Bet Nationals Run-Line vs. Giants in Series Opener

Willie Bee

Friday, August 22, 2014 2:38 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 2:38 PM UTC

The Nationals look to extend their 10-game win streak when the Giants come to town to begin a weekend set on Friday.  Where has our handicapper found MLB odds value for the tilt?

It has been a struggle for San Francisco of late, the Giants treading water so far in August with a 9-9 record.  Things aren't going to get any easier for Bruce Bochy's ball club this weekend, either, with a 3-game set against the streaking Washington Nationals who have risen to the top of the National League standings thanks to a 10-game win streak.

The series gets underway with a top-notch mound duel between righthanders as Tim Hudson takes on Doug Fister.  First pitch at Nationals Park is scheduled for 7:05 PM (ET), and a quick check of SBR's live MLB odds shows Washington priced at -150 on the moneyline.

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All three games, in fact, feature solid pitching matchups that should lead to low totals among the wagering options.  Friday's scoreboard mark is 7, and carries a little extra juice on the high side.

Nats On Fire As Series Begins
San Francisco (67-59, +3.3 units, 60-59-7 O/U/P) arrives in the nation's capital after a strange series in Chicago against the Cubs.  The opener of that set was originally called because of rain, but the Giants won an appeal of that suspension and ended up completing the match on another rainy Chitown afternoon before winning the finale Thursday evening.

No team in baseball is hotter than Washington (73-53, +5.7 units, 61-54-11 O/U/P).  The Nationals have not only won 10 straight, but five of the last six came in last at-bat rallies.  The streak has helped Matt Williams' club increase its lead in the NL East to seven games ahead of the Atlanta Braves, and the Nats would love to keep it going before heading out on a 9-game roadie against the Phils, Mariners and Dodgers, that series in LA looming as an NL CS preview.

This has been a pretty even series over the years, the Giants taking 235 of the previous 458 games (.513 PCT) played against the Nats and former Expos.  San Francisco also has a 35-32 edge since the Nationals relocated to Washington 10 years ago.

Three of the four games played in San Francisco back in June went to the Nats, and the 'over' was also a winner three times.  Washington took two of three played in DC a year ago, 'under' bettors also cashing twice.

Hudson Enjoys Pitching In Washington
San Francisco's lone win over the Nationals in June came in the series finale with Hudson on the mound.  The veteran saves the Giants from a 4-game sweep with seven innings of work, allowing just one unearned run and striking out five.  Hudson has enjoyed a lot of success pitching in Washington over his career, winning five of his six starts at either RFK Stadium or Nationals Park while pitching to a 2.15 ERA.

While Hudson has provided bettors with a respectable 4.3 units of profit this season, Fister has been even better with the Nationals victorious in 14 of his 18 assignments for a cool $8.80 return.  The Fresno State alum beat Madison Bumgarner and the Giants as a +115 road 'dog during the previous series in San Francisco, tossing seven shutout innings in a 2-1 win in what was his first career appearance against them.

Baseball bettors will want to keep an eye on the radar this weekend with rain part of the Friday and Saturday forecasts.  Afternoon thunderstorms are in the mix today, with a 50% chance at game time.  This is San Fran's only trip to DC, and the clubs only share one other off day (Sept. 4), so we can expect the umpires to do everything possible to get all three contests in.

Seven of Washington's 10 wins in the streak have been of the 1-run variety, a column the Nats were just 13-18 in before the run.  That makes playing them on the run line a little risky, but that's exactly the direction I'm going with my free MLB pick.

MLB pick: Nationals -1.5 (+150)

Season: 103-108 (-6.05)

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