Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has become an elite arm as evidenced by his 2.98 ERA and 1.16 WHIP this season, including posting a 4.73 K/BB ratio over 84 2/3-innings of work. Zimmermann has been close to unhittable in his last three outings over which time he has allowed just one earned run on ten hits in 25 innings (0.36 ERA and 0.48 WHIP); 21/2 K/BB rate). Zimmerman now faces a free-swinging Atlanta offense that has the fourth most strikeouts in baseball this season. Moreover, Zimmermann’s career-best 0.6 HR/9 rate should neutralize the Braves’ most dangerous bats.
Atlanta’s Scuffling Offense:
- Batting .243 with a .301 on base percentage in 2014 (3.6 runs per game);
- Batting .239 with a .299 on base percentage vs. right-handed starters (3.5 runs per game);
- Batting .248 with a .308 on base percentage vs. division opponents (3.7 runs per game);
- Batting .237 with a .295 on base percentage on the road (3.7 runs per game)
Zimmermann is also supported by an outstanding Washington bullpen that owns a 2.54 ERA and 1.21 WHIP this season, including a 2.12 ERA and 1.23 WHIP at home, a 2.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP at night and a 1.90 ERA and 1.06 WHIP versus division opponents. We also like the fact that the 28-year-old hurler is 3-1 with a career 2.98 ERA and 1.12 WHIP versus the Braves, including allowing just three earned runs on 13 hits in his last three outings against Atlanta (17 IP). The technical analysis behind Zimmermann is also very compelling:
- Washington is 39-13 in Zimmermann’s L/52 starts as a favorite;
- Washington is 22-8 in Zimmermann’s L/30 starts as a home favorite;
- Washington is 20-8 in Zimmermann’s L/28 starts vs. N.L. East opponents
- Washington is 41-14 in Zimmermann’s L/55 starts at night;
- Washington is 13-2 when Zimmermann is working on 5 or 6 days of rest;
- Washington is 40-18 in Zimmermann’s L/58 starts with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs
The Nationals are also a profitable 52-23 as favorites, including a perfect 7-0 in their last seven games as home favorites and 8-2 in their last ten games versus a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. Meanwhile, Atlanta starter Gavin Floyd takes the mound in poor form with a 4.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over his last three appearances, including yielding a combined five earned runs on ten hits in his last 13 innings pitched. While Floyd boasts a 2.98 ERA and 1.34 WHIP overall in 2014, his underlying metrics suggest that regression is in his future.
Specifically, Floyd owns a 3.60 xFIP and a 3.66 SIERA so his peripheral numbers are a bit misleading. We should also note that Floyd is 0-2 with a career 4.97 ERA and 1.34 WHIP versus the Nationals, including allowing six earned runs on thirteen hits in his last two trips to Washington (13 1/3-innings pitched). Floyd is also hampered by a pedestrian Atlanta bullpen that owns a 4.35 ERA and 1.54 WHIP on the road and a 5.40 ERA and 1.84 WHIP over the last seven games. Technically speaking, Atlanta is 5-11 in its last sixteen games as a road underdog, 3-9 in its last twelve games as an underdog and 0-4 in its last four games versus right-handed starters. The Braves are also a money-burning 1-14 (-13.8 units) versus starting pitchers with an ERA of 3.00 or better and 9-26 (-17.1 units) versus starting pitchers who strike out five or more batters per game on the season.
Pro Edge Sports Pick: Washington Nationals (-132)