Washington is now in the fortunate position of hitting two birds with one stone, because if they sweep the Braves tonight, they expand their lead in the National League and set Atlanta a few steps back. The gap is already seven victories wide and it’s very unlikely for the runner-ups to rebound in the remaining month, but Cincinnati is piling up wins in the central division.
Match: Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves
Bet: Washington Nationals
Odds: bet365 2.00
Now that their dreams of using this series get within striking distance of their divisional rivals were crushed, the Braves need to focus on securing the wildcard. What appeared to be a simple formality can turn into a nightmare, because Atlanta holds a narrow three-game advantage over Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. If they lose the final game of the series, which is the most plausible outcome of tonight’s match, the Braves will have to fight hard in the remaining rounds simply to make it into the playoffs.
In young pitchers they trust
At the first glance it might look strange that both teams rely on such young pitchers tonight, given the importance of the game. The truth is that both Ross Dewilder and Kris Medlen have earned their place in the rotation and they have what it takes to pitch into the final game of the series. Since entering the rotation, Medlen won three games and conceded a single run per match, but his last outing was the best. He pitched a complete game for the first time in his career and left San Diego no chance in the 6-0 win.
Dewilder is yet to pitch nine consecutive innings, but with a 3.25 ERA and seven victories in 2012, he’s no pushover either. He’s undefeated at Nationals Park where he surrenders an average of 1 1/2 run per game, more than enough for Washington‘s batting staff to provide him with proper support. Following a tight opening game that needed overtime to determine a winner, the hosts made short work of the Braves in the second and with Dewilder on the mound they should end the series with a sweep.
Interesting enough, Atlanta has the lower odds tonight and the only argument in favor of these odds is that they send Medlen as starting pitcher. Talented as he is, Kriss can’t win the game by himself and unless he enjoys sufficient runs of support, he will lose the duel with Dewilder. Having Bet365 pricing the Nationals at 2.00 when they play in front of their fans is like being presented with a gift, and it would be downright rude to refuse it.