Take Nationals -124 vs. Padres for MLB Picks

Joe Catalano

Sunday, June 8, 2014 2:45 PM GMT

Eric Stults (2-6, 5.03) and the San Diego Padres (28-34) host Jordan Zimmerman ( 4-2, 3.59) and the Washington Nationals (31-29) in the rubber match of this series. See who we like as our betting pick for this matchup.

First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. ET at Petco Park in San Diego, California and this game can be seen on MLB TV.

According to 5 Dimes Sportsbook, the Nats are a -124 betting favorite on the road and the total for the game is 7 runs.

Neither of these teams are explosive offensively and it’s easy to see why the total was placed at 7. The Padres rank 30th in the league in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage. This is an opposing pitcher’s dream and Jordan Zimmerman has to be happy about this matchup.

[gameodds]3/287108/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Good Therapy?
Another player that’s happy , but not playing in the game is Bryce Harper. I recently read that Harper bought a Playstation 4.

I’m thinking why do we the public need to know this? It’s been said that using the controller on the video game is good therapy for Harper’s thumb. Amazingly enough, this is true…

We also say this because the Nats can also use Harper’s bat in their lineup. Washington is batting just .249 on the season and are a below average offensive team without the young phenom.

Washington is coming off of a 4-3 loss to the Pads in 11 innings. Ian Desmond smashed his 12th home run of the season, but it wasn’t enough as Cameron Maybin’s soft base hit knocked in the winning run to bring this series to a rubber match.

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Seth Smith
This Padres offense has very little to offer. Seth Smith is off to a great start this season and is really the only player besides Cameron Maybin, in limited at-bats, that’s actually performing.

Smith is the only Padre anywhere near .300 at .302 with 6 HR and 21 RBI. He’s played very well at Petco Park where he’s hit .355 with 4 HR and 15 RBI. Petco Park is a “pitcher friendly” park, but for Smith, he’s felt comfortable there. On the flip side, Smith is lifetime 1 for 7 against Jordan Zimmerman.

The only other sources of power for San Diego are Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko, but both have the “Adam Dunn Disease” as Alonso is batting just .213 on the season and Gyorko is hitting .162. A team is not going to win a lot of games with numbers like these.

 

Nats Bats
While Ian Desmond displays the power, he hasn’t hit for average. Adam LaRoche has picked up the slack with getting on base at a 41.8% clip. On the season, LaRoche has been very reliable with 8 HR, 30 RBI, a .309 BA, and his ability to draw walks. LaRoche has walked in 7 straight games.

Along with LaRoche, the Nationals have provide some punch in the form of Jayson Werth (5 HR, 25 RBI, .283 BA) and leadoff man Denard Span.

Werth would consider those numbers average, but compared to the Padres players, they would be near the top of the list. Jayson Werth has been a clutch hitter since joining the Nats a few years back from Philly.

 

Outcome
As we’ve stated; neither team will win any contests for offense, but the Nationals have a superior offense to that of the Padres and a distinct pitching advantage with Zimmerman taking the rubber at Petco Park. The Nationals, with fairly decent odds, should run away with the final game of this series.

MLB Pick: Washington -124 at 5 Dimes