Following another win Tuesday, the Washington Nationals will have their eyes set on a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds today. The Nationals got an early run in the bottom of the 1st and Joe Ross took care of the rest. What a game by Joe Ross and overall effort recently for the Nats.
He has posted an ERA of 0.50 in his previous three outings, which is the best we’ve seen from him since 2016. Ross only made three outings a season ago, having to receive Tommy John surgery to repair some damage. Whether he keeps this going for the Nationals remains to be seen, though.
The Nationals are on a nice run with three straight wins. They avoided a sweep against the Mets with a win in the series finale and then they’ve followed it up with two more wins. Washington aren’t out of the hunt for the NL East title, but the most realistic scenario is a trip to the Wild Card Game in the National League.
They have a 1-game lead on the Cardinals for homefield as a wildcard. The Cardinals have been below .500 on the road this season, along with the next three teams in line. So, homefield advantage is vitally important, especially in a do-or-die situation where there aren’t any games to make it up.
Bryce Harper’s current team picked up a win over the Cubs last night, so the Phillies are a couple of games back of playing in the Wild Card Game. The Phillies and Nationals at Nationals Park would be some kind of spectacle with Harper making a return in an ultra important game. Stephen Strasburg will look to lead the Nationals to a sweep against Trevor Bauer of the Reds this afternoon. Head below for our free Reds vs. Nationals pick.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals Pick:
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Trevor Bauer was moved to the Cincinnati Reds for the Cleveland Indians to add a heavy bat to their lineup. The Indians needed offense and they went out and got it by trading for Yasiel Puig. They had to give up Bauer for Puig, but given the depth that the Indians have in their starting rotation, they can afford to let Bauer go. The Reds needed another arm for their rotation, so it benefits both sides.
Bauer is coming off a solid performance against the Cubs in his second start as a Red. He neutralized them for just 3 hits and 1-run in 7 innings. This coming after a shaky performance against the Braves, where he was handled for 7 hits and 3 runs in 4.2 innings.
Bauer regressed in July with a 4.54 ERA following a 3.06 ERA the month before. In two starts with the Reds, he’s posted a 3.09 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Bauer was less effective on the road in Atlanta, with an ERA of 5.79 and 2.14 WHIP in 4.2 innings.
He may have to do it all by himself in this one. Don’t expect too much run support from the Reds’ offense tonight. They’ve done nothing against Strasburg in the past, as they’re hitting just .170 in 112 at-bats. He’s been more effective at Nationals Park, where he holds a record of 7-2 and 0.99 WHIP in 70 innings.
In his previous 20.1 innings at home, Strasburg has allowed only 1-run and 7 hits. The Nats have gone 21-6 in the last 27 meetings against the Reds. Strasburg and Washington likely get through Wednesday for a sweep over the Reds here.