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Shohei Ohtani enters with 0.75 ERA for the season
Angels have lost three of their last four games
Nationals enter in last place in NL East standings
Odds taken from PointsBet.
Pick: Under 8.5 (-120)
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The Washington Nationals come into this game at 4-7 on the season, putting them in a tie with the Miami Marlins for last place in the NL East. Washington has won three of its last four games, though, winning two out of three against the Colorado Rockies before taking the series opener against the Angels on Monday. To get another win here, the Nats will need their pitching staff to be near perfect.
With Shohei Ohtani on the opposite side in this game, Nationals starter Josiah Gray will need to raise his level for this contest. He has lost both of his starts so far this season and has posted an ERA of 4.91 while giving up three home runs. Against the power bats of the Angels, including Mike Trout and Ohtani, Gray could be vulnerable to some crooked numbers if he does not rein things in a bit.
Along with their pitching questions, the Nationals will need to find a way to get runs on the board against one of the great pitchers in the league today in Ohtani. The Nats have barely averaged four runs per game this season, and have just five home runs in 11 games thus far. Manufacturing runs across several batters against Ohtani may be too much to ask, so finding some power could be a necessity here.
So far this season, only one member of the Nationals roster has hit more than one home run on the season. That is Jeimer Candelario, who has two home runs to his name on the season. Whether it is Candelario or someone else in their lineup, the Nationals are going to need to find some instant offense to offset how dominant Ohtani typically is when going through opposing lineups.
The Los Angeles Angels come into this game at 5-5 on the year thus far, having lost three of their last four games. They lost two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend, before dropping Monday’s series opener to the Nationals. But Shohei Ohtani is on the mound for the Angels in this game, giving the Angels a great chance to get back into the win column and back over .500.
Ohtani has been incredible so far this season, giving up just one run in 12 innings of work entering Tuesday’s start. He has 18 strikeouts in those 12 innings, averaging 1.5 strikeouts per inning, meaning that half of the outs he has recorded have come via strikeout. The Nationals have the fifth fewest strikeouts in Major League Baseball this season, and Ohtani will have to work hard to continue his strikeout pace in this game.
Offensively, the question is whether or not the Angels can give Ohtani enough run support to make things easy on him. In Ohtani’s first win of the season against the Mariners back on Wednesday, they scored four runs and barely hung on in the ninth inning. Scoring more in this game would make things easier on their bullpen, as having to cling desperately to a one-run lead almost cost Ohtani a win.
For the Angels to deliver offensively for Ohtani and to get a win in this game, the players around Mike Trout and Ohtani will need to deliver for them. Gio Urshela leads the team with a .351 batting average, and his ability to get on base can set the stars on this team up to drive in runs and make a difference in the game.
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