Tonight MLB fans will witness the battle of last place teams, as the “Least from the East’ the Washington Nationals visit the “Worst in the West” San Diego Padres. Game time is 8:35 PM ET from Petco Park.
A pair of lefthanders will square off tonight
with John Lannan (3-5, 3.78) taking the hill for the Nationals while the Padres
will counter with Clayton Richard (2-7, 4.20), who MLB odds boards opened as -120 favorite with
the total at 6.5. The Padres are 1-11 in Richard’s last 12 starts.
The teams have split the first two games of
the series. San Diego won on Thursday night 7-3 (in line with SRB handicapper Joe Freda's pick) with Washington bouncing back
for a tight 2-1 victory last night. Winning pitcher Jason Marquis (7-2) worked
the first six innings and allowed just one run and three hits. The blazing-hot
Michael Morse hit a two-run homer in the second off losing pitcher Mat Latos
giving Morse his 10th home run of the season and eighth in 18 games.
Besides occupying the basement in their
respective divisions, Washington and San Diego share some other striking similarities.
Their overall records are close; The Padres (29-36) are a half-game ahead of
the Nationals (28-36). San Diego has a home record of 14-24 while Washington is
14-24 on the road.
Offensively the two teams are either last or
next to last in several categories. The Padres are 30th in runs (223) and in
runs per game (3.43). They’re next to last in home runs (36) and 28th
in hitting (.243). The Nationals are last in batting (.230), 13th in
the NL in runs scored (241) and 23rd in the majors in runs per game
(3.77). The one glaring advantage for San Diego is its bullpen which leads in
ERA (2.55), wins (12) and saves (18).
The Padres have one starting pitcher with a
winning record and that’s Aaron Harang at 7-2. But Latos (4-7), Dustin Moseley
(2-6), Tim Stauffer (2-4) and Richard, (2-7) are a combined 10-24. The
Nationals have posted similar numbers. Marquis is 7-2 but the other four
starters in the rotation have cumulative record of 12-23.
These teams have met on five previous
occasions with San Diego holding a 3-2 advantage. MLB bettors whould note that three of the games have gone
‘under’ with a total of 28 runs scored.
This will be the second time in just over two
weeks that Lannan and Richard have met. On May 27, Lannan and the Nationals
came away with a 2-1 victory although neither starter had a decision. Lannan
threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings allowing just two hits while Richard matched up
nearly pitch-for-pitch going seven innings and allowing one run and three hits.
Lannan has a career record of 1-2 vs. San Diego. Richard is 1-1 against
Washington which is 4-1 in its last five games against lefties.
The Nationals are 7-3 to the low side in
their last ten games overall and 6-1 to the ‘under’ in their last seven road
games against lefthanders. San Diego is hitting .291 against lefties in their
last 10 games compared to Washington’s.228 average vs. southpaws.
The San Diego weather forecast is calling for
mostly cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers and temperatures in the
Take: It’s tough to go against Lannan in this spot. He’s allowed one run in his
last 20 innings (0.45) and has given up just 10 hits. Richard was 14-9 in 2010
and even when he’s pitched well he can’t seem to get a win (0-2, 2.45 last
three starts). This should be another low scoring game and I might make a small
play there. But the bulk of my investment tonight will be on Lannan.