Arizona Diamondbacks -113 at Washington Nationals +103 (Total: 6.5)
Ian Kennedy (3-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (2-1, 1.64 ERA)
It’s a fun time be (or become) a Nationals fan. The electric 19-year old phenom Bryce Harper is up in the big leagues, and from the looks of his first four games, he is here to stay. The kid brings a ton of energy to the yard, but more importantly he brings five tools, a la Josh Hamilton, as well. Everyone knew he had great speed and some good pop in his bat, but the pair of outfield throws he has unleashed in his first week already has people comparing him to teammate Rick Ankiel and some of the other biggest cannons in baseball. I am sure he is going to have his struggles throughout the season, but his tools along with his uncanny plate discipline are going to serve him well for a long, long time in the majors.
The Nats have also gotten some of the best pitching in baseball. Steven Strausburg garners all the attention, but tonight’s starter Ross Detwiler has been fantastic all season as well. He is just 2-1, and the team is just 1-2 in his last three starts, but that is certainly no product of his efforts. His 1.64 ERA would rank him ninth in the league if he had five more innings pitched in order to qualify. His WHIP has been great as well, at just 1.00. He has gotten little in the way of run support, but he has pitched fantastic.
Scoring runs have been the Nationals main obstacle this year, averaging just 3.30 runs per game. The D’Backs on the other hand average 4.61. The D’Backs have a big edge offensively overall. They score more runs, average nearly 0.5 more homeruns per game and have a batting average more than 40 points higher. The pitching stats are the exact converse. The Diamondbacks have a respectable team ERA of 3.98 and their starters are 3.67. Washington boasts the league’s lowest at just 2.47 and their starters are just 2.04.
That points me in the obvious direction of the total run line tonight, and the expectation this should be a lower-scoring affair. Kennedy has been good so far in 2012, and certainly good enough to hold the Nationals offense, even with the exciting addition of Harper, in check. Meanwhile, I like Detwiler to continue his good work tonight as well. The D’Backs are hitting just .225 against left handed pitching, and Detwiler is a good southpaw.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 6.5 <– Click for $100 bonus