It hasn’t been a great week for the Cincinnati Reds who just fell to second place in the NL Central after losing three of four games to the Cubs and are now a half game behind the Brewers at 59-52. They’ll look to make that ground back up this weekend with three games at home against the 46-63 Washington Nationals. Washington actually helped the Reds hold off the Brewers by taking two of three from Milwaukee this week.
For Game 1 of this weekend set the Nationals will go with Patrick Corbin who is 7-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 22 starts. Corbin will be opposed by Graham Ashcraft making his 21st start. Ashcraft comes in at 6-7 with a 5.31 ERA.
Let’s get right into the odds for tonight’s matchup in Cincinnati.
Nationals vs. Reds odds, run line and total
Nationals vs. Reds prediction and pick
First, let’s start with the pitching matchup because this is a pretty ugly one to dig into. Patrick Corbin does have a 4.99 FIP which is a bit better than his ERA, but actually if it was 5.00 instead of 4.99 it wouldn’t seem much better. Don’t let seeing a four there trick you. Corbin is not a good pitcher and has allowed 21 home runs in 22 starts with just 87 strikeouts in 126.0 innings of work.
For as bad as that seems it’s actually slightly better than Ashcraft who has a 5.14 FIP and just 76 strikeouts with 43 walks in 105.0 innings. Ashcraft hasn’t given up as many home runs which is impressive playing half of his games in Cincinnati, but he’s still found a way to give up a lot of runs.
The edge offensively goes to the Reds, not just because they have the better lineup in a vacuum, but because they have the better matchup with a top 10 offense against lefties and Spencer Steer and Matt McLain who particularly crush left-handed pitching.
In terms of the totality of the pitching staff, Cincinnati is 18th in ERA over the past 30 days which isn’t great, but is a lot better than 29th where the Nats reside. Those are all very small advantages, so the odds seem a bit out of whack to me. I'm not sure that Cincinnati should be as big of a favorite as they are, so I’ll take the run with Washington.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change