The Nationals go from the frying pan into
the fire as they continue their tough West Coast road trip.
Following a four-game series in Arizona where they
earned a split, the Nationals now move on to San Francisco to face the
first-place Giants at AT&T Park.
John Lannan (3-5, 4.05) gets the call for Washington
while Tim Lincecum (5-4, 2.59) takes the hill for the defending World Series
champion Giants. First pitch is slated for 10:15 PM ET with SF heavy betting odds favorites to take the
opener with the total holding at 6.
The Giants opened a 10-game home stand by taking two
out of three from the Rockies. The
two teams combined for a total of 10 runs in the series with the ‘under’
cashing in all three contests.
In Sunday’s game the Giants prevailed 2-1 on the
strength of another stellar outing from Ryan Vogelsong. The one-time mop-up man
who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2006, worked eight innings allowing one
run and four hits with eight strikeouts to improve to 4-1. Brian Wilson got the
final three outs for his 17th save of the season.
Vogelsong was inserted into the starting rotation
when Barry Zito went on the disabled list with a foot injury. Now with Zito eyeing
a mid-June return, the Giants will soon be facing a decision on what to do with
Vogelsong. Most teams have an unwritten policy that a player shouldn’t lose his
position to injury but if bettors had
their way then they would no doubt opt to keep Vogelsong as the fifth-man. He’s 7th in the NL in
starter baseball betting statistics (+465 units) compared to Zito who is in
negative numbers (-196).
Sunday in Arizona, the Nationals earned a wild,
11-inning victory beating the Diamondbacks 9-4. There were four hit batters and
four ejections including managers Kirk Gibson and Jim Riggleman. Washington
shortstop Danny Espinosa was plunked twice, Jayson Werth got hit for the third
time in the series and Justin Upton notched his fourth HBP in four games.
Baseball handicappers on Washington earned +152 thanks to the gritty victory.
Nationals outfielder Michael Morse continues to
shine. Following Sunday’s slam against the D-Backs, he’s now hitting .301 with
eight homers and 30 RBI’s. Danny Espinoza is batting just .219 but he’s putting
up some impressive power numbers with 10 home runs, four triples, seven doubles
and a team high 33 runs batted in.
The Giants offense didn’t have much going on against
the Rockies scoring just six runs on 17 hits in the three games. San Francisco remains
mired near the bottom of the National League in hitting (.241) and scoring
Lincecum can claim ownership of just about every team in the league with the exception
of the Nationals. He’s 1-2 lifetime with one of those setbacks coming on April
29 when he was the short end of a pitcher’s duel falling to Jason Marquis 3-0.
Since that loss, Lincecum is 3-1 with a pair of no-decisions.
Lannan is coming off back-to-back performances
against the Padres and Phillies in which he allowed one unearned run in a
combined 13 innings. This will be his third career start against the Giants
going 0-1 with a 1.98 ERA with the loss coming on April 30 when the Nationals
managed just two hits in a 2-1 loss to Jonathan Sanchez.
has the edge?
San Francisco has won seven of the last nine
meetings at AT&T Park but lost three of four in Washington in early May.
The Nationals, who have seven games remaining on
their 11-game road trip, are just 11-24 away from Washington in 2011. They’re
7-16 against the Giants in the last 23 games with San Francisco in the midst of
an 11-4 home streak.
The Giants are 11-3 in one run games which help
explains a 24-35 record on the run line (-958).
There’s a 20 percent chance of rain tonight with
temps in the 50’s for tonights matchup.