Each day during the MLB Playoffs, LT Profits seek out a total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Playoff Total Value Play of the Day for Saturday.
Unlike Game 1 of this series, look for a few more runs to be scored Saturday evening when Tim Hudson and the San Francisco Giants (90-74, 45-38 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals (96-67, 51-31 home) in Game 2 of their NLDS series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 5:37 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1, with the visiting Giants leading the series 1-0.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -110.
Wild Cards on a Roll
The Giants went on the road to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the National League Wild Card Playoff Game on Wednesday and they then rode that momentum to another road win 3-2 in Game 1 of this series on Friday with Jake Peavy out-dueling Stephen Strasburg. And that was after the Nationals took the season series from the Giants 5-2 including winning two of the three regular season meetings here in Washington.
The Nationals drew the wild cards here because they finished as the best MLB picks in the National League at 96-66, beating out the Los Angeles Dodgers by two games for the league’s best record and the number one seed that comes with it. This marked the Nationals’ second National League East title in three years as they won the division for the first time in 2012, which at the time was their first playoff appearance since moving to Washington from Montreal.
Rocky Finish for Hudson
The Giants signed Hudson as a free agent before this season, and he had a very uneven year while going 9-13 but with a good 3.57 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Hudson was extremely streaky as he looked great for extended periods and would then go through stretches when he could not get anybody out. Unfortunately he enters these playoffs on a sour note as he finished the regular season with a rocky stretch.
Hudson was officially credited with just one Quality Start in his last five starts, and even then he was not all that great while escaping with allowing three earned runs but on eight hits in six innings. He allowed an ugly 21 earned runs and 35 hits in 21.2 innings over those last five outings, resulting in a bloated 8.72 ERA and 1.85 WHIP! He is now facing a Washington offense that is batting a hefty .278 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.
End the Season with Style
As for Zimmermann, all he did was toss the first no-hitter in Nationals’ history vs. the Miami Marlins on the final day of the season while striking out 10 batters and walking one. One downside of that was that the Nationals did not want to remove him from the game while he had the no-no working, but they did not intend before that game to have him toss a Complete Game and throw 104 pitches.
That pitch count may be the reason Zimmermann is now going on six days rest with Strasburg starting Game 1 instead of Zimmermann starting the series opener on normal rest, which seemed like ideal scheduling considering he is now generally regarded as the staff ace. Now we have seen many times during the regular season where a pitcher struggles in his first start following a no-hitter, but is that pertinent when the next start is in the playoffs?
No-hitters aside, Zimmermann certainly had a great year at 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with a sensational ratio of 182 strikeouts vs. 29 walks. However, it appears that the Giants are on another of their glorious even-numbered year runs after winning the World Series in both 2010 and 2012, as they are averaging a potent 4.75 runs per nine innings vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.
Remember though that as long as Hudson’s late-season struggles continue, Zimmerman may not even need to allow many runs to push this game ‘over’.
Trending ‘over’ in Nation’s Capital
Finally, the ‘over’ was 7-2 in the last nine regular season meetings between these teams here in DC before the ‘under’ in Game 1, and even there the teams combined for 18 hits and 17 men left on base, so quite a few scoring opportunities were squandered.
Look for the recent ‘over’ pattern in this stadium between these teams to resume in Washington on Saturday.
MLB Pick: Giants, Nationals ‘over’ 7 (-110)