Max Scherzer (12-12, 2.98 ERA) takes the mound for the Washington Nationals (79-76) as they meet Brandon Finnegan (4-1, 3.65 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (63-92) in the first of a one-game series at Nationals Park. The Reds enter this series on an eight-game losing streak. The game starts at 3:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 28 and will air on FSOH and MASN.
In his last start, Scherzer pitched 6.2 innings, giving up four runs, striking out 12 and walking two in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles. Ryan Zimmerman (.249, 43 Rs, 16 HRs, 73 RBIs, 1 SB) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 5 with one run. The Reds were also unsuccessful the last time Finnegan pitched. He struggled, going 5.0 innings, allowing six runs, striking out seven and walking one in a 10-2 loss to the Cardinals. Joey Votto (.318, 94 Rs, 29 HRs, 78 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one RBI.
Washington is a heavy -192 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. When playing as the favorite, the Nationals have a 66-49 record and overall money line at -1,741. The Nationals have one of the most prolific offenses in the entire NL, averaging 4.4 runs per game. The Nationals typically don't swing at bad pitches, which has led to an impressive 3.4 walks per game. Turning to the pitching staff, the Nationals are fifth in the NL in hits allowed at home with just 8.3 per game.
Across the field, the Reds have a subpar record of 34-65 when they are the underdog and are -2,525 overall with the money line. They have played poorly as the underdog as of late. They managed a 2-7 record when playing as the underdog and an SU record of 2-8. Cincinnati is a terror on the base paths, with an MLB-best 131 stolen bases. The last 10 games have really brought the worst out of the Cincinnati pitchers. They allowed 6.6 runs per game during that span, which is higher than their season average of 4.6.
The Reds are 5-0 against the Nationals this season. The Nationals will take on a left-hander (Finnegan) in this game and have a 19-16 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Reds will be the right-hander Scherzer. They sport a 49-68 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was, O/U - Over
Washington recorded at least two errors for the 16th time this season.
The Nationals managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Reds who are coming in with a 16-18 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Reds are 11-66. The Nationals have a 12-63 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 11th in home runs, Cincinnati has hit 165 this season. Washington ranks ninth with 170 home runs.
Washington and Cincinnati both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Washington sits at ninth with 8.54 hits per game and Cincinnati ranks sixth with 8.64.
Ranking 21st, Cincinnati is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.717). Washington ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .733.
The Reds are 30-70 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Nationals are 34-48 when they allow at least one homer.