MLB Picks: Nationals vs. Brewers Odds & Prediction

Joe Freda

Friday, August 2, 2013 12:24 PM GMT

Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 12:24 PM GMT

The Washington Nationals began their present road trip dropping two straight duels to the Detroit Tigers, including Wednesday’s 11-1 spanking as a 125 underdog.

Friday’s MLB betting has Washington opening a weekend set with the Milwaukee Brewers, who send left-hander Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 2.83 ERA) against Nationals righty Jordan Zimmermann (12-6, 3.19 ERA). 

Nats crushed, Brewers return home

Washington was held to five hits in Wednesday’s setback with Detroit, while starter Gio Gonzalez was shelled for 10 runs in the duel’s first 3 1/3 frames. Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche left six men on base in a 0-for-4 night, striking out three times. 

Milwaukee returns to Miller Park after a seven-game road trip, cashing with a 4-3 mark over the stretch. Wednesday’s finale against the Chicago Cubs saw the Brewers fall short in a 6-1 defeat, with Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy driving in his side’s sole run as part of a 2-for-4 outing.

Gorzelanny ends slide

Gorzelanny notched his first win in four starts with Saturday’s 7-5 victory for Milwaukee as a 111 road dog over the Colorado Rockies. The 31-year-old allowed four runs in 5 1/3 frames of action, giving up one homer as part of six hits.

Brewers relievers Brandon Kintzler and John Axford both logged holds, while mate Jim Henderson closed the affair for his 12th save. Milwaukee edged the Rockies in hits, 12-8, with Brewers outfielders Carlos Gomez and Caleb Gindi logging one RBI each in a combined 4-for-7 night. 

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Zimmermann shelled as ‘chalk’

Zimmermann logged a third straight loss in Friday’s 11-0 defeat for Washington to the New York Mets, failing to cash as a 240 home favorite. The Wisconsin native allowed five runs over 6 2/3 innings, surrendering a pair of long balls.

Washington’s Denard Span was held to a 0-for-4 day, while Jayson Werth left four men on base. Nationals relievers Ryan Mattheus and Drew Storen gave up three runs each in the ninth inning, sending the lopsided affair OVER the ‘total’ of eight. 

[gameodds]3/240404/?r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Back the Brewers as home dogs 

Bet365 opened Zimmermann as a 135 road favorite, while the ‘total’ was first listed at a flat eight. Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (15 HRs, 35 RBIs) is listed as “probable,” recovering from a hip spasm.

I am adding Gorzelanny and the “Brew Crew” to Friday’s sports pick, taking a price of plus 125.

Gorzelanny has had his moments at home in both starter and reliever roles, holding foes to five earned runs over his last 16 1/3 IP on Miller Park’s hill. The eight-year hurler also faced the Nationals last month in the nation’s capital, allowing one run in a combined 3 2/3 frames of relief.

Zimmermann has struggled since the start of July, giving up a hefty 21 earned runs over his last five starts (26 1/3 IP). Washington’s bats are not in position to make up for another loose outing, hitting just .209 against left-handed pitching on the road.

Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks and Juan Francisco have hit a combined 5-for-13 facing Zimmermann’s arm, including two homers and a double. The Brewers have cashed at a 5-2 clip in their last seven spots as a home dog, while going 4-1 in their last five contests against National League East clubs.

Look for the “Brew Crew” to hand Washington another loss in the team’s slump, adding another losing ticket to the Nationals’ 1-4 mark in their last five matchups against lefty starters.

Free Pick: Milwaukee Brewers +125 at Bet365

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