Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#957 Washington Nationals -235 vs.
#958 Miami Marlins 7
Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 6:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins

When and Where: Saturday, April 20, Marlins Park, Miami, Fla., 6:10 p.m. EDT.

Max Scherzer has not been at his dominating best of late, but that could change Saturday night when he tries to win his seventh consecutive start against the Miami Marlins.

Scherzer out to extend mastery of Marlins

Scherzer (1-2, 3.33 ERA) has not started a season 1-3 since 2015, his first with the Nationals, but facing the Marlins has usually been what gets the three-time Cy Young Award winner has gotten back on track of late.

Scherzer is 6-0 with a 2.20 ERA in his last six starts versus Miami, striking out 45 in 41 innings and limiting Marlins hitters to a .212 batting average in those victories. The right-hander has also been the beneficiary of tremendous run support in those games as the Nationals have scored at least five runs in every game and 59 overall.

He is 12-3 with a 2.98 ERA lifetime against the Marlins and has gone 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 10 road starts. Scherzer has fanned 67 in 63 2-3 innings of those games, while Marlins hitters have a collective .192 batting average.

Last season he tore through the Marlins five times, posting a 2.38 era. In the last three wins, Scherzer conceded two runs in 21 innings while striking out 28.

The righty did not get a decision Sunday versus Pittsburgh after giving up three runs and seven hits in eight innings of a 4-3 Nationals loss. After yielding three runs and nine hits while striking out 21 in 12 2-3 innings of his first two starts, Scherzer has been reached for seven runs and 15 hits with 14 strikeouts in 14 1-3 innings of the last two.

Scherzer did have two extra days off between starts after taking a comebacker off his leg in an April 7 start against the Mets, which may have contributed to him being off-kilter.

Martin Prado‘s .474 lifetime average against Scherzer (18 for 38) is the highest of any player with at least 25 at-bats against the right-hander.

Urena tries to build on positives from last start for Marlins

After three subpar starts to 2019, Jose Urena (0-3, 6.53) put forth a quality outing last time out but had nothing to show for it. The right-hander allowed a solo homer and scattered six other hits over seven innings, but he was long gone by the time the Marlins were on the short end of a 3-1, 14-inning loss to Philadelphia on Sunday.

The good news was the outing knocked nearly three runs off Urena’s earned run average, but it also left him still winless in his career as a starter in March and April. Urena is 0-7 with a 5.37 ERA in 10 March and April starts.

Urena went 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in three starts versus Washington last year and threw a two-hitter in the most recent one, a 12-1 rout in the nation’s capital Aug. 19. He did not get a decision against Scherzer at home May 25 after yielding four runs and five hits in six innings of Miami’s 9-5 loss.

Anthony Rendon is 4 for 9 versus Urena.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

A good portion of this pick is expecting Scherzer to maintain his status quo against the Marlins, but their offense backing him in these meetings makes it an all-out pick worth giving the runs compared to the -225 money line.

Prediction: Nationals -1.5 runs (-125)

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This is more about the Nationals having a strong track record of providing runs for Scherzer in this matchup, which goes in tandem with not believing Urena can follow up his last outing with another gem.

Prediction: OVER 7 runs (-110)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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Rating:

There is more confidence in this pick than the other best full prop bet available, which is an over/under of Scherzer’s strikeouts (8.5 at -150).

Prediction: Nationals OVER 3.5 runs (-140)

First Five Innings Side Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Another confidence pick in Scherzer finding his groove. He allowed one run total in the first five innings in each of his last three starts versus the Marlins in 2018.

Prediction: Nationals -0.5 runs (-150)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Rating:

The under is worth the flyer here given Scherzer’s dominance of the Marlins, and also because Urena has helped deliver a five-inning under in his last two starts. Urena also allowed three total runs in the first five innings of his three starts versus Washington last year.

Prediction: UNDER 3.5 runs (Even)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Urena’s 13.50 ERA in the first inning is inflated by a five-spot given up to the Mets — he has allowed one run in the other three outings. Scherzer did give up two runs in the opening frame of his last start, but that can be talked away as being off rhythm with the extra two days between starts. He got through the first inning unscathed in all five starts versus Miami last season.

Prediction: NO to 1st-inning run (-145)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.