jimmythegreek Posts:12627 Followers:392
On 07/28/2014 05:47 PM in MLB


Washington/Miami over 4 +115:
After taking 2 of 3 from the Cincinnati Red at the Great American Ballpark this past weekend, the NL East leading Washington Nationals (57-45) move on trying to increase their margin over second place Atlanta who already won this afternoon. Up by a game over the Braves, the Nats take their fortunes to Miami (51-53) on the final leg of a 9 game road trip. The Marlins are coming off a sweep of Houston and have now won 4 straight. However they still trail Washington by 7 games though they've narrowed the gap in the wildcard chase down to 5.5.

The Nationals, who have won 5 of 6 so far this season over Miami send Jordan Zimmerman (6-5 3.20) to the hill this evening. The 28 year old right-hander has been anything but sharp over his past few outings blaming rust from the All-Star break. Zimmerman's previous outing took place last Tuesday in a no-decision against Colorado yielding 4 runs on 8 hits over 5 IP in a game the Nats wound up winning 7-4. Zimmerman faces a Miami lineup that is hitting just .254 so far this season and averaging about 4.1 runs per contest. Giancarlo Stanton (.292 23 69) is second on the club in hitting and is far and away the power and production cornerstone crediting the HR derby for enhancing his swing. Though he's hit a drought over his last 8 games in the long ball department, most feel he'll begin to produce efficiently on a regular basis during the final 2 month of the season. Casey McGehee (.310 2 59) is trying to break out of a 4 for 28 slump (.143) from last week but still is tops on the fish in batting. Marcell Ozuna (.270 16 55) homered on Sunday and could be the key down the stretch to the Marlins postseason push. Garrett Jones (.252 11 40) has a 5 game hitting streak (.318) and is making the most of his playing time by pursuing clutch hitting. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.230 10 30) has hit safely in 6 of his last 8 (.320) and is looking to improve on an otherwise disastrous first half. Christian Yelich (.280 8 35) has also fit the bill nicely in just his second season hitting safely in 7 of his last 8 (.370), so the versatility is advertised nicely in their lineup core.

Miami counters with Nathan Eovaldi (5-6 4.20) who has looked anything but impressive since his last win back on 6/23. His latest defeat came last Wednesday to Atlanta 6-1 yielding 5 runs on 6 hits in 7 IP. The 24 year old right-hander faces a Washington lineup that is hitting .250 this season averaging 4.2 runs per contest while slugging 86 HR, 2 more than their opponents. Like the Marlins, there is balance in this lineup featuring Denard Span (.288 1 21) who leads the club in hitting and stolen bases. He's swiped 18 while only being caught twice (90%) and has produced 2 4 hit games in July so far. Hitting (.444) over his last 7 games, Span has been the key to manufacturing runs on the base path. Ian Desmond (.251 17 62) managed a 5 hit game against Colorado last week with 3 runs scored, and leads the Nationals in power and production overall. Jayson Werth (.281 12 57) has cooled off somewhat, and at 35 has not shown he's werth (no pun intended) anywhere near his $16M per salary. Anthony Rendon (.279 13 56) has proven to be one of the more dangerous hitters in just his second year in the league, and Eovaldi may have to pitch him carefully in the heart of the lineup. Adam Laroche (.273 13 54) just broke a 2 for 23 slide (.087) and is also capable of producing big time that will make or break Washington's postseason fortunes. However, the Nats got some bad news yesterday that Ryan Zimmerman (.282 5 36) could miss the remainder of the regular season as he has returned to the DL with a hamstring sprain.

It's not very often you see dog money begging to be swept from underneath the book's mattress these days, but tonight we feel good about our opportunity to succeed. Marlins park is not exactly what most players recognize as a hitter's paradise, however there is a lot of area to pick spots especially toward the corners at 335-345. The Bermuda Triangle in left center field gives outfielders nightmares given the unfavorable carum off the wall combined with that poor excuse for an eyesore of a HR scuplture. The roof is virtually closed all summer long which provides relief to all. Both of these clubs have balance throughout their personnel and are capable of putting up big innings. That spells bad news for a couple of starters who have been inconsistent at best over the more recent. We've hit 9 of the last 12 over the past month on these plays and look to continue the winning ways as we quest to eclipse the 60% fence once again. Best of luck however you play!

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