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Cubs (Samardzia) @ Washington (Detwiller) 7:05 ET
Play On: Cubs +125
The Washington Nationals are a dismal 0-7 this season versus National League opponents that have an on-base-percentage of .325 or less on the season. The Cubs starter Pete Samardzia has established himself as the ace of the staff and rightfully so. The Notre Dame product has 2 career starts versus the Nationals with both coming in 2012. In those 2 outings Samardzia was excellent in posting a 1.15 ERA, a 0.77 WHIP, and struck out 16 while walking only 1. The Washington starter Ross Detwiller has struggled a bit over his last 3 starts as evidenced by his very lofty 1.87 WHIP in those outings. Play on the Chicago Cubs as a money line underdog selection.
This is a Free play on the Miami Marlins +1.5 runs.
The Dodgers have been a bust again this year, with the additions of Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford doing little to help their struggling offense. All three of those players could miss tonight's game with lingering injuries, as they host the Marlins.
Los Angeles has lost seven straight overall, and they are coming off a three game sweep at home versus Arizona. It won't get any easier tonight, sending a struggling rookie pitcher to the mound, as Matt Magill gets the nod.
Magill (0-0, 7.88 ERA) has failed to impress in his first two big league starts, allowing five runs on six hits, while walking four in just 1 1/3 innings in a loss to the Giants his last time out. He was better in his previous start, but despite turning in a decent performance, he got little run support and the bullpen cost him any chance at the win. Given what we have seen from the Dodgers, he can't expect any favors from his teammates tonight.
The Fish hand the ball to 20 year old Jose Fernandez, and he's coming off the best start of his young career. Fernandez (1-2, 3.48 ERA) tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing a single hit and striking out nine in a 2-0 win over the Phillies his last time out.
While that was his first win after six starts, it wasn't his first dominant performance. He's allowed two runs or less, on fewer than five hits in four of his six starts, and the Fish have won the last two times he's taken the mound. This kid is just getting things figured out, and he's going to be tough to beat when he does.
This is a 1* free play on the "under" between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers on Friday night (7:08 EST).
Corey Kluber (2-1, 3.06 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Kluber is coming off his first loss of the year vs. the Twins on Sunday, giving up three runs off five hits with four walks over 5 2/3's frames of work; he struck out five as well (Kluber was 2-1 with a 4.85 ERA on the road last year). The 27-year old will be opposed by the 28-year old Max Scherzer (4-0, 3.43 ERA) who gave up one run off three hits over eight frames in his team's eventual 17-2 destruction of the Astros on Sunday; he struck out eight and walked two (Scherzer was 7-3 with a 3.51 ERA last season). Scherzer continues to get the job done and throw deep into games and there's absolutely no reason to believe he won't again today. Kluber is one to keep your eyes on and has been consistent thus far. Recent performance plays a part in my handicapping repertoire and in this case I believe the table is set for a lower-scoring pitchers-duel. How about you? What do you think?
ATLANTA BRAVES: TIM HUDSON (R) ERA: 3.83 W/L: 4-1
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: MATT CAIN (R) ERA: 5.57 W/L: 1-2
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing San
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Atlanta's last 7 games when playing on the road against San Francisco
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Francisco's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Francisco's last 6 games at home