Ride the High-Side of the Total for Giants vs. Nationals Pick

Willie Bee

Saturday, August 23, 2014 1:57 PM GMT

The Giants pasted a 10-3 score on the Nationals in Friday's series opener between the NL playoff contenders, but Washington is big chalk on the MLB odds to square the set today.

A 10-game win streak for the Washington Nationals came to an end with a loud thud Friday night when the San Francisco Giants opened the weekend set with a 10-3 romp. The Giants scored late to pull away in what was a close contest for seven innings, giving them the longest current streak in the National League at three straight victories.

Increasing that stretch to four is going to require pulling off a pretty big upset in Game 2 of the series, set for a 4:05 PM (ET) first pitch at Nationals Park. Washington is sending Jordan Zimmermann to the bump, MLB odds for the matchup against Tim Lincecum and the Giants running anywhere from the low -170s to the mid -190s on the Nats.

Scoreboard bettors must make a decision on a 7.5 total that taxes the low side a bit more.

 

Freak's ERA On Rise In Second Half
Lincecum's fine season has hit a snag since the all-star break, San Francisco 3-4 in his seven assignments while his season ERA has risen more than three-quarters of a run in that span. He walked four Phillies in five innings last Sunday, but managed to survive long enough to get the victory in San Fran's 5-2 decision.

The Freak has been roughed up by the Nationals in recent years, losing four of his five assignments and recording an 8.53 ERA over those 25+ frames. Nationals Park has been a Little Shop of Horrors for Lincecum, Washington beating him the last three times he climbed this mound and batting a robust .329 in those matches.

Like Lincecum, Zimmermann didn't pitch in the previous series between these clubs in San Francisco back in June. Unlike Lincecum, Zimmermann is enjoying a fine month of August with the Nationals winning all four of his starts while he compiled a 2.03 ERA. His lifetime numbers vs. the Giants aren't bad, either: 4-1 in 5 starts, 1.99 ERA.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief Jerry Meals worked the plate in the series opener, and that means it's Paul Emmel's turn to call balls and strikes on Saturday. Now in his 16th season at the big league level, Emmel is 13-9-3 (O/U/P) as far as totals go in his dish assignments, and 16-9 in favor of home teams (12-7 as favorites).

Regarding the weather, there is a 30%-40% chance of a shower popping up that could interrupt today's tilt, but any rain that does come should be light and brief. Very muggy temps in the upper-70s should greet the game's first pitch, with an easterly blow in the 8-10 mph range (in from right).

I really want to jump back on board with the Nationals in Game 2, especially with the way Lincecum is struggling the past month or so, but something tells me that isn't the best way to go in this one, so we'll ride the high side of the total for our free MLB pick in this Saturday matinee.

My Free MLB Pick: Giants-National Over 7.5 (+100)

Season: 103-110 (-8.05)

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