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Pirates vs. Nationals Pick MLB – June 20th

The Yankees picked up three late runs to push our UNDER play one run too high and snatch away a game that looked like it was going in our favor. Perhaps more importantly, it was the second straight less-than-stellar outing for Justin Verlander after his return from the DL. It has to be concerning for the Tigers. They are in third place in a division they have owned for half a decade and the Scherzer gone, Verlander struggling and Sanchez having a bit of a regression to the mean season, it leaves Detroit relying heavily on David Price and Alfredo Simon, both have been fantastic, to keep the team afloat.

The Tigers are just a game over .500 at 34-33, and are going to HAVE to have Verlander at least close to Verlander of old if they want to get back to the playoffs again this season.

Let’s see if we can notch a Saturday winner with a focus on a fantastic pitching matchup today.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Pittsburgh Pirates +115 at Washington Nationals -125 (Total: 6.5)

Francisco Liriano vs. Max Scherzer

The Nationals derailed the epic Pirate run yesterday in grand fashion, dispatching the Buccos 4-1 and handing A.J. Burnett a rare loss. Today, they send their ace to the hill, fresh off his historic outing, a one-hit, 16 strikeout complete game domination. It’s a bit much to expect the same result today, but it certainly isn’t too much to expect another fantastic performance. After all, Scherzer is entering with a 1.93 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.

Opposing him is Liriano, who had a rough start to the season but continues to get better and better. His ERA is now under 3.00 for the season and he has a 1.57 ERA with a 0.61 WHIP in his last three starts. Today has the making of a nice pitchers matchup given the talent and recent track record of the opposing starters.

Making the UNDER even more enticing is the glut of players likely to sit out today. The Nationals are already without Jason Werth, and it looks like Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman will be joining him on the bench today. The Pirates are relatively healthy, but despite their winning ways, have only scored more than three runs in a game twice in their last nine games. They’ve won with pitching, which makes facing the potentially dominant Scherzer a tough task today.

I like a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel today in a fantastic afternoon matchup on FOX. I’d prefer to get the extra half-run to get up to seven, but I’ll still take the UNDER at 6.5

Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 6.5

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