Garza vs. Roark: Who Can We Trust & is he Worth Our Money? Nationals vs. Brewers MLB Pick

Darin Zank

Thursday, June 11, 2015 5:07 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 11, 2015 5:07 PM UTC

Washington is struggling, while Milwaukee is playing its best ball of the season, heading into the opener of a four-game series in DC Thursday night. Do we go with the hotter team for our free MLB pick here, or the better team?

Nationals-Brewers Betting Odds
As of mid-Thursday morning the best line we could find on Washington and Tanner Roark was the -114 offered at GT Bets, while Milwaukee and Matt Garza were getting +108 at Heritage. And most books were lining the total on tonight's game at 8.5 runs, which is high for a National League game these days.


The Situation
Washington just split two games with the Yankees in New York, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory Wednesday. The Nats tied Wednesday's game with two runs in the top of the eighth, then won it with a run in the 11th to avoid a fourth-straight defeat.

Just before that Washington dropped three of four games to the Cubs; just before that they dropped two of three to Toronto; just before that they got swept three games by Cincinnati. So the Nats are 0-3-1 in their last four series, 3-9 over their last 12 games.

Still, at 31-28 Washington leads the NL East by a half-game over the second-place Mets.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, has won two series in a row for the first time all season. The Brewers just took two of three games from the Pirates in Pittsburgh, and just before that they took two of three from the Twins in Minnesota.

Still, at 22-38 Milwaukee owns the second-worst record in baseball, and the worst home record in baseball at 9-20.

This is the first meeting between these teams this season. Last year the Nats took four of six games from the Brew Crew.

Must Read: Check out this other MLB pick for tonight's Nationals-Brewers

Thursday's Starting Pitchers
Garza (4-7, 5.09) is off to a rough start to this season, but has been better his last couple of times out. Eleven days ago he entered a tie game against Arizona in the 12th inning and threw five scoreless frames, picking up the win when the Brewers won on a homer in the bottom of the seventeenth. Then last Saturday he held Minnesota to one run through seven innings of a 4-2 win.

Still, on the season Garza is just three-for-11 on quality starts; Milwaukee is 4-7 in those starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 6-4 margin.

Garza started twice against Washington last year; first, he gave up three runs through seven innings of a 3-0 loss; then he got bombed for five runs before he could get out of the first inning in an 8-3 defeat.

Roark (2-2, 3.16) is one-for-three on quality starts since rejoining the rotation. Last time out he got nicked for four runs through 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs, but in his two starts previous to that he allowed three runs through 11 innings. The Nats are 2-1 in his starts.

In Roark's only career start against the Brewers, that same game Garza lost last July, he allowed just one run through seven innings of that 8-3 Nats victory.


Thursday's Batting Splits
Washington ranks 14th in the Majors this season with a .316 team OBP against right-handed pitching, while Milwaukee ranks 28th against righties with a lowly .292 OBP.


Injury Update
Washington is already playing without Jayson Werth, and Ryan Zimmerman is questionable for Thursday with a sore foot. Milwaukee, meanwhile, could be without Ryan Braun, who left Wednesday's game with a case of light-headedness (insert joke here).


Free MLB Picks
These teams are headed in different directions coming into this series, but Washington is the better outfit, more deserving of our wager. Also, both teams have had some trouble scoring runs as of late, so we're thinking UNDER for our MLB pick.

MLB Picks: Washington -114 at GT Bets and UNDER 8.5 runs at BetOnline

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