If you are betting baseball or just a fan of the Washington Nationals, you are aware of wordsmith and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra’s sayings with how this team is once again doing enough to frustrate.
It was “déjà vu all over again” last night as Washington blew their 12th save, giving up a six-run lead in falling to Miami 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth. Even if the Nationals had the league-average of nine blown saves, people would be talking about this team they way they are about Houston.
Talking about blowing leads, Texas did in the 9th inning last night, dropping me to 18-11 against the MLB odds for my latest selections. Can the Nats get off the mat again?
Gio Gonzalez (6-1, 2.89 ERA) has the assignment of picking up his club after yet another horrific setback. the left-hander’s number are similar to those that he has posted throughout his career and his five road wins have been helped by the Nationals offense, since he has pitched much better at home than away (4.09 vs. 1.66 ERA’s). Gonzalez is 6-3 with a 2.03 ERA when facing Miami has eaten them up in last three outings with a dazzling 0.55 ERA.
After an 0-7 start, Edinson Volquez (3.72 ERA) has won three straight decisions for the Marlins, which included a no-hitter and posted a 1.73 ERA. The 33-year Dominican is only allowing a .227 batting average and still sports a 91-95 MPH fastball, but his command during the losing streak was off the charts and even with recent improvement has still walked 39 batters in only 72 2/3 innings. Volquez is 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA versus Washington.
These Batting Orders Have Power Deluxe
Don’t blame the Washington offense for when the Nats falter. They average 5.5 runs per game which is first in the NL and second in baseball. Nobody in the majors has a better 3-4-5 on their lineup card than the Nationals with Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy. Collectively, they are hitting almost .330, with a .399 OPB, 48 home runs and over 150 RBI’s, simply awesome.
Miami’s offense has been climbing up the statistical ladders, now up to 4.8 RPG, with 11-game outburst that has produced 6.8 RPG. The Marlins have a power trio of their own in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcello Ozuna and Justin Bour, who each have 18 homers and OBP range of .362 to .395.
Washington is a -115 favorite with the total at 9. Last night’s come from behind victory gives the Marlins at 12-8 edge the past three years at their park with the UNDER 14-6. We have already covered how bad the Nats pen is and yes, they are the worst in the NL. Miami on the other hand is 5th in ERA in the league, giving them a decided edge possibly for MLB picks.
The Winner Is……
Washington might be favored, but it is impossible to overlook Gonzalez and his teammates are 2-10 on the road when the total is 8.5 to 10, even if they are 24-14 away from home this year. And the clubs Volquez has pitched for have risen to the occasion against better opponents with a 12-3 record in home games vs. teams outscoring foes by 0.5 or more runs a game on the season. Chances are this comes down to bullpens and we have seen what that plays out.
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com