Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 4.41 ERA) and Jake Peavy (0-2, 9.39 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (43-36) and the San Francisco Giants (42-38) at Nationals Park. Action begins at 6:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Jul. 3 and can be seen on ESPN, CSN-BAY and MASN.
Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 2.59 ERA in his appearances against the Giants, but goes up against a quality San Francisco offense which is batting .271 this season. Bryce Harper (.339, 54 Rs, 24 HRs, 58 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. Peavy is 3-3 with a 2.73 ERA against the Nationals in his career. He is up against a good Washington offense that's batting .258. Buster Posey (.304, 42 Rs, 13 HRs, 56 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
Washington is a -150 favorite against San Francisco and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Nationals have an overall money line of +33 and a record as the favorite of 35-24. Washington is an impressive 8-2 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 2.1 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. San Francisco is excellent at not striking out n the road with just 7.2 per game, ranking second in the NL. 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 a 32-31 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Peavy takes the mound. Gonzalez (LHP) will be on the hill against the Giants, who have a very good 11-6 record against left-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 13-8. The Giants are 11-11 in close games this season.
When leading after 7 innings, Washington is 22-17, while San Francisco is 13-11.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Nationals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Giants have a 16-2 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Giants are 3-23. The Nationals have a 7-33 record when opponents outhit them.
San Francisco ranks near the bottom of the league at 21st when it comes to home runs, hitting 66 this season. Washington ranks in the top half at 11th with 79.
San Francisco tops the league in hits with 9.34 per game this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.78.
Washington and San Francisco both rank in the top 10 of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Washington sits at 10th with an OPS of .726 and San Francisco ranks seventh with an OPS of .738.
When the Giants allow at least one home run, they are 21-25, well-matched with the Nationals who are 15-20 when allowing at least one homer.