Cleveland Indians vs Washington Nationals Preview and Free Pick

Cleveland (62-47) at Washington (66-45)
When: Tuesday, August 9th 2016
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: SportsTime Ohio, MASN

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Two first-place teams will start a brief two-game interleague series on Tuesday when the Washington Nationals host the Cleveland Indians. Both teams have a good mix of pitching and hitting that could land them against each other in the World Series. Washington has won five of six and after a 1-0 victory over San Francisco on Sunday to win their weekend series. The Nationals earned the win without Bryce Harper, who sat out with a stiff neck after going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on Saturday to drop his batting average to .134 since the All-Star break. Cleveland, which split a two-game set at home against Washington last month, have lost five of seven to a pair of teams that won’t make the playoffs in the Twins and Yankees. The Indians suffered a 3-2 loss at the Yankees on Sunday despite a strong outing from Carlos Carrasco. Indians 1B Mike Napoli has six home runs and 11 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak. Washington C Wilson Ramos is 10-for-19 with three home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored in his last five games.

Pitchers: Indians – Trevor Bauer (7-5, 4.08 ERA) | Nationals – Max Scherzer (12-6, 2.87)

Trevor Bauer was blasted by the Twins in his last outing and has not won since July 1st against Toronto. Bauer surrendered eight hits and seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings on Wednesday. He has completed six innings once in his last six appearances. Bauer is making his first career appearance against Washington and is 5-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 12 road games this season.

Max Scherzer is going in the opposite direction and has not lost since July 4th and has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven starts. Scherzer gave up a pair of home runs and was charged with three runs in eight innings at Arizona on Wednesday but struck out 11 while walking only one. Scherzer saw plenty of Cleveland during his five seasons in Detroit and is 9-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 19 career starts against the Indians.

Bauer has had a history of control problems and it looks like he’s in a rut right now. The Nationals should be able to knock him around and I really like this Cleveland offense. They average five runs a game and plenty of Indians have seen Scherzer in the past. I like the over in this one.

Pick: Over 7.5 +100

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