MLB Predictions: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals

The Pittsburgh Pirates (59-39) and Washington Nationals (48-52) will continue a four-game National League series Wednesday night at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals have lost five games in a row
The Washington Nationals have lost five games in a row

Pittsburgh has won three games in a row, including a 5-1 victory over Washington as +105 road underdogs Tuesday, while going UNDER the betting total of 8.5.  The Pirates have won the first two games of this series despite being just 2-for-18 with men in scoring position.  “That’s who we are,” commented Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.  “We’ve got to do the little things.”  The club leads the league in saves with 36, but will be without the services of closer Jason Grilli, who recently landed on the 15-day disabled list.  Pittsburgh is 9-4 as road underdogs of +125 to +150, with the OVER going 8-5 in that situation.

Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (9-4, 2.44 ERA) had his personal four-game winning streak snapped last time out, as he suffered a 5-3 road loss to the Cincinnati Reds.  The left-hander is 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA in seven road outings, with opposing hitters batting .228 against him.  Liriano will be making his first career start against the Nationals.

Washington has lost five games in a row, as the offense has scored just 11 runs over that span, while the UNDER is 8-2 in its last 10 contests overall.  “We’ve been pretty unlucky,” commented Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.  “Instead of getting the big hit, we hit the ball that ends the rally.”  The Nationals are four games below .500 for the first time since Sept. 23, 2011.  Offensively, the team has just six hits in its last 78 at-bats with runners in scoring position.  Washington is 10-7 as home favorites of -125 to -150 this season, with the OVER going 11-6 in those 17 opportunities.

Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (5-7, 2.97 ERA) has watched the club lose four of his last five outings, including a no-decision effort in a 3-2 setback at home to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The right-hander is 4-3 with a 1.75 ERA in 10 home appearances, issuing 13 walks and striking out 69 batters in 67 combined frames.  In three career games versus the Pirates, Strasburg has tallied a 2-0 record and 3.15 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Pirates due to their 8-1 record in their last nine games as a road underdog.

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