Game time: 1:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, OH
Where to watch: MASN 2, Bally Sports Ohio
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Reds -180, Nationals +155
BetMGM: Reds -167, Nationals +135
Caesars: Reds -172, Nationals +157
Nationals: 64-91 (Last place, NL East)
Reds: 80-75 (3rd place, NL East)
Ben Burns has put together a 9-3-0 stint the last seven days in MLB, putting up a plus profit of $3,160 with no signs of slowing down entering the weekend. Catch Ben’s and our other champion handicappers’ selections from around the baseball world, as well as our other predictions.
Nationals - Reds preview and analysis
Nationals: 4-6 in last 10
Reds: 5-5 in last 10
Shoutout to the Cincinnati Reds for trying to make things as entertaining as they can before their hand ultimately slips off the edge of the cliff.
Look, you try finding something even remotely less dark to describe the Reds’ playoff hopes hanging by a thread and get back to me.
But the Reds are still alive, friends, and thanks to Nick Castellanos’ walk-off home run on Saturday in the 7-6 win over the Washington Nationals, Cincy is still holding on to dear life as the teams meet for the series finale on Sunday.
Neither starter -- whether it be Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde or Reds starter Vladimir Gutierrez -- provided steady pitching from the starter’s circle. Fedde gave up five runs in 4.2 innings with only one strikeout, while Gutierrez gave up four in just 2.2 innings of work.
Eugenio Suarez drove in two of the seven runs to complement Castellanos’ three-RBI day, while Juan Soto went only 1-for-3. Andrew Stevenson led the Nationals with two RBI on the night.
As the Reds enter the final week of September six games back of the second wild-card spot in the National League, they’ll need a miracle in order to catch up to the blistering hot St. Louis Cardinals who won their 16th straight game on Saturday. Also given the fact they’re facing the Chicago Cubs in a series finale on Sunday, all signs point to another bullet leaving the chamber.
The Reds are eliminated in the race for the NL Central, something the Cardinals can still cling on for hope with a three-game series at home against the Brewers coming this week. Alas, the Reds are running out of time and this matchup with the Nationals is the last possible chance to get something going before a valiant effort is all for nothing.
Depending on what’s to come for the Reds, you have to expect them to keep fighting until they’ve run out of gas. Seeing they still have a chance at this thing, watch them go down swinging. Reds win 8-6
The Nationals are 29-47 (-8.6 net games on the money line) on the road this season.
As a road dog between +125 and +175, the Nationals are 11-13.
The Reds are 27-17 (-4.1 net games) when a favorite of -150 or more.
Players to watch
Nationals: Josh Bell is batting .296 in his last 15 games to go with three home runs and 11 RBI.
Reds: Castellanos has been in a slump throughout September despite the walk-off shot on Saturday. He’s batting .271 with now seven homers.
Lane Thomas (R) CF
Alcides Escobar (R) SS
Juan Soto (L) RF
Josh Bell (S) 1B
Luis Garcia (L) 2B
Keibert Ruiz (S) C
Jordy Mercer (R) 3B
Andrew Stevenson (L) LF
Josh Rogers (L) P
Jonathan India (R) 2B
Max Schrock (L) LF
Nick Castellanos (R) RF
Joey Votto (L) 1B
Kyle Farmer (R) SS
Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
Tucker Barnhart (L) C
TJ Friedl (L) CF
Tyler Mahle (R) P
Batting average: Juan Soto (.324)
Hits: Juan Soto (154)
Home runs: Juan Soto (29)
RBI: Juan Soto (92)
Stolen bases: Juan Soto (9)
Wins: Patrick Corbin (9)
Saves: Brad Hand (21)
ERA: Patrick Corbin (5.92)
Batting average: Nick Castellanos (.310)
Hits: Nick Castellanos (159)
Home runs: Joey Votto (33)
RBI: Joey Votto (92)
Stolen bases: Jonathan India (11)
Wins: Wade Miley & Tyler Mahle (12)
Saves: Mychal Givens (8)
ERA: Wade Miley (3.37)
Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert MLB picks today. And if you enjoyed this Washington Nationals - Cincinnati Reds preview, be sure to drop by every day for our daily MLB projections and predictions.