The Nationals continue to demonstrate that they will be a major player in the National League playoff race down the stretch, taking the first two games of a three-game set against the Giants at Nationals Park. Find out if they complete the sweep on Thursday night.
Washington uses an
early start time to celebrate the Fourth of July
Nationals took advantage of an early 11:05 a.m. ET start time on Wednesday,
capturing a 9-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants, who traveled over from
the West Coast before the series began on Tuesday. The Nationals have
been supplying the major league’s best pitching staff with plenty of run
support over the last eight games, averaging 8.6 runs a contest over that span,
with third baseman Ryan Zimmerman leading the way. He is batting .370
with four home runs and 16 RBIs over his last 10 games played.
Extra day of rest may
pitcher Matt Cain (9-3, 2.53 ERA) has watched the club suffer back-to-back
losses with him on the mound for just the second time this year, coming off a
5-1 home loss to the Cincinnati Reds last Friday, allowing a season high-tying
five earned runs and 11 hits. The three-time All-Star has tallied a 3-1
record and 1.49 ERA in five starts on five days’ rest during the 2012 campaign. In 11 lifetime starts versus the Nationals, Cain has posted a 5-4 mark and 3.09
ERA, going the distance in three of his last six efforts in the series.
Ross Detwiler (4-3,
3.30 ERA) has pitched well since returning to the starting rotation two starts
back, allowing four runs and nine hits over 11.2 combined innings. The
left-hander is 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA in eight home appearances (five starts),
with opposing hitters batting just .234 against him. Detwiler matched up
with Cain in his only career start against the Giants on June 4, 2009,
suffering a 4-1 home setback, giving up four runs and 10 hits over 5.2 frames.
Washington falls flat
in the nation’s capital as an underdog
The Nationals enter
the series finale with a solid 22-14 record inside this ballpark, but have
managed to drop five of six games as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this
season. Sports bettors will want to monitor the baseball betting odds page
closely throughout the day, as the Giants are 21-13 as a road favorite of -125
to -150 since the 2010 campaign.
Trends point to a
Despite 25 runs being
scored in the first two games of this series, the oddsmakers have sent out the
same total of 7.5 for this affair. The betting public will likely land on
the OVER, but the Giants have fallen short of the number in 22 of Cain’s last
32 starts as a road favorite. The UNDER is also 7-3-1 in Detwiler’s last
11 efforts as a home underdog.
Both teams will likely
be sluggish due to the different type of scheduling that’s occurred in this
series. The Giants and Nationals also possess two of the better bullpens
in the NL, which should keep scoring at a minimum in the later innings. I
recommend adding this total as one of your MLB picks later in the day, as the
number could rise to 8.
My Pick: Under 7.5