MLB Picks: Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The Washington Nationals (16-12) and Philadelphia Phillies (13-13) will open up a National League East series at Citizens Bank Park Friday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET

Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

The Washington Nationals are 13-1 when scoring four or more runs
The Washington Nationals are 13-1 when scoring four or more runs

Washington has won four of its last five games, including a 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros as -140 road favorites Wednesday, while going UNDER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest.  The Nationals are third in the NL in averaging 4.50 runs per game, while their bullpen boasts a 2.14 ERA.  The club is 13-1 when scoring four or more runs, and 3-11 when plating three or fewer.  Washington is 19-33 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 the last two-plus seasons.

Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 4.24 ERA) is coming off an 11-1 home victory over the San Diego Padres last time out, as he allowed just seven hits over seven shutout frames.  The right-hander is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two road outings this season, with opposing hitters batting .325 against him.  In six lifetime outings against the Phillies, Strasburg has tallied a 2-1 record and 2.65 ERA.

Philadelphia had its two-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 6-1 defeat to the New York Mets as -136 home favorites Tuesday, while pushing up against the betting total of 7.  The Phillies are fifth in the majors in averaging 4.12 runs per game, but they’ll enter this series with a 4.84 bullpen ERA.  Philadelphia is 2-1 at home with a money line of -100 to -125 this season, with the OVER going 2-1 in those three opportunities.

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (3-2, 3.29 ERA) has watched the squad win his last two efforts, but he didn’t receive a decision last time out in a 6-5 road victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The left-hander is 0-2 with a 2.40 ERA in two home appearances—issuing just a single walk and striking out 21 batters in 15 combined innings.  In 11 lifetime games versus the Nationals, Lee has put together a 6-4 record and 2.87 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nationals due to their 22-9 mark in their last 31 games versus division opponents.

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