The Astros face the Nationals in D.C.! Our MLB odds series has our Astros Nationals prediction, odds, and pick for Saturday.

The Astros have opened this season struggling. They have a 6-14 record and have lost three straight games heading into this game. Despite their early struggles, their offense has played their part with a top-three batting average as a team in the entire MLB. Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and Yordan Alvarez have been great and bombing it for Houston. The issue facing Houston is that so far they are getting shelled on the mound and have fallen to second to last in pitching staff ERA, only in front of the Rockies. Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez are both out due to injury, leaving the cupboard bare behind them. Ronel Blanco has been decent leading into this particular matchup. The Astros have talent, but they have a lot to figure out on the mound because something is not clicking yet.

The Nationals have epitomized inconsistency so far this season. They have an 8-10 record and have been alternating wins and losses recently. Both their pitching and hitting have not been great, with both ranking in the low 20s. Jesse Winker and CJ Abrams have stood out for a below-average offense up to this point in the season. Jake Irvin and MacKenzie Gore are the key pitchers for the Nationals despite the overall staff struggling at times this season. Trevor Williams has been solid leading up to this matchup for the Nationals. The Nationals have the talent, but it depends on if they can put it all together this season, and up to this point they have been inconsistent.

Here are the MLB Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

MLB Odds: Astros-Nationals Odds

Houston Astros: -1.5 (-106)

Moneyline: -188

Washington Nationals: +1.5 (-105)

Moneyline: +158

Over: 9 (-118)

Under: 9 (-104)

How to Watch Astros vs. Nationals

Time: 4:05 pm ET/1:05 pm PT

TV: Space City Home Network/MASN

Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Astros Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Astros are putting Ronel Blanco on the mound where he has a 2-0 record, a 0.86 ERA, and a 0.71 WHIP. Through 21 innings, he has allowed two runs on six hits with nine walks and 16 strikeouts. He's appeared in three games so far and the Astros have won all three, accounting for half of their wins up to this point in the season. Last season, Blanco was inconsistent with a 2-1 record, a 4.50 ERA, and a 0.71 WHIP. Blanco has been the best part of a pitching staff that has struggled a lot this season so far.

The offense for the Astros has been a huge bright spot so far this season. The Astros are third in the MLB in team batting average at .268 after having a team batting average of .259 last season where they finished fifth in the league. Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker lead the Astros in almost every important batting category. Altuve leads the team in batting average at .387, in home runs at five, in OBP at .462, and total hits at 31. Tucker then leads in RBI at 15. At least four Astros have hit three or more home runs with three being tied for the team lead at five. This offense will need to be huge in every game this season and this game in D.C. is no different.

Why The Nationals Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Nationals are putting Trevor Williams on the mound in this game and he has a 2-0 record, a 3.45 ERA, and a 1.15 WHIP. Through 15.2 innings, Williams has allowed six runs on 12 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts. The Nationals are 2-1 in the three games that he's appeared in this season. In his last start, he threw 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Last season, Williams struggled with a 6-10 record, a 5.55 ERA, and a 1.60 WHIP. Williams has been a bright spot up to this point on the mound, but he has a tough matchup against the Astros.

The offense for the Nationals has been subpar this season. They are tied for 21st in the MLB in team batting average at .231 after having a team batting average of .254 last season where they finished 12th in comparison. Jesse Winker and CJ Abrams lead the way in most of the important batting categories. Winker leads in batting average at .364, in OBP at .485, and in total hits at 20. Abrams then leads in home runs at five and in RBI at 11. The Nationals don't have much on offense, but the pitching has struggled on Houston across the board, so they could show up big if needed.

Final Astros-Nationals Prediction & Pick

The Astros have gotten almost nothing on the mound from any of their pitchers except Ronel Blanco who is getting the nod in this spot. The Astros are undefeated with him on the mound and when you combine that with their potent offense this sets up well for them to break their losing streak. The Nationals have not shown much behind the plate and while Williams has been solid this is a massive challenge for him against Houston. Expect the Astros to win and win easily.

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Final Astros-Nationals Prediction & Pick: Astros -1.5 (-106)