BetsByBob's MLB Best Bets for Tuesday: Nationals look to stay hot behind Scherzer

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) delivers against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field.

We are back at it again on another full baseball card on Tuesday. I am starting to string together a few winning days and looking to keep the positive momentum going. With a packed card, and all games being in the evening, that gives us plenty of time to dig in. I was able to get a head start on Tuesday, and have locked in four plays already. There are still some other spots I am eyeing, and will wait for lineups and potential line moves before deciding.

For the time being, below are my favorite two plays with some short reasoning on why I like them. Make sure you also check out the Pickswise team’s thoughts on the side and total for all of Tuesday’s matchups, especially after they went 6-2 on ML/ATS on Monday.

Don’t forget to read the Pickswise MLB mega parlay (+1646 odds) as well — the team have cashed two of these bad boys over the past two weeks, each at around 15/1!

Cincinnati Reds (Tyler Mahle) @ Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer)

Play: Nationals -1 (-112)

*Playable to Nationals -1 (-120) or Nationals -1.5 (+110)

The Cincinnati Reds head to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Nationals. This seems to be a battle of two teams heading in somewhat opposite directions. The Reds started off their season with their offense clicking on all cylinders, only to have lately been on a slide going 3-7 in their past 10 games. On the other side, the Nationals started off slow, but seem to be getting some momentum as of late with their recent sweep of the Orioles. It also helps for the Nationals that Strausburg is back off the IL and twirled a gem in his return to the rotation.

The Reds will have to battle against Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Scherzer is off to another great start this season, carrying an ERA of 2.24 with a FIP of 3.04. His strikeout percentage is as high as it has ever been, while his walk rate is also down. He is limiting hard contact and opposing batters are hitting at a clip of only .182. Scherzer throws 5 pitches that all rate above-average, and he sequences them well. It is a tough task going against this guy, and runs are going to be at a premium again.

Opposing Scherzer for the Reds will be right-hander Tyler Mahle. Mahle enters this game with an ERA of 4.20 and a FIP of 4.04. He has been a good middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Reds, but that’s a tough task with going against a bulldog in Max Scherzer. The Nationals hitters have also found good successes against Mahle, carrying a wOBA of .401 over a sample of 70 plate appearances. Mahle will be surely looking to bounce back from getting absolutely shelled against the Giants in his last outing, but I think the Nationals can find some success off him on Tuesday.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals.

St. Louis Cardinals (Jack Flaherty) @ Chicago White Sox (Lucas Giolito)

Play: Cardinals (+123)

*Playable to Cardinals (+115)

Jack Flaherty and Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals

© Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals will be facing off against the Chicago White Sox in their 2nd game of this 3 game series. It was quite the pitching duel in the first matchup, and the White Sox were not able to get to Kwang-Hyun Kim the way many expected with how they have been hitting lefties. Let’s see if the White Sox offense is finally slowing down after their torrid start to the baseball season.

Cardinals staff ace Jack Flaherty will be taking the bump and enters the game with an 8-0 win/loss record. He has pitched extremely well to get those wins, sitting at an ERA of 2.53 and a FIP of 3.19. Flaherty has elite stuff and is continuing to get better as he enters his fifth year in the big leagues. Flaherty has done a great job limiting the long ball so far this season, and opposing batters are hitting just .190 off him. He has done a good job limiting the slugging he has given up thus far, and that will be key to keeping this White Sox lineup at bay.

On the other side for the White Sox will be Lucas Giolito. He comes into this contest with an ERA of 4.35 and a FIP of 4.32. His ground ball rate has been down this season from his career norms but is still carrying a BABIP of only 2.48. His strikeout rate is down, while the walk rate is also up. While he has turned in some good games this season so far, he has also had some games he would like to forget. He has struggled with control issues throughout his career and seems with the increased walk rate that it still is a problem to be worried about. I think this is a Cardinals lineup that should find some success facing Giolito, and I like Flaherty to keep them in it. I will gladly take a shot on the redbirds here at the plus price.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago White Sox.

Pickswise is the home of free MLB Picks and Predictions. Check out the latest MLB Prop Bets and MLB Parlays as well as our MLB Best Bets from the experts.

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