|WAS (-104) @ Fanduel|
My 10* Situational Stunner is on the Was Nationals at 4:05 ET.
Atlanta opened the 2021 season looking for a FOURTH consecutive NL East title (last season led the Dodgers 3-1 in the NLCS before losing THREE in a row) but the Braves opened the season 0-4. They climbed back to .500 at 12-12 but entered this week's three-game series in Washington against the Nationals on a four-game losing streak. Washington followed the franchise's first-ever World Series win in 2019 with a 26-34 record in 2020, finishing in last-place in the NL East. The Nats lost their first four games to COVID and then opened 1-5 once they finally got on the field. However, in contrast to the Braves, Washington welcomed Atlanta to Nationals Park on a four-game winning streak that evened its record at 12-12.
However, the Braves have won the first two contests (6-1 and 5-3). Both teams play in the NL East, where only the Phillies own a winning record (just barely, at 16-15). The pitching matchup features a battle of lefties, as the Braves will send Drew Smyly (0-2, 8.05 ERA), while the Nats turn to veteran Jon Lester (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Smyly is no more than a journeyman and has given up five ERs in each of his last three starts. The Braves are 0-4 in his four starts in 2021 (8.05 ERA and 1.53 WHIP). Lester's season was delayed as part of the Nationals' COVID-19 outbreak but tossed five scoreless innings on five hits in a no-decision against the Marlins this past Friday. Unlike Smyly, Lester is FAR from a journeyman. He's made 424 career starts, posting a 193-111 career record with a 3.59 ERA.
Lester is a three-time World Series champion (2007, 2013 and 2016) and was the MVP of the NLCS in 2016. In 11 career starts vs the Braves, his teams have gone 8-3 (he's 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA). I'll back the Nats to avoid the dreaded home sweep!
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Winning Starts Here