MLB Picks: Play the Total in Nationals vs. Giants

Jeff Grant

Monday, June 9, 2014 1:50 PM GMT

The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals have two of the best bullpens in all of baseball, which will lead to a low-scoring affair in Monday night’s series opener. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this National League matchup.

Quite a difference
With third baseman turned outfielder Ryan Zimmerman in the starting lineup this season, Washington is 11-5 and averaged 6.0 runs per contest, which is much better than its 21-24 mark, and 3.6 runs per contest without him. The Nationals are sitting in a three-way tie with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins in the NL East standings—mainly due to a bullpen that paces the Majors with a 2.17 ERA.MLB handicappers will find that the club is 5-2 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125 this season.

 Not slowing down
San Francisco holds a 9.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West division, which has been helped by winning its last five contests—outscoring opponents by a 24-13 margin over that span. The Giants have put together a remarkable 22-9 home record, with their bullpen compiling a 1.63 ERA in that situation. Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise has split 30 games as home underdogs of +100 to +125.

Strasburg
Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (5-4, 3.10 ERA) has received 17 runs of support in winning his last two trips to the mound, including a 8-4 home victory over the Philadelphia Phillies last Wednesday. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 4.80 ERA in five road outings, with opposing hitters batting .293 against him (.244 at home). In three lifetime efforts versus the Giants, Strasburg has compiled a 2-0 record and 1.89 ERA.

Vogelsong 
Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 3.39 ERA) has watched the team capture victories in his last four appearances, including a 3-2 road win over the Cincinnati Reds last Wednesday. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in six home games—not allowing a home run in 37.2 combined frames. In seven career games (three starts) versus the Nationals, Vogelsong has tallied a 1-1 record and 5.59 ERA.

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their MLB picks, as the 'under' is 10-0-1 in Vogelsong’s last 11 games as a home underdog.
Free MLB Pick: 'Under'  
[gameodds]3/286393/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]