The WASHINGTON and the ATLANTA will both be gunning for a victory on 9/14/2018 at 7:35 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
GAME: Washington Nationals (74-73) at Atlanta Braves (82-64)
DATE/TIME: Friday, September 14 – 7:35 PM EST
WHERE: SunTrust Park, Cumberland, Georgia
TV: 7:35 PM
PREDICTION: ATLANTA , WASHINGTON
Oddsmakers currently have the ATLANTA listed as 130 point favorites versus the WASHINGTON, while the game’s total is sitting at 7.5.
The Atlanta Braves left home last week for a seven-game west coast road trip after being swept by Boston, but open a 10-game homestand Friday against the Washington Nationals with the National League East title firmly in its grasp. The Braves won six times on their trip through Arizona and San Francisco, riding late-inning offense and strong starting pitching in bolstering their division lead to a season-high 7½ games and reducing their magic number to 10.
Atlanta’s pitching staff gave up three runs in a three-game sweep of San Francisco, sparked by a Mike Foltynewicz complete game, allowing only two extra-base hits in the series and walking only eight of the 101 batters faced. The Nationals are playing some of their better baseball of the season, winning five games in a row before losing Thursday’s make-up game to the Cubs at home 4-3 in 10 innings. Rookie outfielder Juan Soto finished 1-for-5 in the defeat to extend his hitting streak to seven games, and is batting 355 with two doubles, three homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored during the streak. Washington closer Sean Doolittle allowed the go-ahead run to score in the 10th inning, the second time in three games since returning from the disabled list he has allowed a run.
TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, MLB Network; MASN2 (Washington), FS South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Max Scherzer (17-6, 2.31 ERA) vs. Braves RH Kevin Gausman (9-10, 3.89)
Scherzer is a leading contender to win his third consecutive NL Cy Young Award and with good reason, leading the league in wins, strikeouts (271), WHIP (0.88) and hits per nine innings (5.9). The 34-year-old is 5-1 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break, and while he has allowed three earned runs in each of his past three starts, he has struck out 11 hitters in each of his past two outings. Scherzer is 2-1 in four starts against the Braves this season, posting a 1.67 ERA with 30 strikeouts.
Gausman has bolstered Atlanta’s rotation since being acquired from Baltimore at the trade deadline, going 4-2 in seven starts with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. The 27-year-old looks to rebound from his worst start with his new team, giving up four runs on seven hits with four walks in 4 2/3 innings in a Sept. 7 loss at Arizona. Gausman faced the Nationals while pitching for the Orioles on June 21, surrendering two runs on four hits in six innings to get a no-decision.
1. Atlanta has won 20 games – including seven of its past nine victories – in its final at-bat.
2. Braves rookie OF Ronald Acuna has hits in five of his past six games, and is batting .364 during that stretch with two doubles, two triples, a homer, six runs scored and eight walks.
3. Washington SS Trea Turner stole his major-league leading 38th base Thursday, and has reached base safely in 20 of his past 22 games.
PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Braves 3