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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals

Pittsburgh Pirates (7-5) at Washington Nationals (6-6)

MLB: Saturday, April 13th, 2019 at 4:05 pm (Nationals Park)

Line and Odds: Washington Nationals -116/Pittsburgh Pirates +106 Over/Under: 9

Free ESPN MLB Picks Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates


Game 1 of this series with the Washington Nationals should go a long way towards putting Pittsburgh’s poor series with the Chicago Cubs behind them. The Pirates lost the series with Chicago by scoring only 5 runs in 3 games. It looked like these offensive struggles were going to continue in the Nationals series early in game 1. Through 7 innings, the Pirates scored 1 run. They were able to keep the Nats from scoring, but the bats were not doing their jobs. However, the Pirates were able to score 2 runs in the 8th inning. They followed that up with 3 more runs in the 10th inning by way of a Colin Moran home run. Pittsburgh beat Washington 6-3 as they head into game 2 of this 3 game series.

The Pirates have proven to have one of the best pitching staffs/defensive units in baseball through the first dozen games. They are #1 in baseball in opponents’ batting average, giving up a BA of .186. Pittsburgh is also 1st in hits given up, allowing 6.25 hits per game. The Pirates are 7th in opponents’ runs per game allowed, averaging 3.58 runs given up per outing. Pittsburgh is 4th with an opponents’ slugging percentage of .351. They are 2nd with an opponents’ on base percentage of .262. Their opponent on base + slugging percentage of .614 ranks 2nd in baseball. Chris Archer will head to the mound as the Pirates’ starting pitcher in this matchup. Archer is facing a 5-game suspension for his role in a brawl with the Cincinnati Reds, but he is allowed to make this start while his appeal is pending. He has made 2 starts this season, totaling 11 innings pitched. He has an ERA this season of 2.45 and a WHIP of 1.091. He has a strikeout to walk ratio of 15 K’s to 5 BB’s.

Pittsburgh is hoping to find a way to get their offensive level to match their defense. The Pirates rank 22nd in scoring, putting up 3.75 runs per game. Most of their batting statistics indicate that their lineup is middle-of-the-road when compared to the rest of the MLB. They rank 18th in batting average, hitting .241 so far this season. The Pirates are also 18th in hits per game at 8.25 per outing. Their slugging percentage of .377 is 22nd-best in baseball, while their .321 on base percentage is 15th. Pittsburgh has an OPS of .698, which ranks 21th in on base + slugging. OF Melky Cabrera leads the Pirates in batting average (.394) and on base percentage (.412). 1B Josh Bell leads the team in slugging percentage (.568) and OPS (.941).


Patrick Corbin threw a gem in yesterday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but his strong efforts were not rewarded with a win. The Nationals’ starting pitcher threw 7 innings, struck out 11 batters, and allowed 1 earned run. He gave up just 4 hits in the outing. Unfortunately for Washington, the bullpen was not able to hold the 2-1 lead that Corbin handed them. The pen gave up 3 singles in the 8th that allowed Pittsburgh to take the lead 3-2. Anthony Rendon immediately hit a solo home run to tie it up at 3-3 in the bottom of the 8th. However, the Nationals were shutout for the rest of the game. Washington looks to rebound from their 6-3 extra inning loss with a stronger effort in game 2.

Last night’s loss notwithstanding, putting up runs hasn’t been much of a problem for the Nationals this season. Washington is 3rd in the MLB in scoring, averaging 6.42 runs per game. Washington ranks 11th with a batting average of .260. The Nationals’ lineup does have a problem when it comes to getting struck-out as their batters average 9.83 strikeouts per game (23th in the MLB). Washington is 10th in slugging percentage and 11th in on base percentage. They have an OPS of .800, which ranks 9th in Major League Baseball. The Nationals’ lineup is 8th in BABIP with a batting average of .312 when their batters put the ball in play. With the departure of Bryce Harper, 3B Anthony Rendon is proving himself to be the best hitter Washington has. He’s leads the Nationals in hits, home runs, RBI, batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. CF Victor Robles has probably been the 2nd best hitter in Washington as he’s 2nd on the team in home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS.

Defensively, the Washington Nationals have been fairly week through the first 12 games. They have given up 5.50 runs per game, which ranks 23rd in runs allowed. Their opponents hit for a batting average of .267, which is 24th in Major League Baseball. Washington is 20th in opponents’ slugging percentage at .440 and 25th in opponents’ on-base percentage at .342. Their opponents’ on base + slugging percentage of .790 ranks 23rd in opponents’ OPS. The Nationals defense struggles particularly when the opposing batter is able to put the ball in play. Their opponents’ BABIP is .342 which means they allow hits 34.2% of the time the batter puts the ball in play. This mark ranks 30th in baseball. Anibal Sanchez will be the starting pitcher for today’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sanchez had a tough time getting batters out in his first 2 starts of the year. He has pitched 9 and 2/3 innings and compiled an ERA of 6.52. He has a WHIP of 1.759 and a strikeout to walk ratio of 9 to 6.

Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends


Pittsburgh is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games on the road


Washington is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home

The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington’s last 5 games at home

Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh

ESPN MLB Scores Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals

I like the Washington Nationals against the money line in Game 2 of this series. Overall, I believe these two teams are fairly even. Game 1’s extra innings contest would seem to confirm this belief. Pittsburgh has a strong defense with a weak offense, while Washington has the reverse. I’m taking Washington because it gives me the opportunity to take the home team with a short number. Anibal Sanchez will get back on track and take advantage of a spotty Pirates batting lineup. Washington’s bats will come to life and avenge last night’s loss. Take the Washington Nationals.

Washington Nationals -116

Lorenzo Archer
Lorenzo Archer
Lorenzo is an expert with give unparalleled advice when it comes to the NBA, NFL and college sports. His slogan is "Eye Test Sports Without Stats" and that's exactly what you are going to get here. No fancy stats, just observation and analysis!