MLB Picks — New York Yankees at Washington Nationals

The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals have some unfinished business to take care of when they get together late Wednesday afternoon, then they will move forward with the main event of the evening, featuring a pair of Cy Young winners. This interleague matchup will get underway at 7:05 PM ET at Nationals Park, and BetAnySports customers who have signed up will  be able to get more value with reduced juice, and then after the contest begins they’ll have a chance to place wagers in real time with Live Betting Ultra.
Rain killed Tuesday night’s game after 5-1/2 innings, and there is no guarantee that there won’t be inclement weather in the D.C. area again. But they will try to finish things up and get the regularly scheduled game underway at a reasonable time.
The Yankees, of course, have recently surged to the top in the American League East, and with their 28-12 record, they lead the division by a full game over the Boston Red Sox. The Nationals are 24-18, and they are only a game and a half out of the top spot in the National League East, where the surprising Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies occupy the first two spots.
Two pitchers who have had outstanding seasons will square off against one another on Wednesday evening. CC Sabathia has a 2-0 record and 2.23 ERA; the lefty takes the hill for the Yankees, while Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.69 ERA), who may be the best pitcher in baseball, gets his turn for the Nats, having been moved up ahead of Tanner Roark but still operating on his regular rest.
In the baseball betting odds that have been posted at BetAnySports, and which we will use to make our MLB picks, the Nats are favored:
Washington Nationals (Scherzer) -161
New York Yankees (Sabathia) +151
Nationals -1.5 Runs (+135)
Yankees +1.5 Runs (-155)
Under 7.5 Runs  -120
Over 7.5 Runs  +100
Scherzer has won three Cy Young awards, including that which has been awarded the last two seasons in the National League. And he looks as if he may be on his way to a fourth. Since 2013 he has a 96-34 record, and after leading the NL in strikeouts the last two years, this is shaping up as another banner campaign, as he has a league-leading 91 K’s, the best Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) figure, and the best WHIP ratio (0.82) of his career. He has fanned seven batters for every one that he has walked, is operating with his highest strikeout-per-nine ratio ever (14.0) and has held the opposition to a .116 average and .389 OPS in four home starts.
Sabathia, who won the American League Cy Young in 2007 with Cleveland, was in a very bad place just a couple of years ago, as he couldn’t seem to get the ball over the plate. Now, his 5.60 strikeout-walk ratio resembles that of his Cy Young season. In seven starts, however, he only has two decisions, and he did not pitch well last time out, allowing four runs to the Red Sox before leaving in the fifth inning of an eventual loss to Boston, for which he had a no-decision.
Giancarlo Stanton is a dangerous hitter for Scherzer to face, as he has two homers in 18 career at bats against him. Last year’s National League MVP has struck out 55 times in 41 games, but only once in the last five, and had a homer against the A’s three days ago to highlight a 4-for-4 evening. After winning 17 of 18, the Yanks have split out the last four games, and as mentioned, there is still a result pending before this one gets underway.
We’re not necessarily saying this is an extraordinarily generous price, but you won’t have a chance to get Scherzer laying just 8/5 too much, at least in this kind of form, so we’ll recommend it.
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