National League Division Series Game 4: Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants
Date/Time: October 7, 9:07 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: WAS: Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00) v. SF: Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 0.00)
Moneyline: Washington -119
With elimination on the line, Doug Fister outpitched Madison Bumgarner and the Washington Nationals lived to fight at least one more day. The Nationals broke through for three runs off of Bumgarner in the seventh inning and the bullpen shut down the Giants en route to a 4-1 Game 3 victory. The Nationals bounced back from one-run losses in Games 1 and 2, including an 18-inning loss at home in Game 2. The Giants have one more crack to end the series at home before having to take the long cross-country flight back to the nation’s capital.
Gio Gonzalez will take the ball for the Nationals in Game 4 and the pressure is certainly on. Gonzalez was limited to fewer than 32 starts as some shoulder inflammation cost him about a month of the season. Gonzalez hit the disabled list following his May 17 start in which his ERA ballooned up to 4.62. In the 18 starts that Gonzalez made following his DL stint, he posted a 7-6 record with a 3.08 ERA. The Nationals only scored 3.65 runs per start for Gonzalez. This will be his third career playoff start. He made two starts against the Cardinals in the 2012 NLDS and allowed five runs on six hits in 10 innings pitched. The big problem was Gonzalez’s command, as he walked 11 batters in those two starts.
The Giants probably would have liked to avoid using Ryan Vogelsong, but the right-hander was dynamite in the 2012 postseason. The Giants won the World Series and Vogelsong had a lot to do with it. In four starts, Vogelsong allowed three runs over 24.2 innings of work and was a perfect 3-0. The postseason hangover hurt Vogelsong in 2013 as he only made 19 starts with a 5.73 ERA, but he bounced back to post an 8-13 record and a 4.00 ERA. The silver lining for the Giants is that Vogelsong posted a 3.06 ERA at home this season compared to a 5.10 ERA on the road. Vogelsong did allow 12 runs over his final three regular season starts.
Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 2.59 ERA in seven career starts against the Giants. He did not face them this season, but he was solid in two no-decisions in 2013 with just one run allowed over 11.1 innings. The Nationals were 16-11 in Gonzalez’s 27 starts for a profit of 2.20 units.
Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA in five starts and four relief appearances against the Nationals. In two starts against the Nationals this season, Vogelsong allowed nine runs in 11.1 innings of work for a 7.15 ERA. The Giants were 15-17 in Vogelsong’s 32 starts for a loss of 0.93 units.
Free MLB Pick: Washington Nationals
The Giants were 30-30 against left-handed starters during the season and this will be the first one that they have seen in this series. Gonzalez has been around, but the Giants don’t face him very much and unfamiliar lefties can be tricky to pick up. The margin of error would appear to be pretty slim for Vogelsong and the Nationals should be able to send this one back east for a decisive Game 5.