Two of the most recent National League East champions will meet on Thursday night for game one of a four-game set when the Nationals host the Braves. Atlanta took home the crown last year and Washington raised the flag in 2012. Both of these teams will fit to the bitter end this year for the title, but we like Washington at home in the opener on Thursday to expand their lead in the standings.

Nationals back in first looking for a cushion

After overtaking the Braves for the division lead earlier this week, the Nationals now host the team closest to them in the standings for four games. Washington will look to put some distance between them and the Braves beginning on Thursday night when they send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to cool the Atlanta offense. Zimmermann is 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA. He dropped his last start to the Cardinals, allowing just one earned run in eight innings pitched.

Braves looking to regain ground in the East standings

Atlanta is fresh off being swept at home in three games by the Phillies, dropping them from first and setting them back by 1.5 games in the standings. Now, they ask veteran Gavin Floyd to end their current slide and put them back in the win column. Floyd is 1-2 with a 2.98 ERA in just eight starts this season. He will need command of all his pitches to limit the Nationals potent offense tonight on the road.

We find the betting odds for tonight’s content between the Braves and the Nationals at, where the host Nats are favorites to win this game. Washington has been hot, winning two in a row and six of their last 10 games played. We will drop 15 percent of our bankroll on the Nationals and the -135 money line as they take game one from Atlanta.

Braves vs Nationals 6-19-14