Nationals vs. Giants Game 4
By: Ron Patrick
As of early Thursday morning San Francisco and Tim Hudson were favored by around -155 over Washington and rookie Blake Treinen, with a total of seven runs.
Washington made it three wins in a row in this series with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night. The Nats posted three runs in the top of the first and never trailed, getting a quality start from Tanner Roark and three RBI from Jayson Werth.
Washington won as a +105 dog on the MLB betting line, and the game sneaked OVER its total of seven runs when Werth knocked a two-out, bases loaded single in the top of the ninth to score two runs.
Hudson (6-2, 1.97) is nine-for-12 on quality starts this year, and two for his last three. Most recently he gave up three runs in five innings against the Mets, but in his two starts previous to that he held the Cubs and Cardinals each scoreless through seven innings.
On the season Hudson has permitted fewer hits, 68, than innings pitched, 82 1/3, while compiling a 55/11 K/BB ratio. Frisco is 9-2 in Hudson's starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS 6-5.
Last year, pitching for Atlanta, Hudson started three times against Washington, giving up just two ER and 10 hits through 21 1/3 innings; the Braves won all three of those games.
Treinen (0-2, 1.78), a 6-5 righty, will be making his fourth start of this season, to go along with four appearances in relief. Last time out, in his first start in two weeks, Treinen held the Padres to two runs through six innings, getting 13 ground-ball outs.
On the season Treinen has allowed 29 hits in 25 1/3 innings, with seven walks and 15 strikeouts. Washington is 0-3 in Treinen's starts, through little fault of his own.
This will be Treinen's first start against the Giants.
Free Pick for
We can't help but give Hudson the nod in the pitching match-up, but the Giants are having a little problem scoring at the moment, and the price is a bit much. So instead, we'll go with the UNDER seven runs, at the +105 offered at Will Hill, for Thursday's free MLB pick.
Nationals vs. Giants Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
As of early Wednesday morning, San Francisco and Matt Cain were favored by around -130 over Washington and Tanner Roark, with a total of seven runs.
The Nats got seven shutout innings from starter Doug Fister while Jason Werth's two-out RBI single in the fifth ultimately provided the winning margin in a 2-1 Washington victory. The Nationals won as +115 underdogs on Tuesday's MLB betting line, and the game never threatened its total of 6.5 runs.
Cain (1-3, 3.52) is only three-for-nine on quality starts this season. But last time out, in his first start after a stint on the DL (quad), Cain held the Mets to two runs through seven innings of a 4-2 Giants victory.
For the season Cain has allowed fewer hits (43) than innings pitched (53 2/3), walked 18, and struck out 42. He has also, however, given up eight gopher balls. San Francisco is 4-5 in Cain's starts, with the totals going 5-4. Cain started once against the Nats last year, allowing two runs through seven innings of a 4-2 Giants victory.
Roark (4-4, 2.91) is eight-for-12 on quality starts, and four for his last four. Last time out he threw a dandy, holding the Padres scoreless for eight innings, striking out 11, although that effort did come against the worst offense in baseball. Over his last four starts he's allowed just five ER through 28 innings. For the season Roark has allowed fewer hits (63) than innings pitched (77 1/3), while posting a 61/18 K/BB ratio. Washington is only 5-7 in Roark's starts, but the totals have leaned toward the UNDERS by a 6-4 margin.This will be Roark's first-ever start against San Francisco.
Free MLB Pick for Wednesday: We picked an underdog winner with Washington Tuesday night, and we'll stick with the Nats, getting +118 at 5Dimes, for our free pick on Wednesday's contest.
Nationals vs. Giants Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
In the early betting San Francisco and Madison Bumgarner were favored by around -135 over Washington and Doug Fister, with a total of 6.5 runs.
Washington chipped away at San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong for four runs through the first three innings, the key hit a two-out, two-run single by Ian Desmond in the third. The Nats then broke loose with a five-spot in the seventh, helped along by a Desmond two-run double. Washington won as a -125 favorite on Monday's MLB betting line, and covered on the run line at a price of +140. Also, as mentioned above, the game, to our great pleasure, rolled OVER its total of 6.5 runs.
The wind blew out toward right at 10-15 MPH Monday night, although neither team hit a homer.
This pitching match-up is a rematch from Game 2 of the 2012 World Series, a 2-0 Giants victory over Fister's Detroit Tigers.
Bumgarner (8-3, 2.68) is seven-for-13 on quality starts this year, and three for his last three. Last time out he held Cincy to one run through eight innings, and over his last three outings he's given up just two runs and nine hits in 22 innings, with one walk and 25 whiffs.
On the season Bumgarner has allowed 76 hits in 80 2/3 innings, while compiling a K/BB ratio of better than 4/1, at 90/18. San Francisco is 9-4 in Bumgarner's starts, with the totals leaning toward the OVERS by a 7-5 margin, thanks to some pretty good run support.
Bumgarner started twice against the Nationals last year, allowing two runs and nine hits in 11 innings; the Giants lost both those games because of, in those cases, poor run support.
Fister (4-1, 3.19) began this season on the DL, then got roughed up by Oakland in his season debut back on May 9. But since then he's been great, going four-for-five on quality starts, giving up eight runs through 32 1/3 innings, picking up victories in each of his last four outings.
Most recently Fister held Philly to two runs through seven innings, and just before that he limited the Rangers to two runs through six innings.
On the season Fister has allowed 34 hits in 36 2/3 innings, walked just two while striking out 28. Washington is 5-1 in Fister's starts, with the totals going 3-2.
This will be Fister's first start against San Francisco since that 2012 World Series game, when he held the Giants to one run through six innings, albeit in a losing cause.
Washington's Anthony Rendon, who's missed the last three games with a sore thumb, could re-join the lineup Tuesday night.
For Frisco, Angel Pagan (.371 OBP) has missed the last couple games with a sore shin, but could also play tonight.
Free Pick for Tuesday
Washington owns a .319 team OBP this season, but that jumps to .346 against left-handed pitching. And the Nats are getting an underdog price. So we'll go with the Nationals, getting +128 at BetOnline, for Tuesday's free MLB pick.
Nationals vs. Giants Game 1
By: Ron Patrick
Most books we checked opened Monday's series opener, which matches Washington's Stephen Strasburg against San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of 6.5 runs. But early action pushed the Nats into favorites of -120 or so.
Washington could also be played at around +145 giving the run and a half on the run line.
San Francisco just swept three games at home from the Mets, winning Sunday 6-4. The Giants have won five series in a row and 14 of their last 17 games.
So Frisco, at a ML-best 42-21, leads the NL West by 9.5 games over second-place Los Angeles.
Washington just took two of three games in San Diego over the weekend, winning Sunday 6-0 behind a two-hit shutout from Jordan Zimmerman. The Nats have won three series in a row and seven of their last nine games.
Washington, at 32-29, is tied for first place with Atlanta and Miami in the NL East.
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams; last year they split six games, with four of those games playing UNDER on the totals.
Vogelsong (4-2, 3.39) is seven-for-12 on quality starts this season, including three for his last four. Last time out Vogey held Cincy to two runs through 6 1/3 innings, and over his last four outings he's allowed six runs through 26 1/3 innings.
For the season Vogelsong has given up 65 hits in 69 innings, walked 23 and struck out 60. San Francisco is 9-3 in his starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 9-3 margin.
Vogelsong started twice against Washington last year, allowing three runs and nine hits in 8 2/3 innings; Frisco won both those games.
Strasburg (5-4, 3.10) is 10-for-13 on quality starts, running on a string of nine QS in a row. Last time out he held Philly to two ER through seven innings, striking out 11, and over his last three starts he's given up five ER through 20 innings.
On the season Strasburg has allowed 83 hits in 81 1/3 innings, walked 19 and whiffed 101. Washington is 8-5 in Strasburg's starts, with the totals tilting toward the OVERS by a 9-4 margin, mostly because the totals on his starts are listed so low.
Strasburg started once against the Giants last year, holding them to one run and five hits through seven innings; but the Nats lost that game 4-2.
This series includes two of the best bullpens in the business; Washington ranks No. 1 with a 2.17 ERA while going 12-for-17 on save chances, and San Francisco ranks No. 2 with a 2.39 ERA while going 23-for-31 on save chances.
At the Bat
Washington ranks 15th in team OBP at .318, while averaging 4.2 runs per game. But Nats sticks have been hot lately, scoring at least five runs in seven of their last 10 games.
San Francisco ranks 23rd in OBP at .310 but fifth in homers with 69, while averaging 4.3 RPG.
San Francisco is 22-9 at home this season.
Washington is 13-14 on the road.
Washington has played five UNDERS in its last seven games, mainly because of its great pitching.
The totals have leaned ever-so-slightly, by a 16-15 margin, toward the UNDERS this season in games played at AT&T Park.
Washington Anthony Rendon (nine HR, 34 RBI) missed the last couple games after getting hit on the hand, but reports indicate he's good to go for Monday night. Meanwhile, OF Bryce Harper remains on the DL.
On the other side of the lineup card San Francisco is without Brandon Belt (nine HR), who's on the DL with a broken thumb.
Free Pick for Monday
This is a tough one, matching two hot teams, two good starters and two very good bullpens. Honestly, we're not sure who's going to win Monday night. The question then becomes “can these teams combine to score seven runs?” And we believe the answer is “yes.” So we'll go with the OVER 6.5 runs, at the +100 offered at 5Dimes, for our free pick on Monday's game.