#923 Washington Nationals (Lopez) +145 over Baltimore Orioles (Gausman) 6:05 PM CT
Reynaldo Lopez might be a wild card for the Nationals down the stretch as the 22-year old has impressed through four starts with a 10.3 K/9 rate and a 3.32 FIP. He has benefitted from facing Atlanta twice but he is facing an Orioles team that has been erratic offensively of late and the once owners of the best home record in baseball are just 2-5 on the current home stand even after last night’s 4-3 win. Kevin Gausman couldn’t buy a win early in the season despite very effective numbers but he has been less effective down the stretch. Since mid-June his ERA is 4.70 with a corresponding 4.42 FIP and while he is generating strikeouts he has allowed 74 hits in 67 innings in that span including 13 home runs allowed. Gausman has far better numbers at home where the Orioles are 6-3 in his starts but a Washington lineup coming off back-to-back one-run losses will be ready for this matchup. The Nationals have an eight-game lead in the NL East as there is not great urgency but on the season Washington is 125 runs superior to Baltimore in run differential even with the Orioles staying in the playoff chase. Washington is 26-13 this season in the second game of a series and over the last 10 games the Nationals are batting .281 with 7.5 runs per game vs. right-handed pitching. Washington is 5-4 in the last nine games as an underdog and this is a favorable price on a talented young pitcher that should be well supported.
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#962 Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray) +140 over Washington Nationals (Roark) 8:40 PM CT
Over his last nine starts Robbie Ray has a 4.19 ERA but his FIP is just 2.70 as he has deserved better results. His strikeout rate has been very impressive with 11.9 K/9 along with a very respectable walk rate that has his K:BB ratio at over 5:1. A .353 BABIP weighs on the results but Arizona is getting much more from the 24-year old former 12th round pick than their highly-paid free agent acquisitions on the mound. Washington crushed Arizona last night behind Stephen Strasburg and after that embarrassing result with a 14-1 defeat this should be a focused Diamondbacks squad. Add that Washington is 16 games above .500 vs. right-handed starters but just two games above .500 vs. left-handed starters and Tuesday’s game should be a better opportunity for the home underdog even with the terrible home record for Arizona this season. Tanner Roark has a 2.96 ERA on the season but that figure has risen over his last 10 starts. His K/9 in that span is below 6.9 and he has allowed a great deal of hits despite going 6-2 in those outings. This could be a bit of a flat spot for Washington after a huge win Monday and now in the third city of a long road trip following up very big matchups with Cleveland and San Francisco. Washington has topped four runs just three times in the last 10 games despite the big output last night and the Nationals have lost their last three games vs. a southpaw starter.
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