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Jason Radowitz is back with his pick for Wednesday's Pirates vs. Nationals game

Pirates vs. Nationals Prediction - June 16

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 – 4:05pm EST

Nationals Park

Pirates vs. Nationals Probable Pitchers

  • Pirates: Chase De Jong (0-0, 4.80 ERA)
  • Nationals: Paolo Espino (5-1, 4.14 ERA)

The Pirates currently have 23 wins on the year and they’re not even the worst team in the league. However, they’ve made some really poor decisions on the field this season and play like the league’s worst.

Now they’ll send out Chase De Jong who hasn’t been much of a help to this rotation. In 15 innings this season, he’s allowed 14 hits and seven walks while giving up eight earned runs and three home runs.

What stands out even more is that he’s induced just 13 ground balls and allowed 33 fly balls in 15 innings this year.

De Jong hasn’t faced premier offenses just yet. He’s allowed one run to Colorado, five runs to Miami and two runs to the Brewers. 

Now he faces the Nationals, who also haven’t been a premier offense. However, on paper, they should have more success than these other ball clubs just from a power standpoint.

The Nationals will have Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the top of the order. All four of these bats have been hitting righties with heavy hard contact and have plenty of potential to go yard against De Jong.

In the last 30 days, De Jong has allowed an isolated power number of .257 to lefties and .318 to righties. He’s not striking out more than 20 percent of batters and is inducing ground balls at just 28.3 percent of the time.

On the other hand, the Nationals will send out Paolo Espino who made his first start of the season a week ago.

Espino went 3.1 innings and allowed just one solo home run with five strikeouts and no walks against the Giants. On the season, he has a 2.78 ERA and a WHIP of .84.

He might be stretched out enough where he could go a full five innings to have a chance at recording a win now that he went 3,1 innings last start. In the last 30 days, he has struck out nearly 29 percent of batters and is only walking 5.3 percent of batters.

Out of the bullpen, it’s easier to produce strikeouts and limit walks due to less fatigue but either way, he’s been terrific this season. He’s been so good that the Nationals turned to him to start games when a rotation spot opened up.

The Pirates lineup has been awful against righties. They’re waiting for Colin Moran to get healthy again at this point.

Espino should be able to shut down the Pirates early and often in this game. The question is how long he’s able to go. So with that, I’d rather look at the first five innings with the Nationals and take Espino and the Nationals bats that way.

This way, even if Espino pitches well and gets taken out through four, he would put the Nationals and our bet in great position to cash.

However, we’re going to have to bet the -.5 line at (-115) instead of on the moneyline. There won’t be a chance at a push but we won’t need it with these Nationals bats hitting for power against De Jong today.

MLB Picks - Pirates vs. Nationals

The Pick: Nationals -.5 F5 @ -115

Pirates vs. Nationals Moneyline Odds

  • Pittsburgh Pirates to win @ +150
  • Washington Nationals to win @ -160

Pirates vs. Nationals Run Line Odds

  • Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 @  -136
  • Washington Nationals -1.5 @  +125

Pirates vs. Nationals Over/Under Odds

  • Over 9.5 @ +105
  • Under 9.5 @ -115

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