MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions (Saturday, August 15): Washington Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles
Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Asher Wojciechowski.
- The Nationals (-162 favorites) will match up with the Orioles (+140 underdogs) in the second game of their three-game series.
- The O's will send Asher Wojciechowski to the mound, which could present some betting value for the Nats on Saturday.
- Check out Brad Cunningham's game preview below, including the bet to make in this matchup.
Nationals vs. Orioles Betting Odds
|Nationals Odds||-162 [Bet Now]|
|Orioles Odds||+140 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||9.5 (-107/-114) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:35 p.m. ET|
After Washington’s 15-run outburst last night, all seems to be right in the world again. I had been thinking to myself “the Orioles can’t keep hitting like this, right?” and “it’s got to end at some point, right?”.
The Nationals ended their three-game skid and now take aim at catching the Marlins in the NL East. Surprisingly, the Orioles are only two games back of the Yankees, so a win tonight could potentially bring them to within one game of the division lead.
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.
Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs)
The Nationals offense has been pretty average so far with a .321 wOBA and 100 wRC+. However, they’ve been on fire over the past week with a .366 wOBA and 130 wRC+. Washington has mashed 13 home runs over the past week, which is the most in MLB during that span.
Juan Soto’s return to the lineup has completely revitalized the Nationals offense. In Soto’s nine games, he has a .412 batting average, a .569 wOBA, and five home runs, including this absolute moon shot:
Juan Soto – Washington Nationals (3) 3-run
Distance: 466 ft
Exit Velocity: 112.9 mph
Launch Angle: 33°
— MLB Home Runs (@HomeRunVideos) August 12, 2020
With Soto back in the lineup, the Nats offense looks like a World Series contender again. They should have no trouble against a weak right-hander like Asher Wojciechowski.
Orioles Probable Starter
Asher Wojciechowski, RHP
Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Asher Wojciechowski is a very below average righty. ZIPS projections have his FIP at 6.01, which is the equivalent of someone who should be in AAA.
His biggest issue is the home run ball. Last season he gave up 17 long balls in only 82.1 innings pitched, resulting in a 1.86 HR/9 rate. He could be in trouble tonight against a Nationals lineup that has been hitting home runs left and right over the past week.
Wojciechowski is mainly a fastball pitcher, but he has below-average velocity and his location is suspect. Opponents tagged his fastball to the tune of a .365 wOBA last season, including nine home runs on only 709 pitches. He has a curveball and slider that have decent movement, but his control and location is not up to par with the major league level.
Wojciechowski faced the Nationals six days ago but only pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and no runs. Despite his short outing, the Nationals nonetheless benefit from having seen his stuff so recently.
The Orioles bullpen has been taxed with pitching 29.2 innings over the past week. Their relievers been much better than expected, but a tired bullpen against the Nationals offense is a recipe for a disaster.
Projections and Pick
Based on my projections, I don’t think there is any value on the Nationals moneyline or run line in this game. So, instead I am going to pick on Asher Wojciechowski and the Orioles bullpen by targeting the Nationals team total. Since I have the Nationals projected for 6.16 runs in this game, I will be betting them Over 5.5 runs at +102 (DraftKings) and would bet it up to -109.
Pick: Nationals Team Total Over 5.5 (+102)