Among the surprises in the second half of the baseball season are the Washington Nationals, who entered their series on the road against the New York Yankees 21-14 and will look to improve that mark on Wednesday.
Washington Nationals vs. New York Yankees (-155, 9)
While the Nationals have surged, Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino has done the opposite, posting a 7.98 ERA and 6.82 fielding independent with two home runs and four walks per nine innings allowed, surrendering at least three runs in 11 of his last 13 pitching appearances and at least four runs in 10 of those appearances.
The Yankees back up Severino with a lineup that entered Tuesday’s opener last in the league in runs per game since June 4, the first game they played in their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers when Aaron Judge injured his toe.
In this 64 game stretch, the Yankees averaged 3.75 runs per game with their .223 batting average also last in the league and even since Aaron Judge’s return, the Yankees entered the series 6-16 since his return to the lineup on July 28, averaging 3.5 runs per game since his return.
As for the Nationals, the team has used small ball to rack up runs, ranking eighth in the league in the league in runs per game since the All-Star Break with 5.1 despite being 26th in the league in home runs with 35 home runs in 35 games.
The Nationals look to generate enough offense for starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore to prosper, who has a 4.38 ERA with 1.5 home runs and 3.8 walks allowed per nine innings with 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings with three runs or fewer allowed in four of his last five starts.
Though the Yankees have the edge in the bullpen, having the best bullpen ERA in Major League Baseball, Severino often does irreparable damage with the Yankees offensive struggles to come back and with the Yankees 1-7 in Severino’s last eight pitching appearances, Wednesday sets up to be another disappointing night for the Yankees.
The Play: Nationals +130