The Washington Nationals (11-22) will host the Houston Astros (21-11) on Saturday in the second game of their three game series. Friday's series opening game was not complete at the time of this preview.
Astros win 10th straightAfter getting off to a 7-9 start, the Astros have won 14 of their last 16 games. On Thursday the Astros finished a suspended game with the Twins winning 11-3, and followed that up with a 5-0 victory to extend their winning streak to 10 games. Houston now leads the Angels by half a game for first place in the division.
Hottest team in baseball. pic.twitter.com/U2xvKKNt7k— Houston Astros (@astros) May 13, 2022
Offensively, Houston is fourth hitting 1.27 home runs per game, 17th averaging 4.16 runs per game, 24th with a .224 batting average. Yordan Alvarez is second in MLB with 10 home runs, and fifth with a .992 OPS. Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena leads the team with a 2.3 WAR, has six home runs, and is tied for the team lead with 20 RBI.
The Houston Astros pitching staff is second in MLB with a 2.73 ERA, with the bullpen leading all of MLB with a 2.43 ERA. Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) and Cristian Javier (2-0, 0.83 ERA, 0.78 WHIP) are both options to start on Saturday. On Sunday against Detroit, Odorizzi pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball in a 5-0 victory. Javier came in after Odorizzi and tossed three shutout innings in that same game.
Nationals the worst home team in MLBThe Washington Nationals have lost six of their last eight games after falling to the New York Mets 4-1 on Thursday. Washington is last in the National League East, already 11 games out of first. Heading into this series, the Nationals are 4-13 at Nationals Park, which is the worst home record in MLB. In Thursday's loss to the Mets, the Nationals were getting shut out until Juan Soto homered his eighth home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth inning.
On the season, the Nationals' offense is fourth with a .252 batting average, 15th in scoring with 4.24 runs per game, and 25th averaging 0.76 home runs. Josh Bell leads the team with 21 RBI.
Washington's pitching staff overall is 28th with a 4.77 ERA. The bullpen is 20th with a 3.96 ERA. Erick Fedde (2-2, 3.90 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) is scheduled to make his seventh start of the season on Saturday. Last Sunday, Fedde tossed five shut out innings and allowed two hits in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The Nationals' offense is fourth with a .252 batting average, 15th scoring 4.24 runs per game, and 25th averaging 0.76 home runs.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
No need to fade the hottest team in baseball here. Houston has the best bullpen in baseball right now and they will be facing a Washington team that is averaging an MLB worst 2.5 runs per game at home. The Astros have won their last five games as a road favorite and should fare well against the worst home team in baseball. The Nationals starter Erick Fedde is 0-2 with a 6.92 ERA at home this season, and according to covers.com, Washington has lost 42 of its last 53 games as a home underdog. Take Houston.
Full-Game Total Pick
This season, the over/under is 9-23 in Astros' games, and they have not allowed more than three runs in any of their last 12 games. Seeing how poorly the Nationals have performed at home offensively, I don't see that trend breaking on Saturday. I expect Houston to do most of the scoring in this game, and the Astros have only scored more than five runs once out of their last seven games. The total of 8.5 seems too high. I'm taking the under.