Charlie Morton (5-0, 1.62 ERA) gets the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates (39-29) as they go up against Gio Gonzalez (4-4, 4.82 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (36-33) in the last of a three-game series at Nationals Park. The Nationals won the last game 6-0 and Washington leads the series 2-0. The game starts at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jun. 21 and will air on ROOT-PIT and MASN2.
Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.42 WHIP against the Pirates in his career. Bryce Harper (.347, 51 Rs, 23 HRs, 55 RBIs, 3 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs. In his career against the Nationals, Morton is 2-3 with a 4.70 ERA. He gets a solid Washington offense that's batting .257.
Washington is a -124 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. When playing as the favorite, the Nationals have a 27-22 record and overall money line at -485. The Nationals don't give up many walks to opposing batters, ranking second in the NL with only 2.4 walks allowed per game.
Switching gears, the Pirates come into this game in an interesting position. They have won more than 60 percent of games played as the underdog (6-12) but have a negative money line (+608). The Pirates will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, Pittsburgh's run production has dropped to 3.0 runs per game, compared to 4.3 for the duration of the season. One of the top hitting teams in the NL are the Pirates, who average 8.9 hits per game. Pittsburgh is a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in the MLB with 51 stolen bases. Shifting to the pitching staff, they have the lowest road ERA in the NL at 2.86. They have a WHIP of 1.18 on the year, good for second in the league. The Pittsburgh pitching staff has been an intimidating group on the road this year, averaging 8.1 strikeouts per game.
The previous two games have all gone Washington's way. This game will feature Morton (RHP) on the mound against the Nationals, who have a 26-29 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Pirates will be the left-hander Gonzalez. Southpaw starters haven't been a big issue for them as they sport an 8-4 record.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
After last game's shutout win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Nationals now have seven shutouts this season. The Pirates have been shut out in seven games this season.
The Nationals are 4-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Pirates are 2-6 in such matchups.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Pirates are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Nationals have a 7-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 6-30. The Pirates have a 6-20 record when opponents outhit them.
Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league at 23rd when it comes to home runs, hitting 53 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 72.
Ranking eighth, Washington is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.71 per game. Pittsburgh ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.90.
Ranking 23rd, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.688). Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .729.
The Pirates are 10-19 when they allow at least one home run. Washington has the same record when allowing one or more homers.