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Nationals vs. Giants, 3:45 ET
“We have so much time and so little to do. Wait, strike that, reverse it.” – Willy Wonka. Yesterday I wrote two articles about totals in baseball. In the first one, I said the pitching trends align well for the under 10 runs. The game ended with 12. The other game had two pitchers that were in bad spots. They ended up allowing eight runs with a 9.5 total. I stand by the picks, but clearly got the calls backward. Today we look at the rubber match between the Nationals and the Giants.
The Nationals are just 15-21 but are playing surprisingly well for what I was expecting this year. They haven’t scored a ton of runs but they are hitting pretty well overall with a team average of .256. Their pitching staff has been average most of the season, which is more of a surprise than anything because most of their pitchers were rocked last season. One of those pitchers is Josiah Gray. He has been surprisingly good this year and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last six starts. Three of those starts were quality starts and the other three went at least five innings. He’s only had to face the Giants hitters 16 times over his career and he has allowed just three hits. He’s currently in good form and I think he can limit the Giants in this game.
The Giants are like a roller coaster this season, they have some good stretches and some really bad ones. Right now is just a mediocre one but they look to take the Nationals down in Game 3 so that they can win the series. As a team, they are hitting just .242, but a lot of their hits are coming as home runs. They are in the top 10 of slugging percentage but just 17th overall in batting average. Sean Manaea is taking the ball for the Giants and he has allowed a run or more in every appearance he has had this season. He’s only tossed five or more innings twice this season and has allowed six home runs in 23.1 innings. This is all to say that he is really struggling so far this year. I also can’t tell if they are using him as an opener, reliever, starter, swingman, or something different. He’s also been pretty dominant against Washington hitters in his career.
I’m taking the Nationals through five innings at +130. I think we get a ton of value here as the Nationals may not be great but they have the better pitcher in current form right now. I’m going to back them through five as I don’t like their bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised if the first five innings go over, but I think the game probably goes under.
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