Friday MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: Nationals vs. Yankees Betting Preview ( May 7)

Friday MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: Nationals vs. Yankees Betting Preview ( May 7) article feature image
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Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Giancarlo Stanton

  • The Yankees have been red-hot offensively after a slow start to the season.
  • The Nationals have been struggling, but have MVP candidate Juan Soto back.
  • Kevin Davis previews the series opener between the two teams and makes his pick below.

Nationals vs. Yankees Odds

Nationals Odds +155
Yankees Odds -175
Over/Under 9 (-125 / +105)
Time 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLBTV
Odds as of Thursday evening via Bet365.

After a poor start to the 2021 season, the New York Yankees seem to have fully turned things around. After winning two out of three games in the Bronx against the Houston Astros, the Yankees host a dangerous Washington Nationals team.

It’s hard to believe it’s only been two years since the Nationals won the World Series, and outside of Anthony Rendon, that core is still mostly in tact. And that core includes young superstar Juan Soto, who just came off the IL. We’ll see how the Nationals intend to deploy Soto this weekend, but since they’ll have the benefit of the DH in an American League ballpark, one would presume he will be in the lineup.

On the mound for Washington will be Patrick Corbin, who has struggled thus far in 2021. Can Corbin turn it around on Friday night in the Bronx and, paired with the returning Soto, lead Washington to the win as an underdog? Let’s take a look.

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Washington Nationals

The Nationals average only 3.5 runs per game, which is the third-worst in the league. Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell, two newly acquired players expected to join Soto as the lineup’s heavy hitters, both have batting averages below the Mendoza line.

Put simply, the Nationals need Schwarber and Bell to perform how they’re expected, plus get Soto and his MVP form back on regular footing. If Soto is not in the lineup on Friday, then the Nationals should still be avoided at the current odds.

Besides Soto, the other major Nationals variable is Corbin. The one-time frontline starter has started off this season with a negative WAR. Washington could have picked a random replacement level player and would have been better off in Corbin’s five starts. While Corbin has a 8.10 ERA, he is only two years removed from his 2019 season when he had a 3.25 ERA. The Nationals clearly have not given up on him returning to that form.

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New York Yankees

The Yankees’ lineup has truly turned it around, posting a league-best 132 wRC+ over the last week of games.

There are several factors behind the Bronx Bombers’ recent hitting success. Most importantly, Giancarlo Stanton has been on a tear as he has a .636 batting average (not a typo), two home runs, and only three strikeouts over his last five games. DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Aaron Hicks have been hot at the plate as well.

The only question mark is with starting pitcher Jameson Taillon. New York starters outside of Gerrit Cole are like Katy Perry because there are either hot or cold.

Currently, Taillon has a 5.24 ERA, and a 3.86 xFIP which suggests that he has been unlucky this season. In his last start against the lowly Detroit Tigers, Taillon lasted five innings and only allowed one earned run. If Taillon can pitch like that against Washington, then the Yankees should win easily.

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Nationals-Yankees Pick

The Yankees are the obvious pick against the Nationals, but I am usually wary of backing the obvious choice. My model gives the Yankees a slight edge against their -175 moneyline, but I am a bit wary of betting on the Yankees If Soto is back in the lineup.

If Soto isn’t in the lineup, I like the Yanks but only at their current price. If Soto is starting, then this game is one to avoid.

Pick: New York Yankees Moneyline (-175) (Bet365) would play up to -175

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