Nationals vs. Reds Prediction and Odds for Friday, June 3 (Minor's Return Provides Major Value on the Reds at Home)

San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds
San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

You know things are bad when you are underdogs to the 17-32 Cincinnati Reds. That is exactly the position that the Washington Nationals are in on Friday at the Great American Ballpark for Game 2 of their four-game weekend series in Cincy.

To be clear, the Reds tied the MLB record for the worst start of the season at 3-22, but the bookies think they are going to walk all over the Nationals. It’s hard to disagree with that considering the direction each of these teams is heading. The Reds entered this series having won five of their last seven games and look suspiciously good right now.

The Nats, on the other hand, entered this series on a three-game losing streak after being swept by the New York Mets at Citi Field earlier in the week. 

Here are the odds for this game, using consensus odds.

Nationals vs. Reds Odds, Run Line, and Total

Run Line

  • Nationals: +1.5 (-180)
  • Reds: -1.5 (+155)


  • Nationals: +110
  • Reds: -130


  • Total 9 (Over -115/Under -105)

Nationals vs. Reds Prediction and Pick

A quick glance at the starting pitchers today shines a bright light on why the Nationals are underdogs on the road in this spot.

Josiah Gray gets the nod for Washington and has been a total disaster for most of the season. Yes, he held the Rockies to just one run on three hits over five innings last weekend. But, he gave up more than six runs in two of three starts before that and had a 5.74 ERA in May.

He walked more batters than he struck out twice last month and surrendered six or more runs on two occasions. Somehow he is 5-4, but I assure you it’s nothing he is doing. 

Veteran lefty Mike Minor will make his first start of the season for the Reds on Thursday. He has been on the shelf recovering from a sore shoulder. But, during that time, he has been killing it at AAA Louisville.

Minor went six innings in his last start while striking out nine and allowing one run on three hits without a walk. I usually don’t like to back guys in this kind of spot. But Minor has been so good in his rehab starts that I want to trust him to beat up on a terrible Nats team with Gray on the mound. 

Pick: Reds -130 ML

Follow all of Matt De Saro’s betting picks HERE