Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Betting Preview
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh
When: Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 7:05 PM ET
Line: Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – view all MLB lines
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the Washington Nationals (24-13)
Bryce Harper is quick to reciprocate the Nationals after receiving a massive one-year $21.625 million extension deal. Since inking his new contract, Harper has gone 6-for-12 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI’s. Washington won 6-5 at home over Philadelphia Sunday.
Harper is going to be a threat for opposing pitchers, especially when he’s this hot. Fellow first overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg (3-1, 3.28 ERA) is hoping Harper’s bat is still smoking, as he tries to recover from his worst start of the year to date. Strasburg allowed five earned runs on eight hits while striking out nine in six innings of a 7-6 home win over Baltimore on May 10.
Strasburg is 3-2 in his career with a 2.51 ERA in six starts against the Bucs. That includes his major league debut in 2010, when he struck out 14 Pirates in a 5-2 triumph in Washington.
Outfielder Michael Taylor is complementing Harper with some terrific batting of late, having gone 8-for-21 with a pair of home runs in his last six games.
Betting on the Pittsburgh Pirates (16-22)
The Pirates have the third fewest runs in the majors but they’ve been finding the home plate a bit more often of late. Pittsburgh has scored 10 runs its last two games, winning both, to split the four-game series in Arizona. The Bucs defeated the Bucs Sunday 6-4 in extra innings to punctuate the series.
Strasburg is going to be a big challenge for Pirates hitters, but the Nationals’ vulnerable bullpen offers Pittsburgh a spot to pick on. The Nationals’ relievers have the third worst ERA (5.44) in the big leagues.
Toeing the rubber for the Pirates is Chad Kuhl, who sports a not-so-cool numbers of a 1-3 record and a 5.81 ERA. Kuhl has been shaky on the mound this season and he’s coming off a bad outing, yielding four earned runs on six hits in five innings of a 5-2 loss on May 10. Kuhl is 1-1 with a 10.24 ERA in three home starts this year.
Andrew McCutchen, the 2013 National League MVP, is batting just .212 this season but is 12-for-48 (.250) at PNC Park. He is 3-for-12 in his career against Strasburg.
Washington wins, 7-3.
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