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Two NL East rivals will wrap up a series here as the Miami Marlins take on the Washington Nationals. Both teams have been having rough seasons, but one of them has to win here. The Nationals have won each of the first three games of this series, and will be going for the sweep here. Max Scherzer will be on the mound for the Nationals, with Jose Urena taking the mound for Miami. It’ll be nationally televised on ESPN.
Marlins Back To Normal
Something bizarre happened recently. The Marlins managed to win six straight games. It was pretty incredible considering the Marlins were 10-31 at the time the win streak started and were clearly the worst team in the majors. Things have since gone back to normal, and they’ve lost each of the first three games of this series. When you look closely, it’s pretty clear the hot streak was always phony. The six wins came against the Mets and Tigers. The Mets were in a complete collapse at the moment, while the Tigers are also one of the worst teams in the majors. It was clearly a fluke, and we can go right back to fading the Marlins now that it’s over.
As they try to avoid being swept, they’ll turn to Jose Urena here. Urena has been mediocre all year and enters this one with a 4.30 ERA. The Marlins never give him any run support, and the team is just 2-8 in his ten starts this season. The Marlins are probably the worst road team in baseball, and they’re just 12-42 in their last 54 road games. When the Marlins lose they tend to lose big, as 29 of their 34 losses this season have come by multiple runs, including all three games of this series. As such, the run line might make some sense here if you’re looking to bet against Miami.
Nationals Getting Hot
The Nationals have been having a rough season for the most part. They lost their franchise player, Bryce Harper, in free agency this offseason, and have struggled to adjust. But things are starting to pick up a bit, as they’ve rattled off three straight wins entering this one. To keep the momentum going, they’ll turn to Max Scherzer here. Scherzer has had an ERA below 3.00 every year he’s been with Washington, and the perennial Cy Young Award contender has looked good once again this season. He was dominant in his most recent start, tossing six scoreless innings. Pitching in the NL East the past handful of years, he has a lot of experience pitching against this Marlins team. In five starts against Miami last year, he had a 2.38 ERA.
Max Scherzer is a savage 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/sZqqWcO8zT
— Kent Murphy (@ReaIKentMurphy) May 23, 2019
The year before that, it was 1.17 in four starts. Not surprisingly, the Nationals are 7-1 in Scherzer’s last eight starts against the Marlins. The Nats are a team that always plays better at home, and they’re 5-2 in their last seven home games even as they’ve really struggled mightily on the road. The lineup has been picking up recently, as they’ve scored 26 runs over their past three games. They’ve owned this matchup in recent years no matter who’s on the mound, as the Nationals have won 24 of the last 32 matchups between these two teams.
- 5-2 in their last 7 home games
- 24-8 in their last 32 games vs. Marlins
- 7-1 in Scherzer’s last 8 starts vs. Marlins
- 2-8 in Urena’s last 10 starts
- 12-42 in their last 54 road games
- 17-38 in their last 55 overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I really like the Nationals on the run line here. When the Marlins lose, they virtually always lose by multiple runs. The Nationals have smoked them so far in this series, and I expect that to happen again here. Scherzer vs. Urena is a total mismatch on the mound, and there’s a reason the Nationals have won seven of the last eight times Scherzer has pitched against the Marlins.
Prediction: Nationals -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the over a lot here. Urena is consistently mediocre, and he’s not going to throw many gems. The Nationals have been hot offensively lately, scoring 26 runs over their past three games, so they should be able to get to him here. Scherzer has been good this year, but not quite as good as he usually is, so he’s vulnerable. Both sides should be able to score here.