With Zimmerman on the Mound, Confidently Back Nationals Over Blue Jays for Your MLB Picks

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, June 1, 2015 2:22 PM GMT

The Blue Jays and Washington Nationals go head to head tonight and I'll be analyzing this matchup's MLB odds and stats before sharing with you my free MLB pick.

Toronto Blue Jays (Dickey) vs. Washington Nationals (Zimmerman) (-1 ½ R/+145) 7:05 ET
The Toronto Blue Jays enter with a 1-3 recent record after dropping a pair of one run decisions at Minnesota this weekend. They now face a Washington Nationals team, who has cooled a bit with their 0-3 sweep at the hands of Cincinnati this weekend by a margin of 21-9.  Prior to that, Washington was on a streak of 21-6, and tonight they're the favorites on the MLB odds.  With neither team having positive momentum from the weekend series, we look to this pitching matchup for tonight’s winner.

The Blue Jays at 23-29 are clearly underperforming their projection to have a winning record. The story continues to be the same north of the border where Toronto is a “good hit, no pitch team.” The .768 batting OPS trails only the LA Dodgers in all of MLB. But, the .752 pitching OPS is No. 27 in MLB.  The pitching issues have been at their worst on the road, where in the most recent 20 games, Toronto is 5-15 with a starter ERA of 6.17. Tonight’s starter, Dickey, has been a big part of those issues. In his most recent 4 road starts, Dickey is 0-3 with a 7.43 ERA. That is no surprise as his knuckleball has been imminently hittable of late and produced few strikeouts.  His last two outings have come against weak hitting teams, CWS and LAA, both Toronto wins.  But for the season, his efforts on the road have resulted in a 1.57 WHIP and .344 BAA.  With the strikeouts down and the BAA up, there is an excellent chance that Washington gets a big piece of Mr. Dickey tonight.

Washington was projected to be the best team in the National League. The 7-13, 20-game start, far belied that prediction. Since that time, the Nationals have gone 21-9, including that 3-game sweep at the hands of the Reds this weekend. Clinging to a narrow ½ game lead over the Mets, be sure Washington will be well motivated on a field where they have gone 8-1 recently.  Many of the issues that Washington had this week were a result of a leaky bullpen that allowed 14 runs in 11 2/3 IP.  Returning home will be a significant help for a bullpen group who, before the disastrous weekend, had a solid 2.98 ERA.  Relying on Zimmerman, one of the most consistent starters in MLB, is a major plus. Zimmerman has 8 consecutive quality starts, including a 1.35 ERA in his last 3 outings. That’s all part of 15 consecutive quality starts from this mound dating to last year.  In 9 interleague starts at home, Zimmerman is 6-0 with a 1.95 ERA, so go with the Nationals for your MLB picks.  

MLB Pick: Take Washington Nationals at BetOnline

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Want more betting options? Then check out this pair of MLB locks we have for you!