Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals
The Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals meet for game two of their series as they face off on Saturday at Great American Ballpark. The Reds are -125 favorites over the Nationals with an over/under run total set at 8.
The Cincinnati Reds lost on Opening Day to the Angels but they haven’t lost since and on Friday they sent the Nationals and the league a message delivering a sound beating. Xavier Paul hit a grand slam home run, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart hit two home runs each, and Shin-Soo Choo added a home run as the Reds scored 15 runs and pounded out 19 hits. Homer Bailey was in cruise control on the mound allowing two hits and striking out six over six shutout innings to get the win. For Saturday’s game the Reds start Mike Leake who is coming off of his worst season as a pro. Last year Leake was 8-9 with a 4.58 ERA allowing 201 hits and striking out 116 over 179 innings.
The Washington Nationals swept their opening series against the Florida Marlins but they were absolutely shelled on Friday taking their first loss of the year. Danny Espinosa had two hits and Ian Desmond and Denard Span each had hits as the Nationals failed to score a run on five hits. Starting pitcher Dan Haren allowed nine hits including four home runs while striking out five and letting six runs cross the plate in just four innings of work to take the loss but the bullpen was no better as Zach Duke allowed six hits and six runs in 2.2 innings of work, Henry Rodriguez allowed two hits and two runs while retiring just one hitter, and Ryan Matteus allowed a run in his inning of work. For Saturday’s game Washington starts Ross Detweiler who like most Nats’ pitchers is coming off of a solid season. Last year Detweiler allowed 149 hits and 62 earned runs while striking out 105 over 164.1 innings of work.
Cincinnati is 20-7 in their last 27 games against a left handed starter, 36-15 in their last 51 game two of a series, and 5-1 in Leake’s last six starts against a team with a winning record. Washington is 5-1 in their last six game two of a series, 18-9 against the NL Central, and 5-18 in Detweiler’s last 23 starts as a road underdog. Washington is 0-4 in Detweiler’s last four starts against the Reds.
The Reds are a mild favorite here but I like the Nationals to bounce back and get the win chasing Leake early.
Washington Nationals +115 Cincinnati Reds