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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/22/14

Washington Nationals (24-21) at Pittsburgh Pirates (18-26)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 7:05 pm (PNC Park)

Blake Treinen (R) (0-1) (0.000) vs. Edinson Volquez (R) (1-4) (4.909)

The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -128 / Washington Nationals +118 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: MLB N, MASN 2, ROOT-PIT

The Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates will take the field for a four-game series that begins Thursday night at PNC Park.

The Nationals continue to be one of the most inconsistent teams in baseball, winning four of their last seven games. The Nationals have not won back-to-back games in a week and have struggled offensively with the losses of Bryce Harper and Adam LaRotche. The Nationals have been held to three or less runs in nine of their last 14 games. However, Denard Span does have an RBI in three straight games and is tearing the cover off the ball with hits in four straight games. Getting the nod is Blake Treinen, who is 0-1 with a 0.77 ERA and has nine strikeouts in 11.2 innings. This will be Treinen’s first career game against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/22/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates are in the same boat as far as consistency is concerned, as they’ve lost six of their last nine games. Offense is an even bigger issue for the Pirates, a team that has been held to three or less runs in five of their last eight games. The good news is that Andrew McCutchen has found his groove with seven hits in his last three games and Starling Mate has eight RBI in his last 10 games. The Pirates pitching staff, however, has the 20th worst ERA in baseball. Edinson Volquez gets the ball, and he’s 1-4 with a 4.71 ERA and has 28 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. Volquez is 1-2 with a 6.64 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals. 

The Nationals are 15-36 in their last 51 games as a road underdog and 43-19 in their last 62 vs. a team with a losing record. The Pirates are 1-4 in Volquez's last 5 starts and 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. 

Forget trying to figure either of these teams out, I'm just siding with the over. The over is 19-8-1 in the last 28 meetings between these two teams in Pittsburgh. With the way both have been playing anything can happen, which is why it's safer to follow this trend. 

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Over 8

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