Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals Pick 8/16/19
Milwaukee Brewers (63-58) vs. Washington Nationals (65-55) When: 7 p.m., Friday, August 16 Where: Nationals Park, Washington
Moneyline: MIL +140/WSH -150 (BetNow) Runline: Brewers +1.5/Nats -1.5 Total: 9Starting Pitchers: Adrian Houser (5-5, 4.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs. Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
Setup ManUsually, a setup man is intended to help finish off one game, but in this case, Patrick Corbin is going to the mound to try to set up the Nationals for success in the rest of this series, while at the same time trying to extend the Nationals’ winning streak to five games. Washington looked excellent against what had been a hot Cincinnati team, but the series with the Reds did expose some of the Nationals’ pitching weakness beyond their starters. Corbin could fix that by putting up a good performance against Milwaukee and giving the bullpen most of the day off. He’s been excellent at Nationals Park this year and owns the second-best home ERA in all of baseball, but Milwaukee has been one team that he has never looked good against, as his career ERA against the Brewers is an unsightly 5.18. If Corbin is able to get through this game, it’ll make a big difference for the Nationals, who would then likely be able to confidently hand the ball to Max Scherzer on Saturday or Sunday.
All Over the PlaceConsistency, thy name is not Adrian Houser. The Brewers’ pitcher has bounced between the rotation and the bullpen this season, in part because he’s bounced between dominant and hittable without much rhyme or reason between the two. In his past three starts, he’s looked pretty good, holding both Texas and Oakland to a run each. But against the Cubs in that same stretch, he didn’t look good at all, giving up nine hits and four runs in a 7-2 setback. Prior to that, his previous three appearances all came in relief, preceded by two ugly starts where he gave up a combined nine runs. In other words, it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going to happen when Houser takes the mound, and it’s become tough for Craig Counsell to figure out precisely what he’s going to get from this spot in the rotation. About the only thing you can say Houser will do with consistency is strike out hitters, as he’s averaged more than one K per inning for the season. But there’s no telling whether that strikeout will come as part of four shutout innings or a 4-0 deficit on the scoreboard.
Bullpen BluesIdeally, you want to have confidence that when you hand the game over to your bullpen, you’ve essentially made the contest a six or seven-inning game. Boy, is the opposite true with these teams. When the game goes to the bullpen, you’ve essentially got new life against either of these teams, who have proven that they cannot be trusted with any kind of lead. That’s especially true for the Nationals, who could have had a longer winning streak had they not tossed aside a three-run ninth-inning lead on the Mets and turned a 6-3 lead into a 7-6 defeat. For the year, the Nats’ bullpen has an ERA of 6.03, worse than anyone besides Baltimore. Milwaukee’s better at 4.55, but the Brewers still have fans holding their breath when the game gets tossed to the pen.
The HistoricalsDuring the Nationals’ early-season struggles, they got swept at Milwaukee, with none of the games being decided by less than two runs. That series shouldn’t have any impact on this one. Both teams are very different from the clubs they were in the first six weeks of the season, making those three games nothing more than a footnote.
- The Brewers are 1-4 in Houser’s past five road starts.
- The Nationals have won their past five against the NL Central.
- The Nationals are 7-1 in their past eight games after an off day.
- The Brewers are 2-7 in their past nine games after an off day.
- The under is 7-0 in Corbin’s past seven home starts.
- The over is 4-1 in the past five meetings in Washington.
Weather ReportTonight should be a perfect night for baseball, with the temperature coming in at 75 degrees at first pitch.
The Nationals are simply playing better baseball and Corbin has been next to unbeatable at home this season. I’m concerned about what he’s done in the past against the Brewers, but considering he has only faced Milwaukee one time in the past two years and roster moves have made a big difference in the makeup of that lineup, I’m not going to waste time worrying about his reaction to laundry. The bottom line is that Corbin is the more consistent pitcher, the Nationals are at home here, and Houser is a total wild card. That is not a combination where you want to take a high amount of plus money. Give me the Nats.
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