Atlanta (-155) at Washington (8½)
The Braves are looking to get back to the .500 mark and send former Cy Young winner John Smoltz to the hill. Smoltz is off a victory over Johan Santana and the Mets, pitching five scoreless innings. Atlanta took the first of the three-game series in D.C. after having dropped three straight at Colorado. Chipper Jones leads the Braves with a .372 batting average, while first-year shortstop Yunel Escobar (.333 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI) shares the team lead in homers and runs batted in.
Washington has dropped eight in a row after a 3-0 start. Lefthander John Lannan lost his only start, though sporting a solid 2.70 ERA. Opponents are hitting .269 against him, compared to an anemic .125 against Smoltz. Washington is batting just .232 as a team and has struggled against Smoltz, a lifetime 11-4 with a 2.41 ERA. With the Nats on the skids the price is right if you like the Braves, which we do. ATLANTA.