The Pittsburgh Pirates are back at PNC Park after participating in the Little League Classic against the Chicago Cubs at Bowman Field last night. They took it on the chin with a 7-1 loss to the Cubs. Their only run came on a solo blast by Sterling Marte off Craig Kimbrel in the top of the 9th. It was the first pitch Kimbrel threw in the game.
Pedro Strop was called on for mop-up duty, and while he loaded the bases and gave the Pirates a small glimmer of hope, Strop got Melky Cabrera swinging for a 3rd strike to end the game. It’s a big win for the Cubs, as they move into a tie with the Cardinals for 1st in the NL Central.
Nothing much has changed in the last month. In the sense that no one has been able to pull away and get comfortable. It’s likely going to continue to be a close ride until the final day of the regular season. The Cubs finally get back home where they play their best ball.
For the Nationals, they are well behind in their divisional battle, but with over a month left to play in the regular season, it wouldn’t be an impossible chore to catch the Braves. They are just going to need to get hot and hope the Braves stumble. If the Nationals miss out on the NL East, they’re a good chance they go to the Wild Card Game, though.
If the postseason started today, then the Nationals would be hosting the NL Wild Card Game against the Chicago Cubs. With the struggles that the Cubs have had on the road, the Nationals would likely be the favorites in that one. However, it’d be easy to see a lot of Cubs money come in.
The Phillies, Brewers, and Mets are all two games out of a wildcard. Joe Ross has been coming on recently and will look to stay hot tonight in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are expected to counter Ross with Trevor Williams. Head below for our free Nationals vs. Pirates pick.
Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Pick:
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The Nationals have been quite ecstatic with the level of production that they’ve been getting out of Joe Ross lately. After a sluggish start to the season, Ross has been on fire recently. In fact, it has been one of the best stretches for him in his entire career.
In his previous three outings, which go across 18 innings of work, Ross has allowed just 1-run for an ERA of 0.50 and 1.00 WHIP. It isn’t like he has just been getting lucky. Ross has been able to limit baserunners as well.
Overall this season, Ross has actually been pretty competent on the road. He hasn’t liked pitching in Washington, though, and that’s skewed his numbers up. Ross has posted an ERA of 9.00 and 2.24 WHIP at home, while looking sharp as a visiting hurler.
He enters Pittsburgh with a 3.86 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 25.2 innings pitching on the road. Ross should expect some solid run support from his offense in this one. They’ve been on fire recently and look to hammer a struggling Trevor Williams on Monday night.
The Nats head into this one with 31 runs scored in their previous two games. They had 13 runs up on the board by the end of the 3rd inning yesterday afternoon. There were three hitters with at least 3 RBI’s, Brian Dozier having the hottest bat with 4 RBI’s in the win.
Williams heads into this one with an ERA of 7.88 and 1.88 WHIP in his previous three outings. He’s yielded 11 earned runs in his last 10 innings pitched. Additionally, Williams has failed to have control at home. He has struggled with a 6.11 ERA and 1.47 WHIP at PNC Park. After a tough series against the Cubs, expect more of the same for the Pirates against the Nationals to begin the week.