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Braves vs. Nationals MLB Odds, Preview and Prediction – September 21, 2023

By Hank Blaine

The Atlanta Braves have clinched the NL East title yet again, but they still have seeding reasons to keep winning with less than two weeks left in the regular season. The Braves open a series in Washington, D.C., on Thursday as heavy favorites.

Nitrobetting checks out the game in this preview. Get a complete look at the game information, team and player statistics, and the latest MLB odds. We also deliver timely betting trends and predictions that help you secure the best picks.

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals Game Information

  • When: Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:05 PM ET
  • Where: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
  • Radio: 680 The Fan (Braves) // WJFK-FM 106.7(Nationals)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Odds: Braves (-270) // Nationals (+221)

Why bet on the Atlanta Braves?

The Blue Jays have won eight of their last 11 games vs. AL East clubs entering the series but have gone 15-25 overall vs. the AL East this season, the third-fewest intra-division wins in MLB behind Colorado’s 12 and Oakland’s 13. Since the start of August, the Jays have an MLB-best .312 batting average with RISP. Toronto ranks 2nd among AL clubs with a .265 road batting average, 2nd in road OBP (.335), 3rd in road OPS (.767), and 4th in road SLG (.432).

It’s right-hander Kevin Gausman on the mound for Toronto. Gausman (11-9) took the loss last Thursday, allowing four runs on six hits and six walks over 4.2 innings against the Rangers. He struck out five. The 32-year-old ace issued a season-high six walks. Gausman had only conceded more than three bases on balls in two of his 59 starts as a Blue Jay prior to Thursday.

It marked the second time in three September starts that Gausman failed to complete five innings, inflating his ERA to 4.15 and WHIP to 1.35 across 56.1 second-half innings. Gausman has allowed more home runs in his last 10 starts (10) than he did in his first 19 (9) and his BB/9 has jumped by 1.10. Despite the inconsistency, he has maintained impressive strikeout numbers this season, boasting an 11.6 K/9 while accumulating an AL-leading 222 punchouts in 172 innings.

Over 29 career appearances vs. the Yankees, Gausman is 9-7 with a 3.28 ERA (53 ER/145.1 IP) and 141 strikeouts. This year, he’s 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against them.

Toronto is 15-8 at Yankee Stadium (entering the series) since the start of the 2021 season for a .652 win percentage, the best among all AL teams over that span. Vladimir Guerrero’s .614 slugging percentage at the venue is the highest all-time, just ahead of Aaron Judge’s .603 mark (min. 100 AB).

Why bet on the Washington Nationals?

The Nats are playing out the string but have won three of four after routing the White Sox 13-3 on Wednesday. Lane Thomas hit a grand slam and Joey Meneses and Dominic Smith also homered for Washington, which had a season high in runs and won back-to-back games for the first time since taking three in a row from Aug. 24-26. Washington won by at least 10 for the first time since a 14-4 victory over San Francisco on April 29, 2022. Thomas has 26 homers and 84 RBI this season. He is one shy of a 20-homer, 20-steal season. Thomas was thrown out stealing Wednesday for only the fourth time in 23 tries.

Right-hander Jake Irvin (3-6, 4.34) starts for Washington. Irvin (3-6) took the loss last Friday, giving up four runs on three hits and five walks over 4.2 innings as the Nationals fell 5-3 to the Brewers. He struck out six. Irvin kept Milwaukee off the board for four innings, but his command and control issues caught up to him in the fifth as two free passes set up a three-run homer for William Contreras. Irvin has walked multiple batters in five straight starts but has a 2.93 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 27.2 innings over that stretch. He hasn’t won a game since July 21, though. The rookie somehow has avoided the Braves this year.

Braves vs. Nationals Betting Trends

  • Atlanta is 1-5 SU in the last 6 games.
  • Braves are 15-5 SU in its last 20 games against Washington.
  • The total went over in 5 of Atlanta’s last 6 games.
  • Washington is 6-14 SU in the last 20 games.
  • Nationals are 4-8 SU in its last 12 games at home.
  • The total went under in 5 of Washington’s last 7 games.

Braves vs. Nationals Betting Prediction

Braves 6, Nationals 4.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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