The pitchers will be in control when the Washington Nationals square off against the Miami Marlins at home on Saturday.
The Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez has dominated the Nationals over his career going 7-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 17 starts, while the Nationals Stephen Strasburg has dominated just about everyone. He’s 2-0 with a 1.92 ERA through three starts this year and for his career he owns a 2.35 ERA.
Neither team’s offence has showed overwhelming potency so far this year. The Marlins are a bit above average and the Nationals are just below the middle point in runs scored.
Add the fact that Nationals Park, which historically has been a pretty even environment for pitchers and hitters, has swung in favor of pitchers so far this year and we’re looking at a low scoring affair here. Take under 6.5 runs at 1.77 instead of the over at 2.05.
If you need a win to pick up the spirits, there’s a substantial mismatch in Houston where the Los Angeles Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound against the Astros.
Admittedly, Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, has shown some small signs of mortality this year. In his last outing he lasted just 5 1/3 innings, but Houston is a good place to right the ship.
While the Astros lineup has overachieved thus far in 2012, they’ve struggled when facing an ace (as they did in a loss on Monday to Strasburg). Pitching-wise, Houston counters with Kyle Wieland who has a career 0-5 record with a 7.90 ERA.
The odds are not lucrative with the Dodgers on at 1.48 (compared to the Astros at 2.65), but this is a relatively sure bet.