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Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals Betting Preview
Tuesday night will feature a battle of two teams who have playoff aspirations but have underperformed to this point, as the Cincinnati Reds (20-25) take on the Washington Nationals (20-23). Washington will host this one at Nationals Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.
This will be the first of a three-game series between the two teams.
Coming into this series, the Reds are on a two-game losing streak after losing two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend. In their game on Sunday, a 9-4 loss, Jesse Winker stayed hot, hitting his 13th home run of the season while Nick Castellanos hit his 12th.
The Nationals had a little better fortune over the weekend sweeping the Baltimore Orioles. In Sunday’s game, a 6-5 win, Patrick Corbin picked up the win despite giving up 11 hits and four runs in 5.2 innings. Kyle Schwarber hit his eighth home run of the season.
The Nationals are the favorites playing at home. They are currently -164 to win while the Reds’ moneyline is +138. The runline features Cincinnati +1.5, and the over/under for total runs is 7.5.
Cincinnati will send righty Tyler Mahle (2-2, 4.20 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday. Mahle is trying to bounce back from a rough start in his last outing, a 19-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants. In just two innings, he gave up seven runs on seven hits.
The Nationals will send their ace, Max Scherzer (4-2, 2.24 ERA), to take the ball in this one. Scherzer was solid in his last outing, a 4-3 win over the Cubs, as he allowed just two runs over five innings while striking out eight.
By The Number
Offensively, Cincinnati continues to rank as one of the best offenses in the majors. They currently sit fourth in scoring, averaging 5.11 runs per game. The Nationals fall to 20th averaging 4.09 runs.
Defensively, Washington has the advantage. They rank 16th overall, allowing opponents 4.37 runs per game. The Reds rank dead last, allowing 5.62 runs per game.
Reds Trying To Turn Around Rough Stretch
The Reds are in the midst of a brutal 3-7 record in their last ten games. As a result of that stretch, they have fallen 5.5 games out of first place and are currently fourth in the NL Central.
Leading the team offensively for the Reds is Jesse Winker. In his last three games, the slugger has hit five home runs. That now puts him hitting .355/.412/.684 with 13 home runs and 28 runs batted in.
Nick Castellanos has also remained hot-hitting .356/.417/.669 with 12 home runs and is tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 30.
Unfortunately for the Reds, no one has hit particularly well against Scherzer in their careers, although Eugenio Suarez has hit one home run off the righty.
Nationals Have Eyes On Moving Up Division Standings
At 20-23, the Nationals may be last in the NL East, but they still sit just 2.5 games back of first place. With all five teams clumped together, the Nationals hope to keep their winning streak going and continue to chip away at the division leaders.
Offensively, the Nationals have been led by shortstop Trea Turner. In 176 at-bats, he is hitting .324/.363/.545 with a team-leading 10 home runs and 25 runs batted in. He is also tied for the team lead in runs scored (24) and leads the team in stolen bases (eight).
One player to keep an eye on Tuesday is outfielder Kyle Schwarber. In 16 at-bats against Mahle, he is hitting .313 with two home runs and four runs batted in. Starlin Castro has also homered off of Mahle, and Juan Soto is two for three against him.
Mahle Needs To Return To Form
Even against a pitcher as stellar as Max Scherzer, the Reds have shown that they can put up runs in a hurry. With that ability, they can be in any game that their pitchers can keep close.
That is the real concern, though. With a defense that ranks last in the majors in runs allowed, there is concern over which Tyler Mahle will show up. If it is the one that gave up seven runs in just two innings in his last start, it might not matter how many runs the Reds can score.
Expect Mahle to pitch better, but whether he can pitch well enough to give his offense a chance remains to be seen.
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