With the Giants win last night, both teams have the opportunity to win the series this afternoon. We’ll preview today’s game before going over why I’ll be backing the road underdog to leave town with a win.
The adage in baseball is that a team's ace is supposed to be a stopper, so they end losing streaks and get the team back in the win column. Logan Webb did exactly that yesterday, as he threw seven innings with seven strikeouts and just one earned run allowed, giving his team the opportunity to pick up a win after two straight losses. Casey Schmitt gave Webb some run support early as he left the yard in his Major League debut.
Today the Giants will hand the ball to Sean Manaea for him to make his eighth start of the season. In 23.3 innings of work, the lefty has pitched to a 7.33 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 13 walks. Manaea picked up his first win of the year in his last start, throwing five innings with three strikeouts and four runs allowed (three earned).
Manaea will face a Nationals lineup that has put a double-digit number in the hit column the past two games. Last night, Washington racked up ten hits but could not string any of them together as they ended the game with 24 guys left on base. Dominic Smith was the lone Nationals player to pick up an RBI in the game, as he ended up going 3-3 at the plate.
On the hill for the Nationals today will be young right-hander Josiah Gray to make his eighth start. Gray has racked up 38.7 innings up to this point and has a 3.03 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 15 walks. Despite having a 2-4 record, the right-hander has been solid this season, allowing three or fewer earned runs in six of his seven starts and picking up six or more strikeouts in each of his last three starts.
The Nationals are currently priced at (+130) on the moneyline, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. Washington has won the final game of a series in each of their last three, and they have found a lot of success against left-handed pitching this season. Entering today, the Nationals are hitting .289 against lefties with a .751 OPS, so they have a favorable matchup on the mound.
Sean Manaea is currently in the second percentile in barrel percentage, 18th percentile in hard-hit percentage, and 3rd percentile in expected slugging percentage. The left-handers expected WOBA is in the bottom three percent of the league, and when pitching at home, he has put up a 5.63 ERA. Washington has been swinging it well this series, and they have a chance to do some damage today.
Josiah Gray has been producing polar opposite numbers this season. He is currently in the 84th percentile in hard-hit percentage, 66th percentile in barrel percentage, and 78th percentile in expected batting average. The right-hander has a 2.38 ERA in road starts with 24 strikeouts and now faces a Giants lineup that leads the league in strikeout percentage.
Washington Nationals (+130)