Nationals a Run-Line Play at Diamondbacks Behind Scherzer

Willie Bee

Friday, May 11, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

Friday, May. 11, 2018 12:45 PM UTC

Max Scherzer is on a roll as he takes on his former club in Arizona with the Washington Nationals heavy chalk on the baseball odds board.

Washington Nationals (21-18 SU, 17-20-2 O/U) vs Arizona Diamondbacks (24-13 SU, 16-19-2 O/U)

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Free MLB Pick: Nationals -1½ (-105)
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Let’s get this weekend started at the same place we’ll end it with a free baseball pick in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Game, especially since it’s the continuation of a potential playoff preview in the desert between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Washington and Arizona got a jumpstart on the weekend by opening the series Thursday, the clubs going 11 innings before the Nationals scored a 2-1 decision. Friday night finds the same start time as Game 1 with a 9:40 PM (ET) first pitch to be delivered by the Diamondbacks’ Matt Koch (2-0, 2.13). He’ll be going up against one of the best hurlers in the game as Washington turns to 2-time defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.74). YouWager has the Nats -200 on the money line and 7½ for the total.

Scherzer 5-0 In 7 Career Starts Vs. Former Club

Heading into 2018, the Nationals had taken the last six season series to build a 79-57 advantage in the rivalry dating back to their days in Montreal. Thursday’s final leaves the season series 2-2 after Arizona won a set in DC near the end of April. Last night’s ‘under’ winner in Phoenix was the third in the last four matchups at Chase Field.

Scherzer didn’t get enough support to win his last start, a real shame since he whiffed 15 before running out of gas in the seventh against the Phillies. Washington still managed to get the win on Wilmer Difo’s walk-off single in the ninth, leaving the Nationals 7-1 behind their ace. He’s 2-0 in three starts at Chase Field since joining Washington, Scherzer pitching to a 4.05 ERA. Koch is coming off his second win – and Arizona’s third in a row with him on the hill – with a very efficient outing vs. the Astros. The former Louisville star worked into the seventh on 77 tosses, allowing a run on a solo homer and not issuing a walk in the 3-1 triumph. He faced the Nats in Washington late in the 2016 campaign, picking up a no-decision with five innings of 2-run baseball.

Umpire Notes, Roof Report & A Free Pick

This umpire crew has been hanging around out west for several weeks now, and chief Joe West will man the dish in Friday’s affair. The veteran of 40 MLB seasons has called six games previously this year, the totals splitting 3-3 O/U, while six of his last eight plate assignments in Phoenix have sailed ‘over’ the MLB odds.

The roof was closed in Game 1 when afternoon tems reached triple digits, and we expect the same tonight. Scherzer’s track record against the club he started with, plus Washington’s 10-2 streak the last couple of weeks, have me on a run-line play.

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Your back-to-back NL Cy Young Award winner is also @MLB's NL Pitcher of the Month!

Congratulations, Max Scherzer!

— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 2, 2018

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