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Nationals vs. Reds MLB Picks / Betting Preview (July. 21)

Philadelphia vs St. Louis – MLB Wednesday Preview

Before baseball gambling fans turn their attention to other sports betting events this week, we have the Wednesday MLB game of the day pick for you. It’s time for our weekly baseball picks for online MLB betting action.

Season Record:
Washington: 40-54 SU
Cincinnati: 53-42 SU

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Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds
7:10 PM ESPN

Starting Pitchers
WAS: Stephen Strasburg (4-2, 2.03)
CIN: Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.96)

It will be standing room only at Great American Ballpark and it isn’t because the Cincinnati Reds are playing some of the best baseball since the mid 90s. No, it will be to see young pitching sensation Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg, who is boosting attendance levels everywhere he travels, will try for his second straight win in as many starts when the Washington Nationals attempt to even a four game series at one apiece when they tee off against Reds in game two on Wednesday.

The Reds lead the season series 4-1 after a eking out a close 8-7 victory in the series opener on a soggy night along winding banks of the Ohio River.

Despite rallying for six runs against the bullpen, Washington dropped another game and sits dead last in the NL East, 15 games behind the Atlanta Braves. They have lost four straight, falling a season-high 14 games below .500. Despite their not-so-impressive record, for the first time in several years the Nationals are not fighting to be the worst team in baseball — as the Orioles are taking care of that. Several off season additions and the manifestation of Strasburg have given more hope to the nation’s capitol, then the 2008 Presidential Election.

For the moment, the Reds are second in the NL Central, a game behind the streaking Cardinals, who also won their game over the Phillies on Tuesday, pushing their win streak to seven. Cincinnati have 30 wins at the GAB and need to stay focused down the stretch to keep pace, as St Louis is revving up just in time for the second half race.

The Nationals offense ranks in the bottom half of the league, but may be a little better than it looks on paper. Despite recent trade rumors, first baseman Adam Dunn has quietly heated up, hitting five long balls in his last 10 games, and leads the team with 22 overall. His current batting average of .283 is above his usual career mark. Josh Willingham is having a career year but has struggled of late; hitting 10-41 with no home runs in the last ten games.  Ryan Zimmerman is on pace for his usual 30+ homers and 102 plus RBIs, including a two run homer in Tuesday’s opener.

All eyes will be watching as Stephen Strasburg takes the mound for his ninth start this season. With a wicked heater he leads the team in strikeouts, with 68 in only 48 innings. He is coming off a strong outing against the Marlins, pitching six scoreless innings and fanning seven. He boasts a 2.03 ERA and has yet to really struggle against competition, though he has yet to face a lineup as tough as the Reds – a team that crushes the ball.

Cincinnati’s Joey Votto has had a breakout year and has silently solidified his place as one of the best first baseman in baseball today. He is among the league leaders in homers with 23, including a three-run shot on Tuesday that gave the Reds a 3-0 lead in the home half of the first. Brandon Phillips has not been running quite as much as in the past, but with the offense scoring he hasn’t needed to. He does have 11 steals on the year. Jay Bruce has slumped of late going 4-39 and dropping his average to .257.

In an effort to gain ground on the Cardinals, the Reds will turn to pitching ace Bronson Arroyo. The right-hander has only allowed three runs in his last three starts, going 21 innings and allowing 14 hits. As expected, he has gotten over his early season slump and seems poised to lead the Reds down the stretch.

Gambling Trends:

Washington is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati
Washington is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Cincinnati
Cincinnati is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
Cincinnati is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Cincinnati is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Washington
Cincinnati is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games on the road

Nationals vs. Reds Betting Odds

The odds makers have the Nationals as –1-½ – favorites with a run total of 7.

Washington vs. Cincinnati MLB Free Pick

With two great pitchers toeing the rubber, this is a tough one to call. However, it’s hard to bet against Strasburg, so I am going with the odds makers on this one. Nationals and the OVER.

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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