What a horrible way to start the day yesterday, with the Reds scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st and then 6 runs in total by the end of 2.5 innings. From that point there was just 1 more run scored from the Reds which resulted in a 5-2 final for Cincinnati. I have had a lot of beats much worse than that one, but after getting that kind of run production early you expect to hit a winner. Pretty brutal way to start my Wednesday, but those kinds of games will pop up once in a while. But those are always the kind that want you to open the laptop and start to chase. More often than not that philosophy leads to a disaster and a broken bankroll. Don’t be that guy. I was when I first started out, it led to plenty of headaches. After suffering a bad push on Tuesday night, and then that yesterday it certainly doesn’t feel good, but just have to keep the composure in check. We move on today, on a Thursday that has a smaller card than we are typically used to seeing this day of the week.
The struggling Nationals head into Milwaukee struggling and were feeling defeated before getting a big win over the Yankees last night. It was a much needed 5-4 victory for them and perhaps it can be a spring board for them, as they head into face Milwaukee, who after a dreadful start have been playing much better baseball. Things were looking like the Brewers were the worst team in baseball, and while there is a good chance that may be true, they have been starting to at least play competitively on the field. Don’t be looking for them in October or anything like that, but playing respectably is about the only thing you can ask of them. They’ll take on pitcher Tanner Roark today, who provided great work for the Nationals last season in his first full season pitching for the Nationals. The starting rotation was so stacked for the Nats that they had to push him back to the bullpen to the start the year. However, an injury to Doug Fister put up back in the starting rotation. Quite the luxury the Nationals have in that respect. He is a weapon in either role. The Brewers respond with veteran Matt Garza.
Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Tanner Roark (2-2, 3.16 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (4-7, 5.09 ERA)
The Nationals haven’t been playing their best lately, but it has to be understood that every team, even the World Series winner of this season, will hit cold runs. It’s a long season in which the goal is to outlast your opponents and not burnout too quickly. Even after this turbulent stretch, the Nationals are still 30-28 and are strong contenders to be in the mix later in the season. A 2-8 streak is one thing, but if it ballooned into 5-20, that is when you have to question the metal of that particular team. Let’s see how the Nationals respond after getting a win over the Yankees yesterday afternoon. Tanner Roark is fully capable of bring another W to the Nationals. He comes in with a 3.16 ERA and has a 3.68 ERA in his last three starts, but he did have a 0.96 WHIP in those three games. And that 3.68 ERA all came from the 4 runs he surrendered in his last start against the Cubs. In the two others he was a rock, allowing just 3 runs total. In fact, his last start has been the only iffy outing he’s had in 2015. We’ll see if he can respond over Garza.
Garza is one of those guys that is all over the place. Consistent is not his middle name. He’ll give up a run, then next start allow 4, 5, and in one instance even 10 runs. The Nationals are a much better team than the Brewers, and I feel like they have the advantage pitching in this matchup as well. Check mark to the Nationals on offense and check mark for the pitching. Note that Ryan Braun may not be in the starting lineup either, as he left last night against the Pirates with dizzy symptoms. The Brewers dropped that one by a 2-0 decision. I think the Nationals begin to make a move after a horrid stretch of games. The Nationals should be bigger favorites in this game, say -125, not -108. A good value pick I feel on the Nationals tonight.
PICK: NATIONALS TO WIN -108