Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals Pick
Time: 7:05 PM ET
Where: Nationals Park. Washington, D.C.
Listed Pitchers: Chacin (MIL) & Roark (WSH)
TV: MASN & FSWI
Moneyline: MIL +105 / WSH -125
Over/Under: Over 9 -105 / Under 9 -115
After squeaking out a nail-biter at Cincinnati Thursday afternoon, the Milwaukee Brewers head east to clash with the Washington Nationals in the Nation’s capital Friday night. It’ll be game one of a three-game set at Nationals Park to cap off the season series between these two clubs. Milwaukee leads the season series 2-1, outscoring the Nats 14-12 over three decisions. The Brew Crew is tied atop the National League Wild Card Standings, while the Nats have their work cut out down the stretch if they want to be playing postseason baseball this year.
Thursday afternoon’s game in Cincinnati was too close for comfort for the Milwaukee Brewers, who find themselves in the thick of a heated NL playoff race with just 27 games remaining. Thankfully, Lorenzo Cain (.311 AVG., 10 HR, 34 RBI & .402 OBP) belted a 378-foot solo-shot in the Top of the 11th which proved to be the game-winner for the Brew Crew. Joakim Soria (1-0, 2.39 ERA & 1.12 WHIP) was credited with the win, while Josh Hader (4-1, 2.01 ERA & 0.78 WHIP) earned his 11th save of the season. Consequently, the Brewers snagged two of three games on the road against their divisional foe, the Cincinnati Reds.
Overall, the Brewers are 75-60 (.556) this season which is tied for second-best in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals. Both clubs are 4.5 games back of NL-leading Chicago. The Brew Crew is tied with the Cards for the top spot in the NL Wild Card race. Colorado trails them by 1.5 games, while the Los Angeles Dodgers are 2 games back and Philadelphia’s three back. Friday night’s opponent, the Washington Nationals, are 7.5 games behind Milwaukee. Statistically, the Brewers are a middle of the road team in the NL. They’ve scored 603 runs (7th NL), allowed 580 (9th NL) and their +23 run-differential is ranked 7th in the NL. On the road, Milwaukee’s 35-34 (.507) this season.
At .500 (67-67) for the year, the Nats are in third place in the NL East. They’re eight games behind division-leading Atlanta and they’re 7.5 games behind Milwaukee and St. Louis for the two Wild Card berths with 28 games remaining in their regular season. Needless to say, Washington needs to start reeling off some victories in a hurry if they intend to achieve their postseason aspirations. The Nationals had an off-day Thursday, after taking two of three games at Philadelphia Monday thru Wednesday.
Washington has above average ranks in the NL. They’ve scored 621 runs (5th NL), allowed 547 (6th NL) and boast a healthy +74 run-differential which is fifth-best in the National League. At home the Nationals have accrued a 33-31 (.516) thus far.
Jhoulys Chacin will toe the rubber for the visting Brewers Friday night. Chacin’s 13-5 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.20 WHIP this season. In five August starts, he’s compiled a 3-2 record with a 4.33 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. On July 23rd, Chacin stifled the Nationals in a 6-1 Brewers win at Miller Park. He tossed 5.2 innings of one run ball, allowing just two hits in the winning effort. On the road, Chacin’s 8-2 over 17 starts with a 3.58 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
Tanner Roark (8-13, 3.95 ERA & 1.24 WHIP) is the slated starter for the hometown Nationals. In his last outing, Roark earned his first loss since July 13th at the New York Mets. However, it wasn’t his fault as he allowed just one earned run and four hits while striking out seven over six strong. Roark’s been dynamite lately, going 5-1 over his last seven starts with a 1.63 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. In one start at Milwaukee this year, Roark earned the victory with a stellar performance. He limited the Brew Crew to three hits and zero runs over eight frames. Roark struck out 11 and allowed only one free pass in the winning effort. At home, Roark’s 4-6 over 12 starts with a 4.78 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.
This game is going to have a playoff-like atmosphere because both teams must keep winning to remain in the playoff hunt. Both pitchers have been great over the past few months, and I see no reason why that doesn’t continue here. Friday night’s game will be a closely contest battle, and it’s no surprise to see the money line so tightly bunched on both sides. Who wins this one is practically a toss-up, so I wouldn’t advocate for a wager on either side of the money line. However, there’s tremendous value in taking the UNDER 9 (-115). The sportsbooks are giving us a nice -115 line, which means the total would need to remain under 9 53.5% of the time to make the bet profitable. I believe there’s a 75% chance this game will remain under 9, so we have a monumental 21.5% edge against the number. The under is 2-0-1 in the three meetings between these two clubs this season and 5-1-1 in their last seven meetings.
The Cowboy offense was not the same machine in 2017 as it was in 2016. The 2016 offense scored 421 points while averaging 6.0 yards per play, compared to 354 points and 5.3 ypp in 2017. Keith Allen takes a hard look at why Dallas shouldn’t be picked to beat their season win total line of 8.5.