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MLB Wednesday April 3rd Pirates at Nationals Betting Preview

Pittsburgh Tries to Stay Perfect on the Year

One of the biggest surprises of the first week of the 2024 MLB season has been Pittsburgh’s perfect 5-0 start to the year. The Bucs look to continue that success on Wednesday night in the April 3rd Pirates at Nationals betting matchup in Washington, D.C. (6:45 PM ET, ATTSN-PIT

Both teams had Tuesday off after Monday’s 8-4 Pirates win with just a -107 price tag. Oddsmakers are finally starting to acknowledge Pittsburgh’s success out of the gate as they’ve listed them at -146 for Wednesday night’s meeting. The Nats’ are +126 after being listed at -101 in the series opener.

Why the Pirates Have Value on Wednesday

The Pirates will try to move to 6-0 for the first time since 1962 with a win on Wednesday night. They are currently 5-0 for the first time since 1983 and what’s been especially impressive about this torrid start is that they’ve yet to play a home game.

The Pittsburgh offense is clicking right now, with all five of their wins going ‘over’ the betting total (O/U 8.5 for Wednesday) as the Pirates lead the majors with a 7.80 runs/game average. The Pirates are also hitting .302 as a team (3rd) and 4th in OPS (.850) and they’re creating runs as they’ve hit just four HRs.

The Pirates belted out 15 hits on Monday with Michael A. Taylor collecting three of those. Taylor is on fire to start 2024 hitting .471 while batting a mere .220 last year with the Twins. Bryan Reynolds also has 8 RBI in his first five games of the season while Ke’Bryan Hayes is hitting .391 out of the gate.

Why the Nationals Have Value on Wednesday

Washington has started 2024 1-3, but they have averaged over five runs/game over their last three. The Nationals managed four runs on 8 hits in Monday’s series opener, but they get a break facing Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller who gave up 4 ER in 5.2 IP (6.35 ERA) while striking out just 3 batters in what was ultimately a 6-5 win over the Marlins in 12 innings.

Maybe Tuesday’s off day was good for the Nationals, because it might have stalled the Pirates’ momentum from five wins in five days. Pittsburgh’s offense is plating runs like crazy right now, but Washington’s Jesse Winker and Trey Lipscomb are both hitting over .450 in the first week of 2024.

Trevor Williams makes his 2024 debut on Wednesday night but he doesn’t necessarily give Washington much value in this spot. Williams had a 5.55 ERA last season but did have his most strikeouts since 2019. Nobody on the Pirates roster has more than 5 career ABs vs Williams so he does have that advantage.

Free April 3rd Pirates at Nationals Betting Pick

Pittsburgh is on a great run to start the season, but their price tag is starting to reflect that. The Pirates have been underdogs in three of their five wins, and were -107 or less in their other two victories. Some bettors might think that the -146 is a bit too steep for this contest, so the best value is on the ‘over’ 8.5 as all five Bucs wins have gone ‘over’ so far this season and Williams has a tendency to give up some scoring.

Free Pick: Washington / Pittsburgh Over 8.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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