Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals – MLB April 15

7:05 p.m. ET – Diamondbacks at Nationals (-170 ML) O/U: 8.5

The 4-8 Diamondbacks open their four-game series against the 3-6 Nationals in our nation’s capital on Thursday night. Arizona was unable to win either game of its two-game series against the Athletics earlier in the week, including blowing a 5-0 lead on Tuesday night to end up losing 7-5.

Washington was able to pick up a series win in St. Louis after winning two of three against the Cardinals, including a 6-0 shutout win on Wednesday afternoon behind the stellar pitching performance of starter Joe Ross.

About the Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks LogoThe Diamondbacks offense has been strong to start the season, ranking 10th in all of the major leagues in runs and hits per game. Arizona’s lineup was led by center fielder Ketel Marte out of the gate, batting .462 in his opening six games before being put on the 10-Day IL last week.

Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, infielder Eduardo Escobar has hit .321 in the past seven games, plus he hit a home run in four straight games following the Marte injury. Arizona will be happy to see a left-handed pitcher on the mound Thursday, as the Diamondbacks are batting .275 vs. southpaws this season as opposed to .218 vs. right-handers. The offense has not been the issue this season, but the pitching has been abysmal. Arizona has a team ERA north of 5.00 and opponents are batting .265 against them, ranking all the way down at 28th in the majors. This has become a recipe for Overs, as the Over has hit in four of their last five games, with the only exception being a 7-0 shutout win over the Reds.

About the Nationals

Washington Nationals LogoThe Nationals’ start to the season has been anything but ordinary, with their opening series against the Mets being postponed due to COVID-19. Washington lost five of its first six games, struggling to get into any kind of rhythm at the plate. The Nationals rank 28th in the majors with 3.4 runs per game, despite ranking fourth in batting average at .265.

A large reason for this disparity has been their inability to hit the long ball. With only six home runs this season, they rank second to last in the big leagues. Right fielder Juan Soto, considered the preseason NL MVP co-favorite, has come out of the gates on fire, batting .375 with two home runs and seven RBI. While Soto already has four multi-hit games, offseason acquisitions Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber have only played two and three games, respectively. The Washington lineup has dealt with a lot of disruption in the early going this season, but appeared to find some comfort in the batter’s box throughout their series against the Cardinals.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Arizona Diamondbacks +1½ (-140) +145 O 8 (-110)
Washington Nationals -1½ (+120) -175 U 8½ (-115)

The Pitching Matchup

Arizona is handing the ball to right-hander Merrill Kelly on Thursday night and he is off to a rocky start so far this season. Kelly is 0-2 in his two starts this season with an ERA of 8.10 in just 10 innings of work to go along with only five strikeouts. The Nationals are turning to left-hander Patrick Corbin, who spent the first six seasons of his big-league career in a Diamondbacks uniform. Corbin had a rough year last year, going 2-7 with a 4.66 ERA, marking his worst numbers since 2016. His first start of the season was not a good one, as the Dodgers pounced on him for six runs in just 4.1 innings pitched.

What’s the Bet?
In a game with two starting pitchers on the decline, the first place to look is the total. The Over in this game offers lots of value with both offenses being above average and both pitching staffs being below average. On top of that, the Diamondbacks are at their best against left-handed pitching. Meanwhile, the Nationals can stack plenty of lefties in their lineup Thursday night to tee off on a shaky righty. Although Washington has not been stellar offensively this season, much of the blame for that points to its immediate COVID-19 pause to start the season. Water is going to find its level with this talented Nationals lineup and it should start with Merrill Kelly on the mound. Add in how shaky Patrick Corbin has been, and take the Over of 8.5 runs in what should be a slugfest in DC.
The Bet
Over 8.5 Runs

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.