Friday MLB Odds Preview: Nats Face D-Backs

Bettors could be getting a playoff preview Friday night when the Washington Nationals begin a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

And despite being the visitor expect Washington to be favored at the Bovada Sportsbook on Friday night with ace Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.01) on the mound. Zach Godley (3-4, 3.09) will get the start for Arizona.

Scherzer is coming off a win over the Cincinnati Reds in which he racked up double-digit strikeouts again with 10 over six shutout innings. He faced Arizona back in May and held them to one run on two hits over seven innings with 11 strikeouts. In six career starts against his former team Scherzer is 5-0 with a 2.41 ERA.

Godley is 0-3 in his last three starts and last time out versus the Atlanta Braves he was roughed up for seven runs on eight hits in six innings. He hasn't faced Washington this season, but in four career appearances against the Nationals he is 2-1 with a tidy 2.20 ERA.

In May Washington took two of three against Arizona and they’re 7-3 in their last 10 matchups. In Arizona, the Nationals have won four straight and six of their last seven games.

An NL Central division battle also highlights the Friday MLB slate, as the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs begin a three-game series with a matinee contest.

The pitching matchup on Friday looks like a good one with Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36) getting the ball for the Cardinals and Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17) going for Chicago.

Martinez is a disappointing 0-3 in his last five starts and came away with a no decision against the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out after allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings. In two starts against the Cubs this season he is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA, and in 21 career appearances against Chicago he’s compiled a 4-3 record with a 4.16 ERA.

Arrieta picked up a win over the Baltimore Orioles in his last start after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals this season and has a strong 8-3 record with a 2.00 ERA in 15 career starts against them.

The Cardinals and Cubs have clashed nine times already this season with the Cubs holding the advantage with six wins. At home the Cubs have won their last four versus St. Louis.