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How To Bet Nationals Reds – Nationals Look To Make Up Some Ground At Cincinnati

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 5/9/2012 3:11:47 PM

When Adam LaRoche hit a two-run home run to give the Washington Nationals the 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, it seemed as though they were destined to extend their lead on top of the National League East division. But with a man on third in the bottom half, Pirates’ catcher Rod Barajas smacked a two-run, walkoff home run that gave Pittsburgh the 5-4 win, and sent Washington to the showers wondering about what went wrong. In order to win a division title, teams cannot afford to blow games late, something that the first-place Nationals will need to remember as they try to get going in a three-game online sportsbook set against the Cincinnati Reds this weekend.

Washington Nationals @ Cincinnati Reds
Friday, 7:10 PM ET

After a brilliant start to the season, Washington has cooled off somewhat as they head in to the second of back-to-back three game road sets against NL Central division opponents. The Nationals had won just four of their past 10 games heading in to the second of three against the Pirates, and are going to need to find a way to win on the road if they are going to have any chance at maintaining position on top of the NL East. Washington will turn to Gio Gonzalez for the series opener at Cincinnati, who they have won five of their six games that he has started. Gonzalez himself is 3-1, with a 1.72 ERA, and should be able to hold his own against the winless Mike Leake, who has a 5.97 ERA, and has not allowed less than three runs in any start this season.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals @ Cincinnati Reds
Saturday, 7:10 PM ET

For as much as Leake has struggled for the Reds this sports betting season, Mat Latos hasn’t been much better with a 4.93 ERA despite flashes of strong play. Latos didn’t allow a run in six innings of work against the Pirates in his last start, the second time in his last three games that he has gone at least six without giving up a run, but in that third outing he gave up eight over six. Meanwhile, Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman has lost his last two starts while giving up three runs in each, so if Latos is on his game Cincinnati should be fine.

MLB Betting Pick: Cincinnati Reds

Washington Nationals @ Cincinnati Reds
Sunday, 1:10 PM ET

It will be Edwin Jackson for the Nationals against Carlos Arroyo for the Reds in the series finale, and who wins this game could come down to the starter that makes fewer mistakes. Both pitchers have similar ERA and strikeout numbers, with Arroyo helping his team get a win in three of his last four starts while Washington has lost three of its last four that Jackson has started. The Nationals have a lot of key pieces in place for future success, and if they want to maintain their position at the top of the NL East these are the types of betting matchups that players like Bryce Harper must prove he is ready for.

MLB Betting Pick: Washington Nationals

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