MLB Betting: Previewing Braves-Nationals Weekend Series

Most experts in the MLB betting world think that the National League East will come down to Atlanta and Washington. Given how the two teams have played so far, that seems like a good hypothesis.

The two teams will square off this weekend in the nation’s capital. Here is a look at the probable pitching matchups along with the betting lines for Friday.

Friday, 7:05 PM ET – Julio Teheran (0-0, 9.00) vs. Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.00)

Odds: Nationals -134

Teheran didn’t fare well in his 2013 debut, allowing five runs in five innings and he was taken deep twice by the Chicago Cubs, but his offense bailed him out in a 6-5 win, allowing him to take a no-decision. The 22-year-old Colombian will be making his first appearance against the Nationals as the Braves are trying to convert him into a full-time starter.

Detwiler also took a no-decision in his first start of the season, giving up a run on six hits over six innings in a 7-6 win at Cincinnati. He is used to seeing the Braves as this will be his 12th appearance (ninth start) against them, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.33 ERA.

Saturday, 1:05 PM ET – Tim Hudson (1-0, 3.27) vs. Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.38)

In his second start of 2013, Hudson put in a much better performance to pick up his first win of the season, scattering a run on three hits over 6.2 innings in a 5-1 victory over the Cubs. He has been great against the Nationals over his career, going 14-5 in 26 starts with a 2.65 ERA, but last year he struggled against them, going 0-2 in three starts with a 7.71 ERA as Washington improved tenfold in 2012.

It isn’t time to write off Strasburg’s Cy Young chances yet, but he wasn’t up to par in a 6-3 loss to the Reds as he was knocked for six runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings. Strasburg has been up and down against Atlanta, going 3-3 in seven career starts while posting a 4.17 ERA.

Sunday, 1:35 PM ET – Paul Maholm (2-0, 0.00) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.82)

Maholm hasn’t allowed a run in 12.2 innings of work so far in 2013, his first full season in Atlanta. The former Pittsburgh Pirate hasn’t been too lucky against the Nationals, going 1-6 in 10 starts with a 5.52 ERA and he has yet to win at Nationals Park with an 0-3 record in four starts and a 5.55 ERA.

The Nationals respond with Gonzalez, who has allowed one run in 11.0 innings after taking a no-decision in an 8-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Gonzalez gave up a run on four hits over five innings to continue a solid start to 2012, and he has split four starts against the Braves, going 2-2 with an ERA of 1.93. Keep in mind that last season was his first full campaign with the Nationals after moving over from Atlanta, but there are extremely high expectations for Gonzalez after he won 21 games in 2012.

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