Red Sox an Underdog Play Against Scherzer & Nationals

Monday, July 2, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Monday, Jul. 2, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Mauled in New York on Sunday, the Red Sox move south to Washington to begin a series with the Nationals who are favored on the MLB odds behind Max Scherzer.

Boston Red Sox (56-29 SU, 40-42 O/U) at Washington Nationals (42-40 SU, 32-48 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Red Sox MLBest Line Offered: GT Bets

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Three months ago when the 2018 season got underway, this week’s collision between Boston and Washington was circled as a potential World Series preview. The Red Sox have kept up their end of the bargain with the 2nd-best record in the big leagues to sit in a virtual tie for first in the AL East. The Nationals, meanwhile, have struggled from the get-go to find any consistency and are third in the NL East, a division they were expected to run away with.

It still makes for a marquee interleague series, and Monday’s opener features a marquee mound duel with ESPN’s cameras on hand to give us a glimpse between former Cy Young winners. Washington’s Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.04) delivers the first toss at 7:05 PM (ET), Boston countering with Rick Porcello (9-3, 3.60). Despite their recent swoon, the Nationals are solid chalk at JustBet on a -155 money line. Scoreboard bettors are looking at a 7½-run total that generally favors the ‘under.’

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Max Scherzer has the 3rd-most Ks through the first 2,000 IP of a career in @MLB history.

— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 21, 2018

Nats Struggling To Back Scherzer With Enough Offense

Boston is in the middle of a 3-city road trip that began by dropping two of three in New York to the Yankees. The offense was quieted in two of those contests, but the Red Sox still rank first in scoring (5.16 RPG) behind JD Martinez (.324, 25 HR) and Mookie Betts (.339, 20 HR). Porcello was knocked around at home last week by the Angels, though Boston still posted the dubya and is 11-6 behind the 29-year-old, good enough for nearly four units of winnings for anyone playing his starts against the baseball odds.

Washington has been in a tailspin with seven losses in its last nine games, five of those setbacks to the upstart Phillies. The offense ranks in the lower half of the majors scoring 4.24 RPG, and while he has 20 homers on the year Bryce Harper spent June in a deep funk with a .188 average and only two bombs. That lack of production has really cost the Nationals in Scherzer’s last four starts, the right-hander pitching to a 2.33 ERA in that span only to lose three of the games.

Rivalry Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

A lightly played series with only 27 games up to now, this is just the second time the Red Sox and Nationals have met in DC. It was nine years ago when they clubs met here for the first and only time, Boston winning two and the ‘over’ cashing all three. The most recent clash in Boston three years ago also resulted in an ‘over’ sweep at Fenway.

Warm and muggy is the forecast for the nation’s capital, and that could bode well for Red Sox hitters, well enough to play them for my free MLB pick.

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