Matchup: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates

When: May 22 2014 @ 7:05pm Est on MLB Network

Latest Odds: Pirates -115 Total 7.5

The Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates look to do battle in the evening game at PNC Park. Pittsburgh is looking to pick up a little home cooking with a victory over the National League foe, but as of right now, the only foe the Pirates has beaten this year is themselves.

Following the conclusion of last season's surprise run to the post season, many had high hopes pegged for Pittsburgh. However, with almost two months into the season, the Pirates have been nothing more than a disappointment. Sitting at nearly 10 games under .500, the Pirates need to regain their swagger from last year. It is as if they are satisfied with their playoff appearance and are alright with drifting back into oblivion. Their starter, right handed pitcher Edinson Volquez doesn't bring much confidence to the field either.

Edinson currently holds a 1-4 record with a 4.71 ERA. His biggest problem is giving up the long ball, with eight jacks hit off of the right hander in the last 21 2/3 innings. In fact, his last three starts at home he has a 5.94 ERA. If he's looking to right the track, he needs to get it going in a hurry.

Going against Edinson for the Nationals is Blake Treinen. Despite holding an 0-1 record, he currently showcases a sparkling 0.77 ERA with two starts and relieving work in a total of four games. However, the loss he is saddled with isn't his fault, as during his previous start, three unearned runs scored during his five innings of work.

Both teams are looking to make up ground, as although the Nationals are sitting a few games above .500, they need to bring their offense to life and their defense to support the pitching staff that should be one of the best in the majors with the entire rotation. However, it really is anyone's game come Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates Trends:

Nationals are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a loss.
Nationals are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game.
Nationals are 24-6 in their last 30 Thursday games.

Pirates are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.
Pirates are 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
Pirates are 0-4 in their last 4 Thursday games.
Pirates are 1-4 in Volquezs last 5 starts.
Pirates are 1-4 in Volquezs last 5 starts on grass.

Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates: Free Pick Nationals