Washington Nationals @ San Francisco Giants Game Preview and Pick

The Nationals were able to avoid getting swept last yesterday by the Diamondbacks, and they will continue their road trip tonight as they begin their series with the San Fransico Giants. We’ll preview the game before going over my play for the first five innings.

Game Preview

Heading into Sunday afternoons game, the San Francisco Giants were in the midst of a four-game win streak and had the opportunity to sweep the Brewers. The sweep would never come to fruition, though, as San Francisco lost 7-3 despite outhitting the Brewers 13-12. Giants starter Ross Stripling allowed five earned runs in five innings of work while allowing two home runs.

Tonight San Francisco will send a starter out in Anthony DeSclafani, who has been excellent this season. In six starts, the right-hander has racked up 38 innings, and in that span, he has a 2.13 ERA with 30 strikeouts and just three walks. DeSclafani is coming off his best start of the year against the Astros, throwing a season-high eight innings while allowing just three hits and no runs.

DeSclafani will face a Nationals lineup that has scored a combined 16 runs over their past two games, including nine in yesterday’s win. Washington finished yesterday’s game with 15 hits and was led by Joey Meneses and Luis Garcia, who each picked up three a piece. Meneses finished the game with four RBIs to bring his total to 14 on the season.

Starting on the mound today for Washington will be young righty, Jake Irvin. Tonight will be Irvin’s second career start as he threw 4 ⅓ innings with three strikeouts and one earned run in his MLB debut. Irvin did walk four in his first start, so we’ll see tonight if that was just getting adjusted to the Majors or if his command is cause for concern moving forward.

Pick for the Game

The run total for the first five innings is currently set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the under as my play in this one. San Francisco and Washington rank 12th and 13th, respectively, in average runs allowed during the first five innings this season. When on the road this season, the Nationals are 8th in average runs allowed per game, and when at home, the Giants are 11th in that category with an average of 2.12 per game.

Anthony DeSclafani has allowed two or fewer runs in the first five innings in four out of his six starts this season. In 17.1 innings at home, the right-hander has a 3.63 ERA, and across the entire season, he has a WOBA of .240, which is better than the league average. DeSclafani faces a Nationals lineup tonight that is 25th average runs scored in the first five innings this season.

Since Jake Irvin only made one start, but his curveball that he threw 34.6% of the time had a 50% whiff percentage in that start. Irvin left the game with an allowed BAbip of .182 and didn’t allow a barrel, so I think he can hold his own today against a Giants team averaging 2.41 runs per game in the first five innings when playing at home.


  • F5 Under 4.5

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