NL Betting Matchup of the Week: Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers

The National League Wild Card race is heating up, and there are as many as six teams vying for the final two spots in the playoffs. The Washington Nationals are hosting the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend in a series that will have huge playoff implications in the National League. The series opening game on Friday night is our National League Betting Matchup of the Week.

The Milwaukee Brewers enter the week with a record of 62-57, and sit in third place in the National League Central. Milwaukee has been near the top of the Wild Card standings for the last few weeks, but their record on the road is holding them back. The Washington Nationals have improved their record to 62-55 on the season, and are currently holding a Wild Card spot in the National League. The Nationals are 31-25 at home this season, and have been playing great baseball in the last few months.

Brewers Need More Starting Pitching

The Milwaukee Brewers just can't seem to keep their starting pitchers healthy this season, and that has forced them to turn to plenty of youngsters. 26-year-old Adrian Houser will be on the mound for the Brewers on Friday night, and will be making just his 10th career start. Houser has won three of his last four decisions for the Brewers, but he has also had some rough starts this season. Milwaukee does have a terrific bullpen with a dominant closer, but they must get an early lead to employ them.

Milwaukee has the reigning National League MVP in Christian Yelich, but he has missed several games of late while dealing with a back issue. Yelich is still putting up monster numbers this season, and leads the team with 39 home runs and 84 runs driven in. Mike Moustakas is having a monster season in Milwaukee as well, and has chipped in with 27 long balls. The Brewers will need to score some runs if they are going to win some games in Washington.

Nationals Offense Not Missing Harper's Bat

The Washington Nationals were supposed to struggle on offense this season without Bryce Harper, but that hasn't been the case. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is having a monster season for the Nationals and leads the team with 25 home runs and 90 runs batted in. The Nationals enter the week with 158 home runs as a team, and they have been getting plenty of slugging all season long.

Veteran Patrick Corbin will be on the mound for the Nationals on Friday night, and he has been terrific this season in DC. Corbin brings a 9-5 record into this game to go along with a stellar earned run average of 3.41. Washington does have one of the worst bullpens in baseball, but their offense has bailed them out several times this season.

Nationals Win Important Series Opener

The Washington Nationals have the edge in starting pitching on Friday night, and they also have the advantage of playing at home. This should be a terrific weekend series between playoff hopeful teams, but the Washington Nationals just have too much going right for them. The Brewers will compete all weekend long, but they aren't winning this game on Friday night. Bet the Washington Nationals over the Milwaukee Brewers in the series opener.