Pittsburgh vs. Washington, 05/03/2018 13:05 EDT, Score: 1 - 3

Total: -133/+9 Over

Sportsbook: PinnacleSports

Result: Loss

8* Over Pirates/Nationals (1:05 ET): The Nats' offense has finally shown up the last two days, a welcome occurrence given the club is still averaging only 3.7 rpg here in the Nation's Capital. They've scored a total of 21 runs the past two games and now have a chance to finish off a four-game sweep of the Pirates Thursday afternoon. Ironically, I cashed Washington in the first game of the series, which was a low-scoring affair (3-2 final). It was the team's stars leading the way last night as Bryce Harper started things w/ a home run (2nd in as many nights), the first of 14 Nationals' hits for the game. Stephen Strasburg took it from there, striking out 11 en route to a 9-3 victory. Look for more runs to be scored today - from both sides. I'm on the Over.

Washington pitching has allowed more than four runs just one time in the last 12 games. Theoretically, that should translate to more wins than losses, but the team's record is only 6-6 during that stretch and they'd dropped six of nine before this series got underway. This afternoon's starter Jeremy Hellickson is 3-1 w/ a 2.86 ERA in five career starts vs. Pittsburgh, who has hit just .187 off him. So you might be willing to wager he keeps the trend of four runs or less alive. Maybe he does, but note Hellickson has yet to really go deep into any start this season. In the three thus far in 2018, his longest outing is 5 1/3 innings. He also allowed two home runs in his last start. He'll also be facing a Pirates team that is 10-3 in day games so far, averaging an impressive 5.8 runs per game.

Hellickson will also be backed by a Washington offense now averaging 7.0 rpg the last seven days. So, even though Bucs' starter Trevor Williams has a 1.50 ERA and 0.889 WHIP in three road starts this year, I'm not so sure how successful he'll be either. Williams has yet to last more than six innings in any of his six starts overall this season and he's had some control issues as well. Twice, he's issued five walks and his strikeout numbers aren't all that impressive (KW ratio is 23-17). This will be his first time ever facing the Nationals. The Pirates had been winning (five in a row) and hitting coming into this series, but haven't been really able to get anything going offensively against Nats' pitching. But they've also had to face Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg the last two days. Hellickson shouldn't be quite as challenging and I look for enough runs to be scored here to send this one Over the total. 8* Over Pirates/Nationals

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