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Astros vs. Nationals: Picks, predictions, how to watch Friday’s game

We go over how to watch Friday’s game between the Astros and Nationals and make some picks.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) throws a pitch during first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals square off on Friday with first pitch set for 7:05 PM EST. The game takes place at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and will only be available on local TV or through an subscription. Framber Valdez gets the start on the mound for the Astros, while Josiah Gray will start for the Nationals.

After a bit of a slow start to the season, the Astros have won their last 10 games, putting them in sole possession of first place in the AL West. After losing Carlos Correa, some fans were worried about how the new shortstop would fill the role. Jeremy Peña is hitting .276 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. Yordan Alvarez has been tremendous at the plate as he’s hitting .271 with 10 home runs which has him tied with Aaron Judge for the most in the MLB. Framber Valdez has been decent this season, and they’ll need a big game out of him in this one.

The Nationals are off to a rough start and that was expected heading into this season. After dealing away almost every star last year, Washington hoped to rebuild their minor league system. Josh Bell has been their best hitter by far this season as he’s hitting .345 with four home runs and 21 RBI’s. There is a good chance he doesn't finish the season in Washington. Josiah Gray has been the best pitcher for the Nationals this season as he is 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA. He was a big piece in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trade.

Astros vs. Nationals

Pitchers: Framber Valdez vs. Josiah Gray
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Astros local broadcast: AT&T SportsNet Southwest
Nationals local broadcast: MASN
Live stream: (subscription)
Moneyline odds: Astros -155, Nationals +135

Picks & predictions

Moneyline pick: Nationals +135

These are two evenly-matched offenses, and the pitchers have nearly identical numbers early on in 2022. With that being said, the underdog is going to be the team with better value. The Nationals have a bad record due to poor pitching, but Gray has not been part of the issue.

Player prop pick: Framber Velez U4.5 strikeouts (-120)

The Nationals are not a fantastic-hitting team, but they do not strike out all that much. Washington has the third-fewest strikeouts per game. This is a solid value play even though Velez has been a solid strikeout pitcher.

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