Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals (6/15/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The Atlanta Braves have won a whopping 13 straight games. It’s the longest winning streak of the season for any MLB team so far. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for a team that was 23-27 and 12 games back in the NL East.

Now, the Braves are just five games back of the Mets. For the second straight year in a row, Queens residents are hearing footsteps.

The Braves are the story of baseball right now, and I feel it prudent we take a good look at them in this article.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing appealing about the Washington Nationals this season. Not even Juan Soto is having a good year.

As such, the Braves are massive favorites in this one, and the public will be all over them again.

But does the value lie elsewhere in this game?

Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Wednesday matchup.

Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals Odds

The total may seem high for a Braves-Nationals matchup. But these are two pitchers that don’t inspire much confidence.

Spencer Strider has been solid, but he is still young and is making just his second career start. Meanwhile, Erick Fedde has never been a pitcher to back, and his 4.87 ERA this year re-inforces his lack of talent.

Most teams in the league will be big favorites against the Nationals. So, is it worth betting on the other side?

Probably not. As a $100 bettor, betting the Nationals ML every game this season would produce a net loss of $913.

But let’s dig deeper into this matchup.

Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup

RF R. Acuna R
SS D. Swanson R
3B A. Riley R
1B M. Olson L
C T. d’Arnaud R
DH M. Ozuna R
LF A. Duvall R
2B O. Arcia R
CF M. Harris L

Atlanta Braves vs Erick Fedde

Fedde strikes out less than 19% of batters while walking more than 12%. He produces no whiffs, doesn’t get guys to chase, and gives up a hard-hit rate of over 40%.

There’s just nothing to like about his game.

Historically, Fedde is a pure sinkerballer. However, he has tried to re-work his pitch mix in recent years, developing his curveball and cutter more to show hitters some different looks.

chart 2022 06 14T170246.691

Image credit: Baseball Savant

It’s worked to an extent. He’s actually posted negative Run Values on both his sinker and cutter this year, after posting a combined +11 on the two pitches last season. So, there is hope for the future.

But for now, Fedde is just not producing outs and not preventing runs.

And he’s running right into the Braves. Fedde has a career 1.50 HR/9 rate and a career 18.7% HR/FB rate, and the Braves have hit 28 HRs over just the past two weeks. The Atlanta win streak has been driven by Ronald Acuña Jr.’s four HRs and 200 wRC+, but there are plenty of chances for Fedde to get taken deep today.

Plus, in 93 lifetime PAs against current Braves batters, Fedde has allowed a .400 average and a .750 SLG. He’s allowed seven homers with a 12:11 K/BB ratio.

This could be a bloodbath. And the Braves have never been hotter. They scored seven runs in just the first three innings last night after slugging almost .600 during the 12 games before. These Braves are cooking, and Fedde is the only thing standing in the way between 14 straight victories.

Washington Nationals Starting Lineup

CF L. Thomas R
2B C. Hernandez S
RF J. Soto L
DH N. Cruz R
1B J. Bell S
C K. Ruiz S
LF Y. Hernandez L
3B M. Franco R
SS L. Garcia L

Washington Nationals vs Spencer Strider

Strider really projects better as a reliever. He has a shutdown, 98mph fastball that he pairs with two solid secondary pitches (slider, changeup). The fastball has forced a whiff rate near 30% with a .184 average allowed and a -7 Run Value.

And that fastball just rises and rises. Hard to get on top of this one.

But after a mediocre, three-run, 4 ⅓ inning performance against Arizona, he’s been a pretty shutdown starter. He threw 9 ⅔ innings of one-run ball against Colorado and Pittsburgh, striking out 13 in total.

Over his three starts, he’s struck out 20 batters in 14 innings. Pretty good!

The Nationals should be a stronger opponent than the Rockies and Pirates. Between Soto and Josh Bell, the Nats have managed to field a league-average MLB lineup, and one that’s posted a 103 wRC+ over the last month.

Moreover, the Nationals have been the sixth-best fastball-hitting team in MLB this year, with 23 Weighted Fastball Runs Created. They can’t hit a slider, so maybe we’ll see Strider mix in more of those. Nine of Strider’s 13 strikeouts against Pittsburgh and Colorado came on the slider, including these two beauties.

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals Pick & Prediction

My picks: Over 9 (-118 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

This has already moved to 9.5 at some books, including DraftKings. And there are good reasons for that.

The Nationals have advantages against Strider. Plus, we could get a stretched-out Braves relief staff if Strider – a natural reliever – gets pulled before the fifth inning.

In the meanwhile, Fedde is going to get absolutely clobbered by this Atlanta lineup. There is no reason to suspect Fedde shuts down any hitter here, especially Acuña.

I’d play the over to 9.5 (-110), but I like it better at 9 (-120) or better.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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