Return Justin Verlander and Houston on Sunday afternoon (May 15)

Astros vs Nationals Odds

Astros Odds -200
National odds +165
More less 8
Weather 1:35 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Keep up to date MLB odds here.

The Washington Nationals snapped the Houston Astros’ 11-game winning streak on Saturday night as Nelson Cruz and just about their entire bullpen led them to a 13-6 win. Despite the loss, the Astros’ offense stayed hot making six points.

Justin Verlander is looking to continue his Player of the Year comeback campaign in the series rubber match as he takes on Patrick Corbin who still hasn’t returned to his solid 2019 form.

Will the Astros bounce back with Verlander?

The Houston Astros are still the Astros, and offensively they didn’t seem to miss a beat in the absence of Jose Altuve and Jeremy Peña. However, the Astros are 6-8 when Altuve isn’t playing and 16-4 when he is.

Verlander has been an incredible story this season as he has posted ridiculous road numbers. He sports a 0.64 ERA and 2.24 FIP over 28 runs on the road this season. Additionally, he faces the second-worst offense in MLB at home against right-handed wRC+ pitchers in the past three weeks.

The Astros bullpen was also off with the exception of Saturday. The day before last night, they had an ERA of 0.74 for the past three weeks.

Corbin and the Nationals in search of series victory

The Nationals scored a home-high 13 points in Saturday night’s win and look to build on that momentum on Sunday. Unfortunately, their offense has struggled at home so far this season, especially against right-handed pitchers. They are last in the wRC+ against right-handed throwers at home and 23rd in points scored at home.

Corbin takes the mound for Nationals, and it’s been tough for him sledding for the past three… years. He’s also struggled at home this season to the tune of a 5.94 ERA, but his 3.73 FIP at home suggests he might be unlucky.

The Nats’ bullpen has also been relatively shaky this season, and for the past two weeks they’re 18th in ERA but 13th in FIP. They are performing below league average but should be slightly better than league average, but that doesn’t mean much.

They are tasked with trying to end an offense that has been red hot for the past two weeks, and it just doesn’t seem likely.

Astros-Nationals Picks

If Altuve and Peña are out again for the Astros, it could make their runline a little less desirable. However, it’s hard to back the Nationals given the pitching matchup and their offensive struggles at home.

Even with two big bats missing from the lineup, it could have been an off day for some of the regulars anyway, and the Astros and Nationals both seem to be on opposite sides of the playing averages. Stick with the Astros runline at -1.5 on DraftKings (-110) here as it’s the best value, and the data is pointing in that direction.

To take: Astros -1.5 -110 (DraftKings)

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