In the first of a four-game series between the San Diego Padres (18-17) and the Washington Nationals (18-17) at Petco Park, Tyson Ross (1-3, 3.98 ERA) and Doug Fister (2-1, 2.87 ERA) take the mound. The game starts at 10:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, May. 14 and will air on MASN and FSN-SD.

Ross is 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA against the Nationals in his career, and faces a strong Washington offense that's hitting .256 on the year. In his career against the Padres, Fister is 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, and seven strikeouts. Denard Span (.316, 17 Rs, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 4 yesterday with two runs and one stolen base.

San Diego is a slight underdog (-104) and the Over/Under (O/U) is six runs. The Padres are 8-11 as the underdog and have an overall money line of +20. The Padres come into the game with the NL's fifth-ranked home scoring offense, averaging 4.7 runs per game in their own ballpark. The Padres are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 28 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. Transitioning to the pitching staff, they have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.5 strikeouts per game.

Across the field, the Nationals have a record of 16-12 when they are favored and are -159 overall with the money line. They have played at the top of their game when rated as favorite recently. They managed a 7-2 record when playing as the favorite and an SU record of 8-2. They sport the third-ranked offense in the NL, averaging 4.8 runs per game. Washington is one of the top hitting teams in the league with 106 extra base hits. Washington has an eye for the strike zone, ranking 3.3 in the NL with fourth walks per game. Switching gears to Washington's pitching staff, they allow just 2.7 walks per road game, third-best in the NL.

The Padres will take on a right-hander (Fister) in this game and have a 12-13 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Ross will take the mound against the Nationals, who have a 13-14 record against righty starters this season.

Predictions: SU Winner - SD, O/U - Over

Notes

The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games.

Washington is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games.

The total has gone OVER in 9 of Washington's last 12 games on the road.

Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road.

Washington is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing San Diego.

Washington is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against San Diego.

Washington has won 59% (10-7) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, San Diego has won 62% (10-6) of its games when taking a late lead.

After a weak showing last week where they got in eight hits, the Padres need to step it up. The Nationals have a record of 11-5 when opponents get eight hits or fewer.

When they are outhit, the Padres are 2-14. The Nationals have a 5-15 record when opponents outhit them.

San Diego ranks in the bottom half of the league at 16th when it comes to home runs, hitting 30 this season. Washington ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 38.

San Diego and Washington both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. San Diego sits at seventh with 8.80 hits per game and Washington ranks eighth with 8.71.

Ranking 15th, San Diego is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.705). Washington ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .737.

When the Nationals allow at least one home run, they are 5-7, well-matched with the Padres who are 11-14 when allowing at least one homer.