Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: PNC Park
When: Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 7:05 pm ET
We have National League baseball to discuss for Tuesday night when the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates meet for game two of their scheduled, four-game series. This preview was published prior to the start of Monday MLB action and all opinions are based on the stats from Sunday, August 18, 2019.
Washington is second in the National League East and scheduled righty Stephen Strasburg as their probable starter against Pittsburgh. The Pirates are last in the National League Central and right-hander Chris Archer is slated as the probable starting pitcher against the Nationals.
Nationals Score 53 Runs Over Past Five Games
Washington is 5.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the National League East and has won seven of their last 10 games and enter this series Monday night hoping to add to a one-game winning streak. If the regular season were to end today, the Nationals would have a 1.5 game lead over the rest of the National League and be awarded one of the two available Wild Cards. Washington has outscored its opponents this season by 68 runs and is an above .500 road club with a 31-30 record away from Nationals Park.
SEE. YOU. L8ER.
Matt Adams homered.
Victor Robles homered.
Brian Dozier homered.
Anthony Rendon homered.
Juan Soto homered.
Adam Eaton homered.
Juan Soto homered again.
Brian Dozier homered again.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 18, 2019
Strasburg (15-5, 3.82) has an elite, 1.09 WHIP and his 3.37 xFIP suggests maybe the veteran righty has been unlucky and could see some positive regression at some point this season. Things haven’t been that good lately for Strasburg, allowing 17 earned runs over the past 30.1 innings pitched with 16 earned runs over the last three starts. Strasburg strikes out 10.54 per nine with 2.34 walks and 1.08 home runs allowed per nine innings pitched this season.
Pittsburgh has scored 15 runs over their last five games and scores an average of 4.77 runs per game with 58 dingers this season at PNC Park and has clubbed 101 bombs against right-handed pitching this season.
Pirates Fading Fast
Pittsburgh has struggled this season and find themselves 14.5 games behind the St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs for the top spot in the National League Central. The Pirates are 14.5 games back in the National League Wild Card race and the Bucs better get their act together quick otherwise there won’t be any postseason games for them in 2019. Losing seven of their last 10 games hasn’t helped much and they enter this series with Washington hoping to end a two-game losing streak. Pittsburgh has been outscored by 99 runs and this season is 25-34 at PNC Park.
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 17, 2019
Archer (3-9, 5.23) has been a bit of a disappointment since coming over via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays last Trade Deadline. Archer has a 1.41 WHIP and his 4.40 xFIP seems to suggest he’s been unlucky and better days could be on the horizon for the veteran right-hander. Archer has allowed 15 earned runs over his last 28 innings pitched and strikes out 10.69 per nine innings pitched while allowing 4.17 walks and yielding 1.90 bombs this season per nine innings pitched.
Washington has scored 52 runs over their last five games and score an average of 4.93 runs per game with 73 bombs away from Nationals Park and has crushed 135 dingers against right-handed pitching this season.
- Nationals are 13-3 in Strasburg’s last 16 Tuesday starts.
- Nationals are 17-4 in Strasburg’s last 21 starts vs. National League Central.
- Nationals are 44-13 in Strasburg’s last 57 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
- Pirates are 0-4 in Archer’s last 4 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Pirates are 0-7 in Archer’s last 7 starts.
- Pirates are 0-7 in Archer’s last 7 starts on grass.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Nationals have been knocking the daylights out of the ball over the past five games and the Pirates have been lethargic scoring just 15 runs over their last five games. On season averages alone, the Nationals come out on top without the HUGE performances they’ve delivered over their past five games.
Strasburg has struggled recently and boasts a 3.94 ERA and a 7-3 record over 82.1 innings pitched this season whereas Archer has struggled everywhere but he’s been far better at home this season with a 3.98 ERA and 3-4 record over 61 innings pitched at PNC Park this season.
As intriguing as it might be to take a chance on Archer at home, the Nationals are too hot offensively and Strasburg and his elite WHIP should be able to keep the Pirates from getting too many runs.
Play the Nationals to beat the Pirates Tuesday!!
Full-Game Total Pick
We don’t have a total posted yet but this game features some really good pitching, a hot Nationals offense, and a lethargic Pirates offense. Something tells me the Nationals aren’t going to keep scoring 10 runs a game and the person who has the ability to slow them down is Archer. I saw the following trends that might be helpful for Tuesday night.
- Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh.
I’m strongly leaning towards playing UNDER on Tuesday night.