The L.A. Dodgers and Washington Nationals meet Sunday afternoon for a pitching matchup that on paper looks like the matchup of the year. We have two of the best pitchers from the first half of the season dueling in Washington. This is the best matchup I have had the privilege of writing about this season. Is it going to play out like that, though? Baseball can have you scratching your head sometimes regarding the results of some games. What you think is going to happen is the complete opposite. We’ll see how it plays out on Sunday, but I am really excited for this marquee pitching matchup between Zack Greinke and Max Scherzer. Scherzer has a no-hitter on his resume this season, with Greinke the hottest pitcher in the last several games before the All-Star break.
Last night I have no explanation for that pathetic effort from the Tigers against Chris Tillman. Tillman has had little to no success this season, most notably on the road. Well, he walks into Comerica Park and pitches a 1-hitter. Inpatient at-bats by the Tigers spoiled a terrific start by David Price. I was right about one thing in my writeup: if the pitching is on for the Tigers the offense will do nothing, and conversely, if the pitching is off the offense goes off but it isn’t enough to overcome 8 runs against. I can’t say that the Tigers are going to be a good bet in the second half of the 2015 campaign. While the Royals are throttling opponents, the Tigers look like they are going in the opposite direction in the AL Central. But back to today, where we take a deeper look into this meeting between
L.A. Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
Zack Greinke (8-2, 1.39 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (10-7, 2.11 ERA)
It has been awhile since Zack Greinke has allowed a run and I think he plans on keeping it that way against the Nationals. Other than the All-Star Game, Greinke has gone five starts without allowing a run. Now think of that for a second, five games! He’s only allowed 16 hits in that stretch, including a 1-hitter in his last outing. Now that he got the run out of the way in the All-Star Game, maybe that is the one to allow him to start a new streak up. I can’t stress how impressive that really is, and he has definitely taken over as the number 1 ace for the Dodgers in their rotation. That seemed like an impossible task given Clayton Kershaw played that role.
Max Scherzer came over from the Tigers and has asserted himself as a dominant member of the Nationals’ rotation. If the Nationals can get Doug Fister going as well, then they have a good 1-2-3 punch in that rotation. Scherzer posted a 3.74 ERA his last three starts, but note that he had a WHIP of 0.77. In comparison Greinke had a 0.44 WHIP. They haven’t been putting many runners on all season long, as Scherzer owns an overall 0.78 WHIP and Greinke a 0.84. I really thought the total was going to be 6 in this game. It isn’t often you see a total of 6.5 and say it is too high. But that is what I see in this game here. It makes too much sense, but you don’t get this pitching matchup every day, so lets try and take advantage of it with a pick on the UNDER 6.5.
PICK: UNDER 6.5 RUNS (-120)