July 19 MLB Preview — Washington Nationals (51-44) at Atlanta Braves (58-40)

(Anthony Rendon photo courtesy Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Friday, July 19, SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Ga., 7:20 p.m. EDT.

Patrick Corbin has done some of his best work against NL East rivals in his first season in the nation’s capital.

That is exactly what the Washington Nationals are counting on Friday night when he looks to extend his personal mastery over the Atlanta Braves as their crucial four-game series continues.

Corbin looks to end three-start winless run for Nats

While Corbin (7-5, 3.39 ERA) does not have a stellar individual won-loss record, he has kept the Nationals in almost every one of his 19 starts — Washington is 12-7 in those games.

The left-hander who signed a six-year, $140 million contract prior to this season has shown his worth in helping keep Washington afloat in the NL East race as it chases Atlanta. Corbin is 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 starts against the Marlins, Mets, and Phillies, striking out 76 in 67 innings and holding opponents to a .216 batting average ahead of his first matchup with the Braves this year.

Corbin proved to be a nemesis to the Braves while with Arizona, going 5-1 with a 1.66 ERA in seven starts and nine overall appearances. The southpaw suffered that lone loss in Atlanta on July 15 of last season but bounced back in September to hold them to one run in six innings of a 5-3 victory.

The Nationals had to bail out Corbin in his last start Saturday at Philadelphia, rallying to win 4-3 after he was reached for three runs in six innings. It was the worst outing the lefty has had in five starts, during which he is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA.

“I talked since Spring Training [about] doing the little things, and not beating ourselves,” manager Dave Martinez told The Washington Post, referencing Corbin’s grinding effort. “They’ve been doing that, and they don’t quit. We talk about this all the time, ‘We can be down, but stay in the game.’ ”

Corbin is looking to get right on the road, where he has gone 3-4 with a 5.17 ERA, including 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA in the previous six. He has done a good job keeping Freddie Freeman in check, limiting him to a pair of doubles in 18 at-bats while striking him out nine times.

Pushed back a day, Teheran out to snap five-start winless run for Braves

Julio Teheran (5-6, 3.71 ERA) was expected to start Thursday night’s series opener before manager Brian Snitker held him back a day because he felt better with recent recall Kyle Wright pitching on only one extra day of rest as opposed to starting him Saturday.

The move, though, did not exactly work out to Atlanta’s benefit as Wright was rocked in an eight-run third inning, and the Braves had their lead atop the NL East cut to 5 1/2 games with Thursday night’s 13-4 loss.

The right-hander has been uneven for stretches of the season while also dealing with a lack of run support — his average of 3.71 runs per start was sixth-lowest in the majors entering play Thursday.

While Teheran has not factored in the decision of his last three starts, he has pitched adequately in the last two. He allowed a pair of solo homers and three runs overall in six innings before the Braves eventually won 7-5 in 10 innings over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Teheran has pitched well on five days of rest previously this year, going 3-2 with a 3.44 ERA in seven starts. Like Corbin, he has been a tough out for NL East teams and enters this game 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in seven division matchups.

The righty went 0-2 with a 6.57 ERA in three starts against the Nationals last year, dropping his overall record to 6-6 with a 4.13 ERA in 21 starts. Trea Turner has given Teheran issues, going 7 for 15 with a double, and Anthony Rendon has a .300 average in 40 at-bats.

Notable Trends:

The Braves are:

  • 0-5 in their last five home games vs. the Nationals.
  • 1-5 in Teheran’s last six home starts vs. the Nationals.
  • 4-10 in Teheran’s last 14 starts vs. the Nationals.

The Nationals are:

  • 18-4 in their last 22 games vs. NL East teams.
  • 5-0 in Corbin’s last five starts vs. NL East teams.
  • 12-4 in their last 16 road games.

5-Star Pick!!!!!

Nationals 3-way money line first 5 innings (Even)

This is offering a slightly better return than laying the half-run with the Nationals at -105, and Corbin’s form in the first five innings of late warrants the Nats. The southpaw had been nicked for just three runs combined in the first five innings of his prior four starts before yielding three in Philadelphia, and the Nationals have led at the midway point in six of their last eight games overall.

Conversely, the Braves have led after five innings in just one of their last six games and in one of Teheran’s last five starts (1-3-1).

4-Star Picks!!!!

Nationals -1.5 runs (+125)

After opening the series with an emphatic win, the expectation is for Corbin to keep the Nationals rolling. The other half is that Snitker’s juggling of the rotation, though understandable, may wind up again costing Teheran a semblance of rhythm. Add that to his recent struggles versus Washington, and there is confidence in the Nats knocking another game off their deficit in the NL East.

UNDER 5.5 runs first 5 innings (-121)

The hook is the difference between a “3” and a “4” with the expectation Corbin will pitch well and Teheran will at least battle. The five-inning under is 9-4 in Atlanta’s last 13 games and on a five-game run with Corbin on the hill. For the latter, that also includes his last three outings against NL East teams.

3-Star Picks!!!

UNDER 10 runs (-105)

The number came in much higher than expected at 10 runs, which may be due to Corbin’s overall road form. Yet the feeling is his track record versus division rivals this year and agains the Braves overall helps the under sneak out a win here.

Thursday’s game was just the second time in Washington’s last 13 the under hit. The under is also 4-1 in Corbin’s last five starts and 6-1 in his last seven versus NL East foes.

Teheran has helped the under post a 4-1 mark in his last five starts against division rivals, and the under is 5-1-1 in Atlanta’s last seven games following a loss and 10-1 in the last 11 after the Braves yield five or more in the previous game.

Rendon to hit HR (+300)

Though Rendon has yet to hit a homer since the All-Star break and in his last nine games overall, the Nationals third baseman is on a tear. He is 13 for 31 (.419) with six doubles during an eight-game hitting streak and hitting .333 versus Atlanta (8 for 24) on the season.

Rendon is also a lifetime .301 hitter in 22 games at SunTrust Park, and with Teheran giving up five homers in his last four starts, it is worth the flyer. A secondary pick here would be taking Corbin OVER 6.5 strikeouts at -107, which was offered by Rivers Casino.

Braves 3-way money line 1st inning (+270)

The Braves are worth a flyer here for a few reasons. The first is Teheran is a strong first-inning pitcher, carrying a 2.25 ERA in the opening frame into this contest while conceding just one run in eight starrts at SunTrust Park.

That plays into Washington’s current first-inning struggles — the Nationals have not only failed to score in the first in any of their seven games since the All-Star break, they have also gone down 1-2-3 on four occasions.

Lastly, if there is a time to get to Corbin, it is early. The lefty has a 6.63 ERA in the first — his worst in any individual inning — and given up multiple first-inning runs in three of his last six starts on the road.

 

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