Underdog Worthy of MLB Picks: Nationals vs. Red Sox Game 2

Charles Stark

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 12:23 PM GMT

For my MLB pick tonight I am going to back the Washington Nationals to get the win against the Boston Red Sox. I think there is some really good value on taking them as underdogs in MLB odds.

Pitching Matchup
The MLB odds makers came out with the Red Sox a small favorite against the Nationals in Game 2 of this series.  It may seem they are about right on the number because well, they are the Red Sox and they are playing at home.  But I like the value on the Nationals to win this game.  The pitching matchup is where we find one advantage.  Steven Strasburg is a better pitcher than Justin Masterson, period.  Strasburg comes into this game after a horrible outing against a pretty weak New York Mets team (worst in the league in average total bases at 9.00) giving up six runs on nine hits.  The surprising part for me was that he walked three batters which was pretty rare for him.  This is an opportunity for him to have a big bounce back game against one the best offenses in the majors.  Four times last year when he gave up 6 or more runs (6 two times and 7 two times) he bounced back in his next outings giving up 1, 2, 1, and 1 runs.  I anticipate him to come into this game focused and ready to have another big bounce back game.  Masterson had a nice first outing against the Phillies and comes into this game with his one game 3.00 ERA.  The Phillies though are not what I would call a powerhouse team, right now they are ranked in the bottom half of the league in most offensive categories.  It was a good start to the season for Masterson but I don’t anticipate him to keep up those kind of numbers this season, there is a reason he is one of the lower starters for the Red Sox.  Last year he had a BABIP (Batting Average for Balls In Play) of .339 which was one of the worst in the majors for starting pitchers, and he had an over 11% walk rate (career high).  Washington desperately needs to get their offense going and Masterson might be the cure.

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Offensive and Offensive
There are two ways to use the word offensive, one describes the Red Sox who are fourth in MLB in runs and team on base percentage, and fifth in MLB in hits.  They have a good line up and knock the ball around quite a bit at Fenway.  The other way to use this word has described the Nationals this year.  Many experts came out and handed Washington the National League Pennant and the World Series before one game was played.  This was largely due to the fact of their strong pitching rotation.  Offensively though they have been very poor so far this year being the second worst team in baseball in on base percentage at .245 (funny note the worst team was also slated to be one of the best teams this year, Seattle), and they are the worst in team batting average at .185, yikes!  Good news is they are slowly starting to get out of the funk.  In the last three games they have improved in virtually every major offensive category from hits and runs, to batting average.  As mentioned before Masterson has not been sharp overall since last year so this is good opportunity for the Nats to break out and adds them to MLB picks.

Winning in Boston is never easy but I like Washington to do just that today.  The line has some good value on a very good pitcher with a team due to break out and score some runs.  One last note, Boston leads the league in walks per game, don’t look for that trend to continue against Strasburg who last year was one of the best starters in baseball in limiting base on balls.

MLB Pick: Washington money line +109 at BookMaker