As per usual, the Friday night MLB slate is jam-packed. There are 15 games on the docket to consider, and a number of intriguing choices abound as several solid series get underway tonight. Our attention has been drawn to a showdown in the nation’s capital between a pair of National League contenders.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in Washington for the opener of a three-game set with the Nationals. The visitors enter tonight’s game with a record of 3-2 over the last five games, while the hosts are riding a four-game winning streak.
The two clubs are in the thick of the NL playoff chase. The Nationals are the current leaders in the Wild Card standings, just slightly ahead of the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers are a game off the pace, so this series marks a golden opportunity for them to make up some ground or take the lead.
It should be a solid and entertaining weekend set between two squads with plenty to play for. Let’s break down this matchup in full detail, starting with the way the oddsmakers see it.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals, 7:05 PM EST, MASN2
Brewers vs. Nationals Pick:
The Brewers opened up the week at home for a quick two-game set with the Minnesota Twins. The dropped the opener by a score of 7-5 but bounced back for a 6-5 win on Wednesday. Trent Grisham’s three-run shot in the 8th inning proved to be the difference-maker.
Last weekend, the club was home for three with the Texas Rangers. They won the first two games by a combined score of 9-7 but lost a 1-0 decision in the finale. In addition to being a factor in the Wild Card race, the Brewers are just a game off the pace in the NL Central.
The Nationals started the week at home by pounding the Cincinnati Reds for a three-game sweep. They won the series by a combined score of 27-14. On Wednesday, the bats were really alive as the club pounded out 17 hits as part of a 17-7 victory.
Over the weekend, Washington was in New York for three games with the Mets. They dropped the first two games before picking up a 7-4 win on Sunday. The team is in 2nd place in the NL East, 5.5 games back of the division-leading Atlanta Braves.
Tonight’s game marks the start of a six-game road trip for Milwaukee. They just wrapped up 3-2 homestand and check in with a record of 36-26 at home on the year. The Brewers are 27-32 in away games for the season, going 4-5 in their most recent road swing.
The team is 6-4 over its last 10 games. Milwaukee has won two of its last three series, but the club slogged through a four-game losing streak to begin the month. On the year, the club has a run differential of -21, but the record is five games over .500.
Washington continues a six-game homestand with this series. They’re a perfect 3-0 thus far and stand at 34-25 on the home field for the year. The club has been about average in away contests this season with a mark of 31-30.
The Nationals are 7-3 over the last 10 games, winning their last four in a row. For its last three series, the team is 2-1. Washington has a run differential of +60 on the year, which ranks 5th in the NL. The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the league by a wide margin on that front at +208.
Milwaukee has the edge on the long ball, but Washington has the advantage elsewhere and the hotter bats. Anthony Rendon leads the way for Washington with a .318 BA, 26 homers, and 92 RBIs. Juan Soto has chipped in with 25 HRs and 79 ribbies. Christian Yelich leads the Brewers with a .329 BA, 39 HRs, and 85 RBIs. Mike Moustakas has contributed 27 dongs and 63 RBIs.
Houser has 26 appearances and nine starts on the year. His last three outings have all been for five innings or more. Last time out, he held the Rangers to one run over six innings, fanning 10 batters to get the win. Corbin is having a solid season, but he was roughed up for five earned runs two starts ago. He settled down in his last outing, allowing two to the Mets over six innings in a no-decision.
The Brewers have the clear advantage when the bullpens get involved, but the Nationals did address its shortcomings at the trade deadline. That hasn’t translated into demonstrable statistical results as of yet. Over his last 10 outings, Houser has pitched five innings or more five times. Corbin has lasted six innings or more for seven of his last 10 starts.
Earlier this season, the clubs hooked up for a three-game set in Milwaukee. The Brewers got the sweep, winning the three games by a combined score of 18-6. This set marks the last time these two squads will face off in the regular season.
Despite the blowup spot two games ago, Corbin has been real solid over his last 10 games, allowing two earned runs or less eight times over that span. The Nationals are the hotter team right now, but the Brewers have also been playing well since the four-game skid earlier this month. On offense, the Washington bats have been smoking. We’ll take the hosts to get the win in the series opener.