Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#951 Washington Nationals -155 vs.
#952 Pittsburgh Pirates 9
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 7:05pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals will resume a four-game series when they square off at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh in the pits

While Washington leads the National League wild-card race and trails first-place Atlanta by five games in the NL East, the Pirates have fallen apart since the all-star break with seven victories in the last 35 contests. Rookie Bryan Reynolds had one of the four hits for Pittsburgh in the series opener and leads the team with a .326 batting average while teammate Starling Marte saw his six-game hitting streak end. Marte, though, is 12-for-27 over his past seven contests.

Right-hander Chris Archer, who has not earned a victory since June 6, is taking the mound for Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Archer (3-9, 5.23 ERA) has pitched better this month while registering a 3.18 ERA with 25 strikeouts over 17.0 innings and three starts, but his winless streak has reached 12 contests. The 30-year-old two-time all-star gave up four runs (three earned) over 5.0 innings and matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts in a loss at the Angels last Wednesday. Adam Eaton is 7-for-15 with a double against Archer, who limited Washington to one run over seven innings in a no-decision April 13.

Power surge

The Nationals look to continue their historic offensive surge on Tuesday. They have scored 62 runs over the last five games–four more than they have ever recorded in that span–after pounding out 15 hits, including four homers, on the way to a 13-0 rout in Monday’s series opener. Trea Turner belted one of the home runs in the series opener to extend his career-high on-base streak to 26 contests for Washington, while teammate Asdrubal Cabrera also went deep and is 11-for-29 with 10 RBIs in nine games since joining the team.

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 3.82 ERA) leads the National League with 15 wins and will go after his career-high 16th victory when he opposes Archer. Strasburg has not been as sharp in his last three starts, but managed to post a win Wednesday against Cincinnati when he allowed four runs over 5.2 innings. The 31-year-old San Diego State product has surrendered 16 runs over 17.1 innings combined in his last three starts after giving up four in his previous five outings.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Strasburg is 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA in nine career games against Pittsburgh. The Nationals should feel great about both their pitching and hitting in this one. Washington is 35-17 in its last 52 against right-handed starters, 39-12 in Strasburg’s last 51 road starts, and 4-0 in Strasburg’s last four starts against Pittsburgh. The Pirates are 15-38 in their last 53 against winning opponents, 1-6 in their last seven against the National League East, and 0-7 in Archer’s last seven starts.

Prediction: Washington Nationals

Full-Game Total Pick

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Pittsburgh first baseman Josh Bell needs one homer to tie Bobby Bonilla (32) for the single-season franchise record among switch hitters. Marte is 7-for-18 with a homer against Strasburg. The over is 5-2 in the Nationals’ last seven overall, 6-0 in Strasburg’s last six starts, 4-1 in his last five road starts, and 4-1 in his last five starts on four days of rest. It is also 4-0 in the Pirates’ last four against the National League East and 23-9-2 in their last 24 at home against right-handed starters. Look for this one to go over the total.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining the Winners & Whiners Staff, he worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.