Pirates vs. Nationals Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Nationals are listed as a -145 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Pirates are a +125 underdog and the over-under is set at 9.
Pitching for Pittsburgh will be Ivan Nova (11-14, 4.14 ERA), while Washington will go with Edwin Jackson (5-6, 5.26). Nova has a 1.26 WHIP with 129 strikeouts over 185 innings. He allowed two runs on earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and four walks in five innings during a 4-3 home loss to the Cardinals. Nova carries a 5.03 ERA in 111 road innings. Jackson has a 1.56 WHIP with 53 strikeouts over 70 innings. He surrendered six earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks over 4 2/3 innings in a 7-6 loss at the Mets his last start. Jackson carries a 5.85 ERA in 32 1/3 home innings.
Pittsburgh comes in at 73-85 overall and 29-48 on the road, while Washington is 95-63 and 45-32 at home. The Pirates won two out of three games when the two teams met in Pittsburgh back in May, while the total went over in two of the games.
On Wednesday, Pittsburgh won its fourth straight game by a count of 5-3 at the Orioles. Starling Marte went 2-for-4 with an RBI plus a stolen base, while Andrew McCutchen finished 1-for-2 with two walks and a run. Josh Bell was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Gregory Polanco added a solo home run. Chad Kuhl allowed three earned runs in five innings to notch the win, while Felipe Rivero closed it out for his 20th save. The Nationals lost the last two games of a three-game series at the Phillies, falling 7-5 Wednesday night. Trea Turner was 3-for-3 with a walks, two stolen bases and a run. Daniel Murphy was 1-for-2 with a double, three walks, a run and an RBI. Jayson Werth finished 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. Michael Taylor was 3-for-5 with a home run. Tanner Roark gave up six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The Nationals don't have anything to play for with their standing in the postseason locked in, which led them to scratching Stephen Strasburg. Jackson gets the start instead and he'll look to rebound from a couple rocky outings. Washington might not have any ground it can gain or lose, but going into the postseason on the right note will have them taking this series seriously. The Pirates are a dreadful road team and will likely crash back down to earth after a couple wins in Baltimore. Nova has also been much worse on the road. Take the Nationals here.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: WASHINGTON NATIONALS -145