Max Scherzer (9-6, 1.82 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (46-37) take on Johnny Cueto (5-5, 2.84 ERA) and the Cincinnati Reds (37-44) in a game that has the potential to be low scoring. This is the second of a three-game series at Nationals Park. The Reds won the last game 3-2 and Cincinnati leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jul. 7 and can be seen on FSN-OH and MASN.
Scherzer pitched 8.1 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs and striking out nine in a 2-1 defeat to the Braves. Cueto is 6-3 with a 4.06 ERA against the Nationals in his career. He takes on a quality Washington offense that's batting .256. Joey Votto (.276, 40 Rs, 14 HRs, 39 RBIs, 5 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 5 yesterday.
Washington is a -150 favorite against Cincinnati and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at six runs. The Nationals have recorded an overall money line of +144 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 38-25. Washington is an impressive 7-3 as the favorite over its last 10 games. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.1 per game. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses that come to Nationals Park have been stifled by the Nationals, who have a team ERA of only 2.81 at home. The Nationals are the third-best team in the NL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 8.2 hits per game to their opponents this season.
In the other locker room, Cincinnati is coming in with an overall money line of -886 and a disappointing record of 14-29 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 1-3 record, and a 3-7 record SU. The Reds are an excellent base-stealing team with an MLB-best 82 stolen bases. The Reds allow 4.4 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 5.6 runs per game during that span.
The Reds have the edge in the season series, 4-0. The Nationals have a 34-31 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Cueto takes the mound. Scherzer (RHP) will be on the hill against the Reds, who have a 27-33 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
The Reds won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Nationals are 14-9. The Reds are 12-15 in close games this season.
Cincinnati has won 42% (14-19) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Washington has won 59% (24-17) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Nationals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Reds have an 11-21 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Reds are 6-31. The Nationals have an 8-34 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 11th in home runs, Washington has hit 84 this season. Cincinnati ranks sixth with 93 home runs.
Washington and Cincinnati both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Washington sits at sixth with 8.70 hits per game and Cincinnati ranks 10th with 8.53.
Ranking 15th, Cincinnati is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.716). Washington ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .726.
The Reds are 17-35 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Nationals are 17-21 when they allow at least one homer.