Jordan Zimmermann (4-2, 3.26 ERA) and R.A. Dickey (2-5, 5.77 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (28-22) and the Toronto Blue Jays (23-29) at Nationals Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 1 and can be seen on RSN and MASN.
Zimmermann pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run, striking out five and walking three in a 3-2 defeat to the Cubs. When pitching against the Nationals, Dickey is 4-6 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 46 strikeouts. Josh Donaldson (.312, 43 Rs, 15 HRs, 39 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Washington is a -153 favorite against Toronto and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Nationals have recorded an overall money line of +181 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 24-14. Washington is an impressive 5-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Nationals have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 3.2 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.6 runs per game. The Nationals have no trouble scoring as they rank second in the NL in offense with 4.6 runs per game. Washington is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.3 per game. Washington's pitchers fall apart when American League teams are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 6.0 against AL teams, compared to its 4.2 season average.
In the other locker room, Toronto is coming in with an overall money line of -725 and a disappointing record of 9-17 as the underdog. Toronto is 1-2 SU against interleague opponents. Offensively, they average 5.2 runs per game, which is tops in the AL. The Blue Jays are tough outs for opponents, ranking fifth in the AL with 8.7 hits per game. The Blue Jays average 4.7 runs allowed per game, but does worse whenever an NL opponent is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average up to 6.0 against teams from the NL.
The Nationals have a 20-18 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Dickey takes the mound. Zimmermann (RHP) will be on the hill against the Blue Jays, who have a 16-24 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WSH, O/U - Over
In their last game, the Blue Jays lost by a margin of one run. The Nationals are 10-5 in one-run games. The Blue Jays have a 3-12 record in close games.
Toronto has won 50% (12-12) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Washington has won 58% (14-10) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Nationals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Blue Jays who are coming in with a 13-10 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Blue Jays are 3-21. The Nationals have a 6-21 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking eighth in home runs, Washington has hit 55 this season. Toronto ranks fifth with 61 home runs.
Ranking seventh, Washington is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.65 per game. Toronto ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.69.
Ranking eighth, Washington is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.736). Toronto ranks in the top five at second with an OPS of .768.
The Blue Jays are 13-23 when they allow at least one home run. The Nationals perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with an 8-13 record.