Starting Pitchers Duel Makes 'Under' Our MLB Pick for Saturday's Nationals vs. Padres Game 3

David Lawrence

Saturday, May 16, 2015 11:12 AM GMT

Saturday, May. 16, 2015 11:12 AM GMT

The Washington Nationals lost the series opener on Thursday but bounced back in a big way on Friday. Can they keep it going and cash on the MLB lines on Saturday?

The Washington Nationals Can Win Because…
They have an ace-level pitcher in this game, and he’s been pitching like an ace so far this season; besides, they're currently the favorites on the MLB betting odds. Max Scherzer, acquired in free agency from the Detroit Tigers, figured to be in a very good spot in the National League, without the designated hitter. By being able to face a pitcher every nine batters, Scherzer didn’t have to face as many tough hitters and stood to be able to lower his ERA. That’s exactly what he’s done. He enters this game with a 1.99 ERA. Sure, he has a 3-3 record in terms of decisions, but his work has been extremely good. He had only one bump in a road, a single bad start on May 6 against Miami, in which he gave up five runs on 10 hits in seven innings. Otherwise, he’s been outstanding. In his other six starts, he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs. He’s allowed under two earned runs in five of those six positive starts. He’s been an imposing pitcher, long story short. He’s struck out at least eight hitters in five of his seven starts. He’s gone at least seven innings in six of his seven starts. He’s walked under two hitters in five of his seven starts. He’s checking all the boxes one would expect an ace to take care of. He’s not allowing much solid contact, and he’s not allowing teams to build many rallies. He’s been everything Washington could have hoped he would be. That’s a hammer Washington brings to this game. Scherzer can expect to go seven innings and give up no more than two runs to San Diego.

 

The San Diego Padres Can Win Because…
They have a very effective pitcher who has been a strong performer in his last five starts. It’s true that Andrew Cashner struggled out of the gate in this season, giving up a total of 10 runs in his first two starts in early April. However, he settled down and, in his last five starts, has allowed more than two earned runs only once, on May 5 against San Francisco. For the most part, Cashner has been dependable over the past four weeks. He’s gone at least six innings in all five starts, at least seven in three of those five starts. He’s never allowed more than seven hits in any of those starts. He’s allowed under two walks in three of those five starts. With a 3.07 ERA, Cashner has pitched well enough for San Diego – if he maintains this level for the rest of the regular season, he’ll be doing what he was expected to do.

 

Outlook
Cashner is a good pitcher, doing relatively well. Scherzer is a great pitcher, performing at a really high level. While the Nats are probably the better play, under seems like a good choice for your MLB pick after a couple of high-scoring affairs in the first two meetings.

MLB Pick: Under at GT Bets

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