A floundering Milwaukee Brewers club will continue to struggle on Tuesday in Washington against the Nationals.
Coming into this series, the Brewers had lost five straight, scoring an average of a little more than two runs a game during that stretch. In this contest Milwaukee will have to face Stephen Strasburg, which doesn’t bode well for a sudden run explosion.
Strasburg has a 2.41 ERA and has shown no ill-effects from a back injury that sidelined him for the first half of June. Since returning, Strasburg has sported a 1.89 ERA over three starts. When a teams face a top-notch opposing ace like Strasburg, it is typically a disadvantage to have little experience against the pitcher (at least, if you’ve seen him a lot you have a chance to get a first-hand feel for his talents).
In the case of the Brewers only two players – Juan Francisco and Yuniesky Betancourt have ever had an at bat against the talented right-hander and, even then, in a very small sample set – just 11 plate appearances – the results have not been good (.182 batting average and seven strikeouts). The Brewers counter with Wily Peralta, who has a 5.58 ERA and has given up a league-leading 57 earned runs. Go with the Nationals at 1.35.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will continue their current hot streak against the Rockies in Colorado. With a lineup fueled by talented rookie Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers have been playing extremely well as of late. They’ve won eight of their past nine games and have gotten excellent production out of not only Puig but also other important hitters like Hanley Ramirez.
In contrast, the Rockies are going the other direction, having lost nine of their past 13 games. Their offence has been sputtering since losing one of their key stars Troy Tulowitzki to injury on June 13. The pitching match-up further distinguishes these teams in this contest.
Clayton Kershaw has thrown fantastically in 2013. He has a 2.08 ERA. Even when he pitched in hitter friendly Coors Field on May 31, he looked solid, going seven innings and giving up just three runs. The Rockies starter, Roy Oswalt, looks like a shell of his former self. A former three-time All Star, Oswalt latched on with the Rockies recently and has a 7.36 ERA in two starts.
Best bet: Pick the Dodgers, who can be had at 1.58 to win