MLB Picks: Scherzer vs. Diamondbacks Is Worth the Heavy Chalk in Arizona

Max Scherzer

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 1:04 PM GMT

Our handicapper is looking for a sure thing, and may have found the closest thing to it backing the Nationals as they take on the cellar-dwelling Diamondbacks for his MLB Pick.

Washington Nationals vs Arizona Diamondbacks
Washington looks to continue beating up on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, as they try to sweep the series and keep distance between themselves and the Miami Marlins in the NL East. The Diamondbacks on the other hand, are looking to the future and starting very young arms to see what they have as they are almost twenty games back in the NL West. With the disparaging records of these teams it is no surprise then that the Nationals are huge -215 favorites at 5Dimes on the Moneyline. The O/U total has opened at 8.5 runs across the MLB Odds board with shading to the under at -115 at BookMaker.

Speaking of looking to the future, the Diamondbacks are throwing Zack Godley on the mound to make his 6th start of the year. In his short time in the rotation this year, Godley has had his struggles, especially against right-handers who are batting .304 off of him. Another knock on Godley is his performance with men on base, where his batting average allowed skyrockets from .221 with the bases empty to .339 with men on base. And don’t look if a runner gets in scoring position, where Godley gives up a very poor .324 average and .541 slugging percentage. Add that all up, and he has posted a 5.63 ERA, 24/12 K/BB rate, 1.50 WHIP, and .277 batting average allowed on the season. Not exactly up to par considering Godley posted a 3.19 ERA in his few months with the big club in 2015.

Starting for the Nationals in this game is Max Scherzer, who is currently striking out batters at the highest rate of his career at 11.32 K/9. On the season his standard numbers are just as strong where he has posted an 11-6 W-L record, 2.85 ERA, 187/37 K/BB rate, and .191 batting average allowed. I’ve sung Scherzer’s praises before here, but he deserves it and has just gotten better as the season has progressed. His ERA by month this year? 4.35 in April, 3.83 in May, 1.96 in June, and 1.32 in July. Scherzer allowed a .288 and .289 slugging percentage in June and July, respectively, so any hits he has given up have mostly been weak singles as well. Scherzer has given up 2 runs or less in almost 73% of his 22 starts on the season.

The Washington offense has been hot lately, and have put up 24 runs over the last two games. In this game they face a right hander, where they have put up a 49-33 SU record. In fact, almost all of Washington’s results that make them over .500 this year are for SU wins against right-handers. Arizona is 29-48 against right-handers for a -17.2-unit performance for bettors. Yikes.

This game could get ugly for the Diamondbacks and is actually a worse matchup for them after seeing 14-1 and 10-4 losses in the first two games of the series. That’s how you end up with a huge moneyline favorite, after all. But with Bumgarner somehow losing for me last night against the Phillies… somehow equals the randomness of baseball of course… I am in no mood to lay down a run and a half to buy this line down. It’s time for an easy win, and in this case it is worth the chalk, so I’ll be taking the Nationals -215 at 5Dimes as one of my Wednesday MLB Picks.

2016 YTD MLB: 42-27-3, +13.51 Units
Free MLB Picks: Nationals -234 
Best Line Offered: 
at Pinnacle

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2994105, "sportsbooksIds":[238,19,93,1096], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]