Pittsburgh Pirates (73-87; 62-91-7 O/U) vs. Washington Nationals (97-63; 68-81-11 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 3:05pm EST
Line: Washington -170/Pittsburgh +160
The Washington Nationals will host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the regular season finale Sunday afternoon from PNC Park. The Pirates will give the nod to 25-year old left-hander Trevor Williams, and 32-year old left-hander Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for the Nationals. The Nationals lead the season series 3-2.
Brault Looks to Close Solid Season with 2-0 Record
Steven Brault will make his 11th appearance and fourth start of the season, looking to end his season on a positive note. Brault tossed three shutout innings of relief against the Orioles in his latest action earlier this week and notched the save. The young right-hander pitched well in his time with the Pirates, posting a 3.86 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP to go with a 1-0 record in 32.2 innings pitched. Brault has only conceded two home runs all season. Andrew McCutchen had a game he’ll never forget earlier this week, belting two homers with eight RBI’s in one game. The 30-year old centerfielder had a solid season, posting a .279 average with 28 home runs and 88 RBI’s. McCutchen is 6 for 21 with three RBI’s against the Nationals this season. He has now registered at least 80 RBI’s in six out of his last seven seasons.
The Pirates are scoring an average of 4.08 runs per game, ranking them down at 28th in the Majors, and are hitting .243 as a team. The Pittsburgh pitching is carrying a 4.23 team ERA, placing them 13th in the Majors.
Gonzalez Walks Season-High Five Batters in Loss
Gio Gonzalez will get the call for the 32nd time of the season, looking to finish his season off with 15 victories. Gonzalez walked five and allowed three runs in five innings to the Phillies in his previous start, and was charged with the loss. The veteran left-hander had another tremendous season, sporting a 2.75 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP accompanied with a 15-8 record in 196.2 innings logged. He has not faced the Pirates yet this season, and possesses a perfect 4-0 record with a 3.09 ERA in eight career starts. David Freese is 1 for 9 against Gonzalez, while Starling Marte is 4 for 15, and Andrew McCutchen is 5 for 17. Anthony Rendon has solidified himself as one of the better hitters in the game after another terrific season. The 27-year old third baseman is hitting .301 with 24 home runs and 97 RBI’s. Rendon is 4 for 15 against the Pirates this season and has driven in 11 runs this month.
The Nationals potent offense is currently averaging 5.06 runs per game, good for sixth in the Major Leagues, and feature a .266 team batting average. The Washington pitching features a strong 3.84 team ERA, ranking them sixth in the Majors.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- No Key Trends
The Washington Nationals are:
- over is 3-0-1 in Gonzalez’ last 4 home starts against the Pirates.
- over is 6-0-1 in Gonzalez’ last 7 starts overall against the Pirates.
I am going with the over in this contest. Gonzalez has not been quite as sharp as of late, allowing ten runs in his last 17 innings pitched, and he will not go deep into the game in his final start before the Postseason. Furthermore, Brault has allowed 25 runs in his 34.2 career innings pitched on the road over two seasons in the Majors, so I am confident the Nationals can have a strong afternoon at the plate.