Washington Nationals (0-0) at Cincinnati Reds (0-0)
|Date & Time||Friday March 30, 2018, 4:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cincinnati Reds +170 / Washington Nationals -180 --- Over/Under: 8.5
In Opening Day MLB action from Great American Ball Park on Friday, the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds will be meeting up to start their series.
The Nationals managed to log a 97-65 record in 2017 and had little trouble making the playoffs, but they were bounced in the first round by the Cubs, losing three games to two. Washington’s losses in that set came by a combined five runs.
Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper will be two key pieces for the Nationals this year. Harper posted 134 hits with 95 runs last season, while Rendon managed 153 hits and 81 runs. They’ll be backing up the Nats’ Max Scherzer on Thursday in the opener.
Over on the Reds’ side, they managed to go just 68-94 last season and won just two of their final 12 games. We’ll probably see a few emerging stars for Cincinnati this year, including Scooter Gennett (136 hits in 2017) and Jose Pedraza (126 hits).
Homer Bailey is toeing the rubber for the Reds on Thursday, and he’s coming off 91.0 innings with a 6-9 record last season. Bailey also managed a 6.43 ERA with 67 Ks for Cincinnati in 2017.
The Nationals are 7-3 in their last 10 Thursday games and 13-6 in their last 19 during game one of a series. Washington is also 2-5 in their last seven overall and 36-16 in Scherzer’s last 52 starts.
Meanwhile, the Reds are 8-18 in their last 26 versus the NL East and 1-4 in their last five following an off day. Cincinnati is also 2-10 in their last 12 overall and 0-6 in their last six home games.
No one’s expecting much out of the Reds this year, but if all goes well they should make some improvements. As for Washington, the pressure is on yet again, and the window is closing for this particular group of guys. I’m not too thrilled with much of anything Bailey does these days though, so I’m going with the Nats here.