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.
About the Diamondbacks
The 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
The 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.