Washington Nationals (45-43) at Pittsburgh Pirates (40-48)
|Date & Time||Monday July 9, 2018, 7:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Pirates -103 / Washington Nationals -107 --- Over/Under: 9
The Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates meet in game one of a three game set from PNC Park in MLB action on Monday.
The Washington Nationals will look to bounce back after failing to complete the sweep of Miami, dropping the series finale in disappointing fashion by a final score of 10-2 on Sunday. Daniel Murphy went 1 for 3, accounting for both Washington runs in the loss. Mark Reynolds went 2 for 4 with a double while Matt Adams and Spencer Kieboom each added a base knock as the Nats put forth just five hits as a team in the loss. Tanner Roark took the loss, falling to 3-10 this season after giving up four runs on ten hits while striking out five over four innings of work. Jefry Rodriguez will start game one and is 0-0 with a 5.52 ERA and 13 strikeouts this season. This will be Rodriguez’s first career start against Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to build some steam after avoiding the sweep on Sunday, taking their finale against Philadelphia by a final score of 4-1. Starting pitcher Nick Kingham helped his own cause, leading the charge with two RBIs and a double while Josh Bell added a double and an RBI as well. Josh Harrison added an RBI to round out Pittsburgh’s scoring while Francisco Cervelli added a double and Starling Marte went 2 for 4. Corey Dickerson, Austin Meadows and Jordy Mercer each chipped in base hits as well in the victory. Kingham got the win to improve to 3-4 this season after allowing one run on four hits while striking out five over six innings of work. Felipe Vazquez struck out the side in the 9th for his 18th save of the year. Ivan Nova will start the opener and is 4-6 with a 4.48 ERA and 71 strikeouts this season. In his career, Nova is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA and 13 strikeouts against Washington.
Washington is 7-0 in their last 7 games against the NL Central and 1-8 in their last 9 road games while the under is 36-17-5 in their last 58 series opening matchups. Pittsburgh is 1-7 in their last 8 home games and 3-11 in their last 14 games against the NL East while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 series opening matchups. Washington is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
Ivan Nova reminds me a lot of that line from Forrest Gump about a box of chocolates. You never really know what you’re gonna get from him. Some days he looks like a solid arm in a rotation, and other times, like his last start, he gets blown up for seven runs. On the other hand, Rodriguez has allowed nine runs in nine innings in his two starts for the Nats. However, Washington won both of those games, and that was when the Nationals were mired in the worst part of their recent slump. All in all I’d probably stay away from this game, but I have zero faith in Nova so I lean Washington.