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Picks, predictions for Nationals vs. Braves on Friday, June 9

Henry Palattella shares their top picks on DraftKings Sportsbook for Nationals-Braves on Friday, June 9.

 Orlando Arcia of the Atlanta Braves hits a solo home run during the ninth inning to tie the game against the New York Mets at Truist Park on June 08, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

A day after picking up one of the most dramatic wins of this MLB season, the Atlanta Braves will look to continue their winning ways against in their series opener against the Washington Nationals. First pitch from Atlanta is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET. Righty Josiah Gray (4-5, 3.09 ERA) will get the start for D.C., while top prospect Dylan Smith-Shawver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will be making his first MLB start for the Braves.

Atlanta is a heavy -200 moneyline favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Nationals are +170 underdogs. The run total is set at 10.5.

Nationals-Braves picks: Friday, June 9

Injury report


Out: OF Victor Robles (back spasms), C Israel Pineda (left oblique strain)


Out: RP Dylan Lee (left shoulder inflammation), SP Max Fried (left forearm strain)

Starting pitchers

Josiah Gray vs. Dylan Smith-Shawver

After giving up the most home runs in baseball last season, Gray has begun to come into his own this season. While he’s coming off one of his worst starts of the season (he allowed four runs in 5.1 innings against the Phillies last time out), Gray only allowed more than three runs once in five May starts. The righty lands in the 70th percentile in average exit velocity and the 63rd percentile in hard-hit rate.

Smith-Shawver made his MLB debut last weekend when he threw 2.1 scoreless innings of relief against the Diamondbacks, and now injuries to Atlanta’s rotation (and Michael Soroka’s demotion to Triple-A) have him set to make his first Major League start tonight. The righty showcased electric stuff as he rocketed through three levels of the Minors this spring, with a 1.09 ERA and 49 strikeouts over 33 innings — although just 12 of those frames came above Double-A.

Over/Under pick

While 10.5 is a bit of a high number, I’m still riding with the over. The Nationals have cleared this line in five of their last seven games, while the Braves have done so in three of their last four. With Smith-Shawer making his first career start (and Gray having suffered home run problems in his past), tonight’s game should end up being a slugfest.

Pick: Over 10.5

Moneyline pick

No need to overthink this one. The Braves are one of the best teams in baseball, and the Nationals are a plucky squad just trying to figure out who will stick around once their rebuild is over. Back the Braves.

Pick: Braves