The Nationals are hoping they can keep their modest three-game winning streak alive as they host the Giants in our MLB picks for Tuesday evening.
For a breakdown of today's games, check out today's Daily Baseball Betting Lines & Odds Report!
San Francisco Giants (52-65)
The Giants cannot seem to put runs on the board, averaging less than two runs per game since the All-Star break, but the importance of offensive production diminishes whenever their ace Madison Bumgarner takes the hill. Bumgarner was lights out yet again in his last outing until his shutout of the Brewers was shattered in the eighth inning when he was touched for three earned runs en route to a 6-1 loss at home.
While Bumgarner has been doing his part, posting an 11-7 mark to go along with a 2.75 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, his teammates have failed to provide much in the way of run support. In Bumgarner's 23 starts this season his team has provided only two runs or less in 11 of those starts. Catcher Buster Posey is hitting under the Mendoza line since the break as he has flailed away at a .186 pace while the entire team combined has launched only seven dingers since returning from the Midsummer Classic.
Washington Nationals (57-60)
The Nats swept their three-game set with the Phillies and are looking to welcome the defending World Champs in similar fashion as they send one of their top guns Gio Gonzalez to the bump. Gonzalez, like Bumgarner, has not been getting much run support from his teammates particularly over his last four starts where the Nationals have scored one run or less in three out of four of those appearances.
However, if the series with the Phillies is a harbinger of things to come then plating runs should not be an issue. Washington torched their guests, averaging eleven hits and over seven runs per game as they outscored Philly 23-7. Gonzalez would like to have the luxury of at least a few runs after coming out on the losing end of a pitcher's duel last time out of the box when the Nationals bowed 2-1 to the Braves as -115 home chalk in the betting odds. Aside from an implosion against the Tigers on July 31st where he allowed 10 runs in a little over three innings of work, Gonzalez has been rock solid but a hard luck loser due to a recurring power outage by his teammates.
When last Bumgarner and Gonzalez faced off on May 22nd it turned into a classic pitcher's duel as each surrendered four hits and allowed only one run apiece. Washington would ultimately win that game 2-1 and avoid a series sweep by the Giants but now they get them in their own backyard and at a time when San Francisco is scoring about as much as a nerdy kid at a cheerleader rally.
Both pitchers are coming off decent outings and this should mirror their previous meeting of almost three months ago. There is no doubt that quality pitchers are at their best when opposing another quality pitcher. It's tough to make a case to bet the Giants in our sports picks, particularly because their bats have been ice cold while Washington has experienced a power surge of late.
The last time these two met, Gonzalez was a +145 underdog in the MLB odds and the Nats left San Francisco as 2-1 victors. I believe there's an excellent chance of that happening again, despite Washington not being as big a favorite as I thought they might be, laying only -125. The total is a bit lower than I'd like also, but I will take the plunge on that as well.sports picks on our Major League baseball forum!