Nationals Are Pick in Series Opener at Disappointing Giants May 29

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Monday, May 29, 2017 12:22 PM GMT

Sitting comfortably on top of their division, the Washington Nationals begin a long California trip as favorites on the MLB odds against the San Francisco Giants.

MLB Season Record: 20-33 (-14.46)

This Memorial Day matchup in San Francisco between the Giants and Washington Nationals was supposed to pit playoff contenders according to MLB futures odds in March. The Nationals have held up their end of the bargain with an 8½-game lead in the NL East, but the Giants have not  and are sitting 11 games out in the NL West and eight games below .500.

Part of ESPN’s full day of coverage, the Nats and Giants get underway at 4:05 PM (ET) with an initial mound duel between Tanner Roark and Matt Moore. The morning nickel line at 5Dimes has Washington -108 with 8½ for the total, evenly split high and low.

 

Moore Just 7th Lefty Nationals Have Faced

To say Roark has enjoyed success against the Giants would be an understatement. He has faced them three times as a starter and three more out of the ‘pen, garnering the win in five of those occasions with a 2.51 ERA (28.2 IP). The former Fighting Illini won both starts vs. San Francisco in 2016, allowing just one earned run in 14 frames, and has befuddled Denard Span, Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford over the years, that trio a combined 3-for-25 (.120) against Roark.

Moore is working on a string of three consecutive quality starts after his ERA climbed above 6.50 through his first seven trips to the bump. The southpaw has definitely enjoyed pitching off this mound with a 2.57 ERA in four assignments compared to 7.80 on the road. He will be facing the Giants for the first time since his Tampa Bay days in 2012, the Nats 4-2 so far in 2017 when taking on a lefty.

 

Rivalry Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

This has been a pretty even series dating back to when the Nats called Montreal home, and has been dead-level the past two seasons with each side posting seven dubyas. The clubs split a 4-game set in San Francisco a year ago, the third straight time they played four at AT&T Park where the G-Men are 37-26 vs. Washington since it opened in 2000. Four of the last five contests on this diamond failed to reach the totals.

A few clouds are in the forecast along with the thermometer only climbing into the mid-to-upper 50s this afternoon by the Bay, along with an 18-20 mph WSW blow (out to left-center) at game time. Washington had that little 4-game road skid earlier this month and starts this long West Coast swing off a loss on Sunday, but I’ve still got enough confidence to make my free baseball pick on the visitors.

Free MLB Pick: Nationals -108Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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