Giants vs. Nationals Pick MLB – August 13th

We took the loss last night, despite some late runs in the Dodgers v. Mets game, too many runners were left stranded on base and the total came up just short.  I’ll try to rebound tonight with a winning pick – by shifting the focus to a pair of teams that have been among the most disappointing in all of baseball.

San Francisco Giants +124 at Washington Nationals -130 (Total: 6.5)

Madison Baumgarner (11-7, 2.75) vs. Gio Gonzalez (7-5, 3.52)

There has been a lot of talk about the Giants disappointing pitching being the reason they are all but assured to not repeat (or even make the playoffs) this season.  Yes, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum have been less than hoped, but no one can complain about the effort Madison Baumgarner has turned in this season.  His 2.75 ERA ranks 7th in the National League and his 0.98 WHIP is one of only three pitchers in the NL with a sub-one WHIP.  The problem in San Francisco, and even for Baumgarner, has been the pathetic offensive output.

The Giants haven’t scored more than four runs in any of their last ten games, and in fact, they have scored three or less in seven of them; all losses, and in their three wins, they’ve scored exactly four runs each.  They might get a break tonight, given the struggles opposing hurler Gio Gonzalez has experienced lately.

Gonzalez has struggled mightily in his last three outings, going 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA and lasting just 16 innings.  His season stats, like most of the Nationals, are “ok” this season, but nowhere near the lofty standard last season’s performance established.  He has an opportunity to get on track tonight, given the above-mentioned struggles the Giants offense has experienced lately.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game went over the very low 6.5 run total, but given the tendency of both of these offenses to vanish; I am staying away from that angle.  I do like the value of the Giants with Baumgarner on the hill tonight.  His stats are far better than his 11-7 record, and his team is just 13-10 with him on the mound – which speaks more to the pathetic 3.5 average runs scored by his team than it struggles makes the value of the Giants at +124 a pretty good bargain.

Both of these teams’ seasons have spiraled down the drain.  While the excitement may not be there in the stadium tonight, there is pretty good value on the Giants.

Free Pick:  San Francisco Giants to WIN +124