Washington Nationals -105 at San Diego Padres -105
Edwin Jackson (1-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (0-2, 4.30 ERA)
Edinson Volquez became the Padres Opening Day starter, somewhat by surprise, and somewhat by default after former ace Mat Latos was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Volquez and starting first baseman Yonder Alonzo. So far, he has been decent, and perhaps better than his 0-2 record indicates, with a 4.30 ERA.
For the Nationals, pitching hasn’t been a problem as their staff’s dominance have helped them cruise out to the best record in National League at 13-4. Jackson is just 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA, but his 0.84 WHIP portends some pretty good things to come. If he can avoid the big inning and the long ball, he will be in excellent shape. And there is no better ballpark in the National League to avoid the long ball in than Petco Park. In fact, there are few better lineups to avoid big innings against than the Padres.
Through the first tenth of the season the Padres are back to their struggling offensive ways. They are dead last in the NL with a team .211 average and have scored only 63 runs. Their staff ERA is middle of the pack, eighth at 3.57, but when you are barely scoring three runs a night, that makes for a pretty disastrous recipe. The Padres 5-14 record has them nearly ten games out of the division lead with a week before the calendars turn to May. Oh well, at least it’s a beautiful ballpark!
Enter the Nationals, with a major league-best 2.20 staff ERA and a competent lineup, though not spectacular. However, in spacious Petco, they shouldn’t need to sore a ton of runs to take the rubber match in this series.
The line is a very, very friendly one if you like the Nats, which I do. At barely even money, it is hard not to get excited about the opportunity to get the league’s best team against the league’s worst. The Nats have nearly a +1 run differential per game, while the Pads are the exact converse at -0.77. I like their winning ways to continue tonight in San Diego and for them to earn a nice win. I wouldn’t be opposed to getting greedy and trying to fatten up on a -1.5 runline wager, but my official pick will simply be for the Nats to win.
Free Pick: Washington Nationals -105