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Baltimore is in the midst of a disappointing season that is sure to bring a fire sale come the MLB trade deadline. The Orioles snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 10-4 victory over the Marlins on Sunday. The team heads into play on Tuesday a whopping 30 games below the .500-mark and 27.5 games back of the AL East-leading New York Yankees in the division race. Superstar shortstop Manny Machado is among the Orioles’ players expected to be dealt at some point this season.
Cashner looks to add to streak of quality outings
The Orioles are scheduled to hand the ball to right-hander Andrew Cashner for the second game of the Beltway Series against the Nats. Casner missed his last start after landing on the disabled list with a lower back strain, but has reacted well to his time off. He will look to regain form against the Nationals after surrendering at least eight hits in each of his last four outings. Despite being very hittable, the Orioles’ right-hander has compiled quality outings in back-to-back starts, but enters Wednesday’s outing having lost three consecutive decisions. Cashner comes in with a disappointing 2-8 overall record to go along with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 13 starts this season.
Cashner has some experience pitching against the Nationals from his days with the Padres. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball on the road in Washington last season, but owns a 4.37 ERA against them dating back to 2015. During that span, he is 1-2 against the Nationals in four starts. Three of those starts came at Nationals Park, where he owns a 1-1 record and a 4.32 ERA.
Harper struggling at the plate in contract year
Injuries have reduced the Nationals’ vaunted starting rotation to a somewhat patched-together group. They entered the week with the lowest ERA of any starting rotation in the National League, but it has been a different story for the Nationals over the past two weeks. Without Jeremy Hellickson or Stephen Strasburg, and with Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark struggling, Washington has posted the seventh-worst ERA in the major leagues at 5.22. The team was forced to start right-hander Jefry Rodriguez in the series opener against Baltimore on Tuesday and they have yet to officially announce a starter for Wednesday night’s game.
Perhaps more concerning for the Nationals is the performance of lefty slugger Bryce Harper, who is just 1 for his last 27 at the plate and is now batting a pedestrian .212 on the season. Sitting Harper does not feel like a viable option, especially long-term, but he could be playing himself out a $400 million deal.
The most likely candidate to start Wednesday night’s game is left-hander Gio Gonzalez. He comes in with a 6-3 overall record to go along with a 3.01 ERA for the season, but has struggled over his previous two outings. Gonzalez is fresh off of a start in which he surrendered five earned runs on nine hits in six innings of work against the Blue Jays after lasting just 3 ⅓ frames in his previous outing against the Giants.
The Nationals’ lefty started against the Orioles earlier this season, tossing 7 ⅔ shutout innings of six-hit ball against them on May 28.
- Orioles are 2-7 in their last 9 interleague road games.
- Orioles are 11-40 in their last 51 road games.
- Nationals are 9-4 in their last 13 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Nationals are 48-23 in their last 71 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
If Gonzalez is indeed the starter for Wednesday’s game, it will be tough to go against the Nationals here. Cashner has been very hittable as of late and several players on the Nationals’ current roster hit him pretty hard. Harper is batting .500 off of Cashner in 10 at-bats over the past five seasons, while Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, and Mark Reynolds also come in with solid career numbers off of the Orioles’ right-hander. Gonzalez, meanwhile, shutout the Orioles earlier this season and should be able to rebound from back-to-back disappointing outings over his past two starts. Look for Washington to keep pace in the NL East race by getting a much-needed win over a reeling Orioles team on Wednesday night.
Pick: Washington Nationals
Cashner owns a losing record against the Nationals over the past three seasons, but he has put up a respectable 4.32 ERA at Nationals Park during that span. Gonzalez, meanwhile, overcame poor career numbers against the Orioles in his last start against them, shutting them down, while pitching into the eighth inning on May 28. Neither offense is performing well right now. Over the past week, Baltimore ranks 25th in the MLB in runs scored, while the Nationals rank 27th in the MLB during that span. With how poorly both teams have been hitting the ball, you have to like the under in this game on Wednesday night.
- Under is 7-2-1 in Orioles last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 10-3 in Orioles last 13 on grass.
- Under is 8-0 in Nationals last 8 interleague home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Under is 11-1 in Nationals last 12 interleague home games.