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The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the Washington Nationals for the third game of their four-game series here. The Pirates have been absolutely horrendous recently and will look to get back on track here with Joe Musgrove on the mound. The Nationals will start lefty Partick Corbin. Oddsmakers have the Nats as modest road favorites here.
Nationals Getting Hot
The Nationals have been one of the best stories of the 2019 MLB season. After they lost Bryce Harper in free agency, they were supposed to take a big step back. Instead, they’ve done just the opposite, and they’ve been much better than they were last year. They enter this one at 68-56 and are in solid position for a wild card spot in the NL. They got off to a mediocre start, but they’ve been one of the league’s hottest teams over the last couple of months. They’ve been playing particularly well recently, going 7-1 in their last eight games entering Tuesday. As they look to keep the momentum going and shore up a playoff berth, they’ll turn to southpaw Patrick Corbin here.
20 Ks over his last 14.2 IP. Patrick Corbin is lights out. 🔥
— MLB (@MLB) April 18, 2019
Corbin was the team’s big free-agent acquisition, and so far he’s delivered on his massive deal. He enters this one with a 3.34 ERA, and in six of his last 11 starts, he’s given up one or zero runs. Not surprisingly, the Nats are 8-3 in those 11 starts. Corbin pitched once against the Pirates earlier this year and was dominant, striking out 11 while giving up only four hits and one run over seven innings. Washington’s bullpen was terrible early on in the year which was holding them back, but they’ve since gotten it together. The lineup has been on fire, scoring at least 13 runs in four of their past five games.
The Pirates have been the complete opposite of the Nationals this year. They started off strong, but have since completely collapsed. Their run differential was always quite poor, so it was clear all along that they were going to fall apart at some point even when their record was above .500. They’ve now been exposed for the frauds that they were, and they’ve looked like one of the league’s worst teams recently. They enter this one at 51-73 and have the second-worst record in the National League. Things just keep getting worse, and they’re 7-27 in their past 34 games. They haven’t been much better at home, going 5-16 in their last 21 home games.
As they desperately try to get things turned around here, they’ll start Joe Musgrove. Musgrove started off hot like the rest of the team, and like the rest of the team, he’s faded hard. He enters this one with a 4.59 ERA, and he has a 7.31 ERA in three August starts. Musgrove has a 5.10 ERA at home this year, and he’ll have the misfortune of facing off against a Washington lineup that is red hot at the moment. The Pirates haven’t just been losing games recently they’ve been losing them badly, as evidenced by the 13-0 beatdown they suffered in the opener of this series. Over their last three games, the Pirates have managed just one total run.
- 7-27 in their last 34 games overall
- 5-16 in their last 21 home games
- 0-11 in their last 11 during game 3 of a series
- 7-1 in their last 8 overall
- 8-3 in Corbin’s last 11 starts
- 26-7 in their last 33 vs. a team with a losing record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Nationals here. The Pirates have looked like the worst team in the league the past few weeks, and they’ve been completely lifeless. The Nationals have been on fire, producing at least 13 runs in four of their past five games. They’re 26-7 in their last 33 games against teams with losing records, and Pittsburgh just doesn’t have any fight in them right now. This one won’t be close.
Prediction: Nationals -150
Full-Game Total Pick
This one is tougher because Washington’s lineup has been so good while Pittsburgh’s has been so bad, but I like the under here. Corbin has been great recently, and he should completely shutdown this Pittsburgh offense. The under is 8-1 in Corbin’s last nine starts, and the Pirates have scored just one total run across their last three games.