Orioles vs. Nationals MLB Pick – June 20th

It was a close one last night, but we dropped a 3-2 decision with my free MLB pick.

The Brewers’ damage was all done by the same bat as first baseman Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run homer and an RBI double off of Pirates’ right-hander Jameson Taillon to account for all of Milwaukee’s damage.

Rookie Freddy Peralta was excellent for the Brewers and kept his control issues at bay in this one with six shutout innings of work and zero walks with seven strikeouts.

The Pirates’ offense got to the Brewers’ bullpen for a pair of runs, but it wasn’t enough in the 3-2 defeat.

I am going to take a look into some interleague action tonight as the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals renew hostilities tonight in game two of a three-game set from Nationals Park in Washington.

The Nationals took last night’s series-opening slugfest by a 9-7 count to keep pace with the division-leading Braves who also won in Toronto.

The Orioles continue to toil in the MLB’s basement as their .282 winning percentage is the worst mark in all of baseball.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals

Andrew Cashner (4.98 ERA, 5.17 FIP, 1.69 WHIP) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3.01 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 1.35 WHIP)

There is some rain in the Washington area today but I expect this one to be played.

The Orioles will trot out right-hander Andrew Cashner this evening in what will be the veteran’s 14th start of the season. The thing with Cashner is you can bank on him allowing a minimum of three earned runs no matter how deep he goes into the game. Cashner has allowed three or more earned runs in 10 of his 13 starts so far this season while he’s done so in nine of his last 10 starts.

When you look at the leaderboards, or in this case the reverse leaderboards, of all qualified pitchers this season, Cashner’s name is all over it. That 1.69 WHIP is by far the worst number among qualified starters as Danny Duffy’s 1.55 mark is the second worst number. Cashner’s .301 batting average against is also the worst mark while his 10.4% walk rate is the eighth-worst figure league-wide.

The Nationals’ offense was quiet most of last week, however they have picked it up so far this week by scoring 14 runs over their last two games. They also swept the Orioles in a three-game series from May 28-30, although they scored just 11 runs in that series.

Toeing the rubber for the Nationals tonight is veteran southpaw Gio Gonzalez who has already faced Baltimore once this season in that aforementioned three-game set. Nationals pitching shutout Baltimore twice in that series and one of those was thanks to Gonzalez’s 7.2 innings of scoreless ball on May 28th.

I don’t like to see Gonzalez coming off two poor starts entering this one, but those two starts accounted for the only two times this season that he’s allowed more than three earned runs. In fact, Gonzalez has been very consistent save for those two outings as he’s allowed two earned runs or less in 10 of his 14 starts this season.

I believe he has a good chance at posting another of such performances tonight against a very weak Orioles’ offense. Baltimore ranks 26th with a .294 team wOBA against left-handed pitching while their .674 team OPS versus southpaws is tied for 24th.

Baltimore is also one of the league’s worst offensive clubs on the road. Their .278 team wOBA away from home is tied with the Padres for last in the MLB while their .638 team OPS on the road is dead last league-wide.

Simply put, the Orioles have won just nine road games all season, which is easily the worst number in the majors with Kansas City’s 12 road wins the second-worst mark. They are also 1-9 over their last 10 games.

With Cashner working in more traffic than any other pitcher in baseball and Gonzalez’s consistency, I think this one could be a blowout in Washington’s favor, especially with their offense clicking on all cylinders after last night’s performance.

Lock in the Nationals tonight on the run line.

The Bet: Nationals -1.5 (-110)


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