The Washington Nationals (24-22) and Pittsburgh Pirates (19-26) will open up a four-game National League series Thursday night at PNC Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET on the MLB Network
Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington has alternated wins and losses over its last six games, as it looks to bounce back from a 2-1 setback to the Cincinnati Reds as -143 home favorites Wednesday, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in four contests. The Nationals are still playing without the services of three starting players, including first baseman Adam LaRoche over the past 12 contests—hitting .220 and averaging 3.5 runs over that span. Washington is 5-2 in its last seven series openers.
Nationals starting pitcher Blake Treinen (0-1, 0.77 ERA) will be making his fifth appearance of the season, but his first since May 6—suffering a 8-3 home loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The right-hander has gone 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Syracuse, as he fills in for an injured Gio Gonzalez in the rotation, who is on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.
Pittsburgh has also fallen into a pattern of alternating wins and losses over its last four affairs, as it comes off a 9-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles as -123 home favorites, while going OVER the betting total for just the third time in its last 10 contests. Pirates first baseman Ike Davis is batting .410 in his last 13 games, but outfielder Andrew McCutchen will miss AL pitching—hitting .462 in his last 14 interleague games at home. Pittsburgh is 4-10 in its last 14 games following a win.
Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (1-4, 4.71 ERA) hasn’t picked up a win since April 17, as he comes off a 7-1 road defeat to the New York Yankees last time out—surrendering five runs and six hits over 6.1 innings. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 4.02 ERA in six home games (five starts), with opposing hitters batting .243 against him. Volquez has compiled a 0-2 record and 7.53 ERA in his last three starts versus the Nationals.
Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 9-2-1 in the Nationals last 12 games as an underdog.
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