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Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks odds, picks and prediction

Apr 21, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws to the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals (14-19) visit the Arizona Diamondbacks (17-21) Friday for the first of a three-game set at Chase Field. First pitch is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook‘s lines around the Nationals vs. Diamondbacks with MLB picks and predictions.

Washington prevented a three-game sweep to the Philadelphia Phillies by beating them 5-1 yesterday, but the Nationals have lost three consecutive series and are just 3-7 in their last 10 games.

Arizona dropped back-to-back games to the Miami Marlins to tie their four-game series 2-2, and the D-Backs have lost eight of their last 10 games.

Season series: Tied 2-2.

RHP Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nationals. Scherzer is 2-2 with a 2.33 ERA (46 1/3 IP, 12 ER), 0.78 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9 and 11.8 K/9 over 7 starts.

  • Last outing: No-decision in 7 1/3 IP with 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB and 14 K in Washington’s 4-3 loss at the New York Yankees Saturday.
  • Career vs. the D-Backs: 7-0 with a 2.55 ERA (67 IP, 19 ER), 0.87 WHIP and 12.8 K/9 over 10 starts.
    • Vs. D-Backs on the current roster: 162 at-bats with a .191/.234/.346 slash line, 46/8 K/BB, 5 HR and 10 RBIs.

RHP Riley Smith is on the mound for the D-Backs. Smith is 1-2 with a 4.85 ERA (26 IP, 14 ER), 1.50 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9 and 4.2 K/9 across 4 starts and 3 relief appearances.

  • Last outing: Loss, 4-2, in 4 IP with 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB and 1 K at the New York Mets Sunday.
  • Career vs. the D-Backs: No appearances.

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Nationals at Diamondbacks odds, lines, picks and prediction

MLB odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Odds last updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Nationals -190 (bet $190 to win $100) | Diamondbacks +155 (bet $100 to win $155)
  • Against the spread/ATS: Nationals -1.5 (-115) | Diamondbacks +1.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under: 9 (O: -105 | U: -115)

Prediction

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 2

Money line (ML)

PASS because the Nationals’ lineup splits vs. right-handed pitching are even worse than the D-Backs’ despite having an overwhelming talent and being healthier at the moment.

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Run line/Against the spread (ATS)

GIMME the NATIONALS -0.5 (-140) FIRST 5 INNINGS for a three-fourths unit because Scherzer is on the rubber tonight. But Washington’s bullpen is pretty terrible, and Scherzer’s record would be better if the Nationals’ relievers held their end of the bargain.

Scherzer got a no-decision vs. the D-Backs in Washington’s 1-0 win April 16, but he pitched a scoreless 7-inning, 2-hit, 10-strikeout gem. Also, Scherzer has a 27% strikeout rate and .233 expected wOBA vs. hitters in Arizona’s lineup.

Over/Under (O/U)

Slight “LEAN” to the UNDER 9 (-115) for a quarter unit because the Under has cashed in five of Scherzer’s seven starts this year, and Smith was pretty good when we pitched against two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom in his previous outing.

However, Washington’s lineup is top-10 in hard-hit rate, contact rate and batting average but needs to do better with runners in scoring position (RISP). The Nationals have the third-lowest OPS and fifth-lowest BAbip with RISP.

While Smith is in the 3-percentile in chase rate, 2-percentile in whiff% and 7-percentile in expected batting average, so there’s a decent chance Smith gets rocked tonight by the Nationals.

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