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MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals (Friday, Sept. 11)

MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals (Friday, Sept. 11) article feature image

Greg Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman

  • The Atlanta Braves (-157 road favorites) are the hottest offense in baseball and should benefit from a good matchup against Erick Fedde on Friday night.
  • BJ Cunningham previews the matchup below and shares his betting strategy for Braves vs. Nats.

Braves vs. Nationals Odds

Braves Odds -157 [Bet Now]
Nationals Odds +133 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 10.5 (-114/-107) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 6:05 p.m. ET

Odds as of Friday at 4 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Atlanta Braves are the hottest offense in baseball, fresh off a 29-run outburst against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. The Braves hold a three-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.

Will Atlanta keep rolling against Erick Fedde and the Nationals on Friday?

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP  is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher its 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.

Braves Projected Lineup

After their 29-run outburst on Wednesday, the Braves now have the best wOBA in baseball at .357. Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna have all been fantastic at the top of the Braves lineup this year. The trio has combined for 34 home runs, 101 RBIs, and each of them have a wOBA over .400.

The Braves have done most of their damage versus right-handed pitching this year (.368 wOBA), so they should have no trouble against a below-average righty like Erick Fedde.

Braves Probable Starter

Josh Tomlin, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Josh Tomlin may be on the back-end of his career, but he’s been a pleasant surprise so far this season with a 4.35 xFIP through 28.2 innings this season. However, much of that success has come as a reliever.

Tomlin was forced into the starting rotation after some injuries, and while he’s been fantastic as a reliever, he’s allowed 20 hits and eight earned runs in 17.1 innings as a starter.

Tomlin has thrown his cutter 53.0% of the time this season and his fastball-cutter combination has been effective, overall. Hitters have a .235 batting average against Tomlin this season.

He can get results with his cutter out of the bullpen, but when he has to go through the order two or three times, hitters have had a lot more success.

Nationals Projected Lineup

The Nationals offense has come alive over the past two weeks. In their last 13 games, they are hitting .278 with a .340 wOBA and 108 wRC+. Juan Soto and Trea Turner are absolutely crushing the ball, as both have a wOBA above .440 in their last 13 games. During that span they’ve also combined for six home runs and 22 RBIs.

Interestingly, the Nationals have seen a majority of their success against changeups this season.

Washington has been pedestrian against right-handed pitching in 2020, so I think they could struggle versus Tomlin on Friday.

Nationals Probable Starter

Erick Fedde, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Erick Fedde has been a disaster so far this season. He has a whopping 5.29 ERA and 5.62 xFIP, but it gets even worse. His K/9 is embarrassingly low at 3.34 and he’s been giving up home runs left and right (2.23 HR/9). In fact, he only has four more strikeouts (12) than home runs allowed this season (8).

Fedde is mainly a sinker-ball guy, but he’s not even close to being somewhat effective. Opponents are hitting .323 with a .403 wOBA off of his sinker.

His curveball and split-finger have been his only two effective pitches and he will probably have to utilize them a lot on Friday night if he’s going to give the Nats a chance.

The Braves are the best team in baseball against sinkers and against right=handed pitching, so Fedde has a daunting task trying to get through Atlanta’s lineup.

Projections and Pick

It feels like fool’s errand to bet against this Braves lineup right now, especially with Erick Fedde on the mound for the Nationals. Based on my projections, I don’t think the full-game price on the Braves provides much value.

However, I do think the Braves are in range for a play on the first-5-innings line at -155 or better.

The Bet: Braves First Five Innings -155 or better

[Bet the Atlanta Braves at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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