Pirates vs. Nationals Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Nationals are a -190 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Pirates are a +165 underdog and the over-under is 7.5.
On the mound for Pittsburgh will be Gerrit Cole (12-11, 4.23 ERA), while Washington counters with Stephen Strasburg (14-4, 2.63). Cole carries a 1.24 WHIP with 189 strikeouts over 197 1/3 innings. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk over 5 2/3 innings during an 11-6 home win over the Cardinals his last start. Cole has a 4.17 ERA in 17 road starts. Strasburg boasts a 1.04 WHIP with 196 strikeouts over 167 2/3 innings. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk over five innings in a 4-3 win at the Mets his last outing. The Nationals have won his last six starts and eight of the last nine. Strasburg has a 3.00 ERA in 13 home starts.
The Pirates have a 73-86 record and are 29-49 on the road, while Washington is 96-63 and 46-32 at home. The season series is tied 2-2 and the over-under is 2-1-1.
On Thursday, the Nationals claimed a 5-4 victory in the series opener. Trea Turner was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run. Anthony Rendon went 1-for-2 with three walks and three runs. Daniel Murphy finished 3-for-4 with a walk and a run. Alejandro De Aza was 2-for-3 with a triple, a run and two RBIs off the bench. Adam Lind walked once and drove in two. Sean Doolittle picked up the win in relief. Starling Marte was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Pirates. Josh Bell hit a two-run homer. Daniel Hudson suffered the loss in relief.
Strasburg has been lights out since coming back from an injury, although he finally appeared human his last start. While the Nationals will probably rest some key players this weekend, Strasburg is going to want to be in fine form again as he tunes up for the playoffs. Cole is having a down year, is on the road and the Pirates are playing out the string. We like the Nationals in this spot.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: WASHINGTON NATIONALS -190