Stephen Strasburg (5-5, 5.49 ERA) and Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.99 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (44-36) and the San Francisco Giants (42-39) at Nationals Park. The Nationals won the last game 2-1 and Washington leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 11:05 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jul. 4 and can be seen on CSN-BAY, MASN and MLB Net.
Strasburg is 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA in his appearances against the Giants, but goes up against a good San Francisco offense which is batting .270 this season. Denard Span (.310, 37 Rs, 5 HRs, 22 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Bumgarner is 2-3 with a 2.60 ERA when pitching against the Nationals. He is up against a quality Washington offense which is hitting .256 this season. Buster Posey (.304, 43 Rs, 14 HRs, 57 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Washington is a narrow -112 favorite at home against San Francisco. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs for this matchup. The Nationals have an overall money line of -156 and a record as the favorite of 35-25. Washington is an impressive 7-3 as the favorite over its last 10 games. Washington's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 2.3 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.0. The Nationals are the top team in the NL at limiting walks to their opponents, allowing only 2.2 walks per game so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, San Francisco has a 22-15 record and an overall money line of +one. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-3 record when playing as the underdog. Offensively, the Giants have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.3 runs per game by averaging 5.4 during that stretch. The Giants are tough outs for opponents, leading the NL with 9.3 hits per game. The Giants allow 4.0 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 5.3 runs per game during that span.
The Nationals have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Nationals have a great 6-2 record at home (11-5 overall) against left-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Bumgarner takes the mound. Strasburg (RHP) will be on the hill against the Giants, who have a 31-32 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
The Giants lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Nationals are 14-8. The Giants are 11-12 in close games this season.
The Nationals are 5-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Giants are 3-2 in such matchups.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Giants are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Nationals have a 21-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Giants are 37-8. The Nationals have a 33-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Both falling in the top 10 of the league based on total runs this season, Washington ranks eighth with 346 runs and San Francisco is 10th with 342.
Ranking 15th, San Francisco is in the top half of the league in walks, notching 227 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 250.
The Nationals are 31-15 when they hit at least one home run. The Giants perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 29-16 record.