New York Mets vs San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants should pick up a road victory in New York against the Mets Wednesday.
While San Francisco doesn’t have post-season prospects to play for, the club has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. The Giants are positioned to register their first month with a winning percentage over .500 since May. If they do reach that milestone, part of the reason will likely be the improved pitching of Matt Cain.
Normally an ace, Cain has generally had a terrible season. In fact, by mid-July he was sporting an ERA over 5.00. But he’s worked his way back to respectability and since that low water point, Cain has pitched seven quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed) in eight tries. In addition, the Giants’ offence has shown signs of life as of late. On Saturday, they put up 19 runs against a strong Los Angeles Dodgers team.
As for the Mets, they’re struggling to the finish line. They came into this series with a 5-10 September record. Their hitters haven’t been able to muster more than four runs in a game since September 4. Moreover, their pitching choice here, Aaron Harang, just isn’t very good this year. He’s 5-12 with a 5.70 ERA. Opt for the Giants at 1.66.
Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves
In Washington, the Nationals will take care of business against an Atlanta Braves team that doesn’t play well on the road. While the Braves are cruising to a National League East division title, they’ve done so almost primarily based on their work at Turner Field.
At home, the club has a .703 winning percentage, but coming into this series they’d lost more than they’d won in away games. That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily lose here, but consider they haven’t played well as of late (6-8 in their first 14 games of the month) and their starter Alex Wood is on a cold streak. In his past two starts he’s logged just seven innings of work and been hammered for 11 runs.
The Nationals won’t catch the Braves in the NL East standings, but they still have a shot at a Wild Card slot. In other words, they have a lot to play for – and it’s clear they’re taking that opportunity seriously (in their past 14 games, they’re 11-3). Nats’ starter Ross Ohlendorf is coming off a solid start (five innings; one run allowed) and has thrown particularly well at home this year (3-0 with a 2.86 ERA). Choose the Nationals, who are on at 1.97, to win.
Back the Giants to beat the Mets at 1.66
Back the Nationals to beat the Braves at 1.97