausman to the mound. He is 2-5 with a 6.21 ERA and will be coming off the disabled list to pitch in this game. Gausman hasn’t thrown in the major leagues since early June so he could be rusty and may not be able to go more than four or five innings. Gausman has a good strikeout rate and is likely to bring his ERA down moving forward.
The Nationals have not yet decided on a pitcher for Sunday’s game. Check back to see who will get the ball as it will have a large effect on the odds for this matchup.
516. That’s the number of runs scored by the Braves this season, which is the second-most in the National League. Atlanta entered with a lot of young talent in 2018 but there are always concerns that inexperience will be a hindrance. However, players like Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson have all put together impressive seasons.
They are flanked by veterans like Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Josh Donaldson. Together this group has been tough on opposing pitchers, and the bats are the main reason why the Braves are among the top contenders in the National League in 2019.
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The Nationals have been the class of the N.L. East for several years but there seems to be a changing of the guard. The Braves don’t have one of their better starting pitchers on the mound for this matchup so it could be an offensive affair, but look for Atlanta’s bats to rise to the challenge and lead the team to an entertaining back-and-forth victory. It will be a blow fo Washington’s hopes of catching the Braves for the division lead.
MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves 7, Washington Nationals 5
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