Home run (Safe bet)
Take the San Francisco Giants at 1.72 at home to prevail over the Washington Nationals.
This Tuesday tilt, has the Giants hosting a solid Nationals team at just the right time – at least as far as San Francisco fans should be concerned. Though both teams came into this week at the top of their respective divisions, that fact is a bit misleading.
The National League East has been at pretty flat division, while the NL West has been strong – and the Giants are currently running away with it. Checking out each team’s recent form and you can see two teams at different levels. In the Giants last twenty games, they have a sparkling 15-4 record (with one game that was suspended and must be finished); the Nationals are a far more pedestrian 10-10.
The presence of Madison Bumgarner on the pitcher’s mound for the Giants adds to San Francisco’s chances. Not only has he been excellent this year (8-3 with a 2.68 ERA), but he also has a great track record versus Washington hitters. In 107 plate appearances, Nationals’ batters have a limp .216 batting average versus Bumgarner.
Washington starter Doug Fister is a good one. He’s 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA. That said his fielding independent pitching, a stat that tends to be a better reflection of past performance, is a weaker 4.01. This suggests he’s been over-performing to some degree. This is also his first start at AT&T Park. While the stadium does skew toward pitchers, a first-time pitching in a new stadium can often be a difficult task – especially against a strong team.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Go with the Houston Astros, on at 2.15, on the road to upset the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Houston is getting better quickly, which is bad news for the Diamondbacks here. With the recent promotions from the minor leagues of potential stars like George Springer and John Singleton, Houston’s lineup has deepened greatly. This improvement has been reflected in the Astros overall performance. After a dismal 9-19 record in April, the Astros went 15-14 in May and started June 4-3.
The Diamondbacks have also shown similar upticks in winning percentage in May and June, but the decider here is just how bad a team they’ve been at Chase Field. At 11-23, no Major League club has a worse home record than Arizona. This works really well for Houston, which have gone 7-1 in away games coming into this series.
As for the pitchers, the Astros’ Brad Peacock has been pretty strong after a terrible start to the season. In his past three starts he’s 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA (that said he was a bit off in his last start, getting the win but allowing three runs in five innings of work). Arizona pitcher Bronson Arroyo has been up and down this year, and is currently on the low side. In his past two outings, he’s posted a 6.08 ERA.