Nationals Start Series vs. Yankees as Underdogs in the MLB Lines

Nationals Start Series vs. Yankees as Underdogs in the MLB Lines

Written by on June 12, 2018

No question the biggest series around baseball early this week is a potential World Series preview between the Washington Nationals, the current favorites to win the NL pennant, and New York Yankees, favorites to win the AL pennant. The Bombers are solid MLB lines favorites for Game 1 of their set Tuesday.

How to Bet Nationals at Yankees MLB Lines & Game Info – June 12th

When: Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York
Probable pitchers (away/home): Tanner Roark/CC Sabathia
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM (Washington) / 101.9 FM (New York)
Opening MLB Lines: Yankees -150, Nationals +140 (9.5)

Bad Pitching News for Both

While I think it’s very possible to be a World Series preview, both teams got some potentially terrible pitching news over the weekend that could hamper their chances of reaching the Fall Classic. Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, probably the team’s second-best pitcher after Luis Severino, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with mild strains in both hamstrings after he was hurt running the bases a night earlier. Tanaka is expected to miss at least a month.

The Yankees already lost another starting pitcher, Jordan Montgomery, to season-ending Tommy John surgery so now clearly will be trading for pitching by the July 31 deadline. Because Tanaka was hurt running the bases, you are hearing AL teams continue to gripe about having their pitchers hit in interleague games in the NL park. That won’t be the case here as Washington adds the designated hitter.

Meanwhile, the Nats lost their second-best pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, to the DL with right shoulder inflammation. The right-hander left his start Friday against San Francisco after two innings and underwent an MRI Saturday morning. The three-time All-Star is 6-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 starts this year. It is Strasburg’s sixth stint on the disabled list in the past four seasons. There’s no timetable for his return but it figures to be at least a month. Shoulder inflammation can lead to eventual Tommy John surgery as well.

Why Bet on Washington?

Washington could get a key piece back here in All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy. He has yet to play this season off knee surgery but rejoined the team Sunday, taking batting practice and fielding grounders. Murphy has finished second in batting in the National League each of his two seasons with the Nationals, hitting .347 in 2016 and .322 in 2017. Because the Nats will be adding the DH here, it could be a perfect time to work Murphy back into the lineup without having to worry about him in the field yet.

Who Takes the Mound for the Nationals?

It’s Tanner Roark on the mound for Washington. Roark (3-6, 3.56) picked up the win last Wednesday against the Rays, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four across six innings. The right-hander likely could have pitched deeper into the game, as he had thrown just 84 pitches when he got the hook, but manager Dave Martinez turned to the bullpen after a four-run sixth inning put the Nationals up 10-2.

This will be Roark’s first career start against the Yankees. He has rebounded from a down year in 2017 to return to the consistent pitcher the Nats expected. In 11 of his 12 starts this year, he has tossed at least six innings.

Why Bet on New York?

Are the Yankees a safe bet to win on Tuesday night?

New York is expected to start big lefty CC Sabathia (3-1, 3.59). The former Cy Young winner allowed two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings to pick up the win last Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Sabathia faced just two batters above the minimum through the first five innings before giving up a solo shot to Teoscar Hernandez in the sixth. He was then taken deep by Kevin Pillar in the seventh inning and was given the hook following that frame with the Yankees holding a 4-2 lead.

The two runs allowed represented a season low for Sabathia and his six strikeouts marked his highest single-game total since striking out seven Indians on May 4.  He hasn’t seen Washington this season.

What About Aaron Judge?

The Yankees didn’t have reigning AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge for Sunday night’s game by the Mets after he injured his thumb Friday, but Judge isn’t hurt seriously and should be in there Tuesday. The Yankees also need catcher Gary Sanchez to snap out of his slump. Sanchez finished hitless in 11 at-bats against the Mets over the weekend, striking out four times while drawing one walk. Sanchez has a slash line of .069/.156/.103 in June and hit .222 in May. He’s hitting .190 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs this season.

Sanchez’s teammates also aren’t concerned about their catcher, who hit 53 homers in his first 175 games and entered this season with a career .284 batting average.

“He’s still a young player and for me, [Sanchez] has a chance to be the best catcher in the game,” Brett Gardner said. “I know the first couple months of the season maybe haven’t gone exactly the way that he would have hoped, but he’s still got quite a few big homers for us.”

Latest MLB Lines Trends

  • Nationals are 7-0 in their last 7 vs. American League East.
  • Nationals are 4-0 in their last 4 interleague road games.
  • Nationals are 6-0 in their last 6 interleague games.
  • Yankees are 2-5 in their last 7 interleague home games vs. a team with a winning record.

Expert MLB Betting Prediction

Nationals are a good MLB lines underdog in value, especially if Murphy is in the lineup.