7:05 p.m. ET – Giants at Nationals (-175 ML) O/U: 7½
The 38-23 Giants travel to the nation’s capital for a four-game series against the 25-33 Nationals that kicks off on Thursday night. San Francisco split a two-game series against the Rangers earlier this week, dropping the series finale, 4-3, in 11 innings on Wednesday. The Giants carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth before San Francisco closer Tyler Rogers blew his fourth save in 12 chances this season. Washington split a two-game interleague set with the Rays to kick off its week, including a 9-7 win in 11 innings on Wednesday.
About the Giants
The Giants are easily the biggest surprise in Major League Baseball this season, as they lead the National League West by two games over the defending World Series champion Dodgers. San Francisco not only leads arguably the toughest division in baseball, but they boast the best record in all of baseball.
The Giants lineup has turned back the clock with 2012 MVP Buster Posey hitting .336 with 10 home runs in 41 games this season. Shortstop Brandon Crawford is having a monster season in his contract year with a .262 batting average, 14 home runs and 41 RBI. The lineup as a whole averages the fourth-most runs in the big leagues, scoring 4.9 runs per game in 2021. A big surprise has been the league-leading 90 home runs they have amassed, especially when considering that half of their games are played at Oracle Park,which is known as a pitcher’s ballpark.
The pitching staff has been just as pleasant of a surprise as the team as a whole this season. With a team ERA of 3.28, they have the fifth-lowest ERA in all of baseball. San Francisco’s starting rotation is comprised of veteran pitchers who were signed in the offseason to one-year deals. The bullpen has been a concern, as the Giants own 14 blown saves already this season, Only two other MLB teams have more.Expect San Francisco to add bullpen depth at the trade deadline, which will be needed to compete with the National League’s best.
About the Nationals
The Nationals currently reside in fourth place in the National League East, seven games behind the first-place Mets. Washington scores 3.9 runs per game, the eighth-fewest runs per game of all major league teams. Shortstop Trea Turner has led the way for the offense this season, hitting .305 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI.
Juan Soto, the preseason co-favorite for NL MVP, has not had the great season expected of him but he has remained solid, hitting .279 with eight home runs and 27 RBI. Left fielder Kyle Schwarber was brought in this offseason to increase the team’s power numbers, but he has struggled mightily as of late. He is batting .160 with no home runs in his last seven games.
The pitching staff has been middle of the road with an ERA of 4.14, ranking 15th in MLB. The Nationals are going to need to heat up quickly or they will be forced to become sellers at the trade deadline.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|San Francisco Giants||+1½ (-145)||+155||O 7½ (-120)|
|Washington Nationals||-1½ (+125)||-175||U 7½ (+100)|
The Pitching Matchup
Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani is getting the ball for the Giants in the series opener. DeSclafani is 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 66.2 innings pitched across 12 starts this season. He allowed just two runs in six innings of work his last time out against the Cubs.
Three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer is toeing the rubber for Washington. Scherzer is 5-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 77 innings pitched across 12 starts in 2021. He allowed one run in 7.2 innings in his last start against the Phillies. Scherzer is in the last year of his contract and will likely be a hot commodity at the trade deadline if the Nationals continue to struggle this season.
Scherzer is capable of taking over any game he pitches in, but with San Francisco turning to DeSclafani and the significant lineup advantage they have, +155 is too high of a number to pass on.
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook