Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#953 San Francisco Giants 7.5 vs.
#954 Washington Nationals -180
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7:05pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy



#953 San Francisco
#954 Washington


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When and where: April 16, 2019, Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., 7:05 PM ET

The San Francisco Giants will begin their eight-game road stretch on Tuesday when they travel east to take on the Washington Nationals. After falling to the San Diego Padres, the Giants bounced back with 3-1 series win over the Colorado Rockies. Meanwhile, the Nationals dropped a home series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dereck Rodriguez is expected to get the start for the Giants, while the Nationals roll out right-handed veteran Stephen Strasburg.

Giants lose the finale but win the series

The Giants failed to complete the sweep against the Rockies on Sunday, but they did manage to win their first series of the season. So the good outweighed the bad on a night when they were shut out on offense.

And it was really, really bad.

The Giants nearly gave up a no-hitter to German Marquez, who came within a couple of innings of the majestic feat. However, Evan Longoria finally connected on a pitch in the eighth inning to put an end to Marquez’s run.

On the defensive side, lefty Derek Holland got the start on the mound for the Giants. Over a span of six innings, he allowed four hits, four runs and walked two, while retiring six batters in the game. Things quickly settled down once the relief help got their shot at the Rockies. Travis Bergen, Trevor Gott and Nick Vincent all combined for one hit and zero runs scored in the 4-0 loss. It marked the third time this season the Giants have been shut out in a game.

Nationals come up short in the ninth inning

The Nationals missed on an opportunity to take their first home series in Sunday’s loss to the Pirates. It was a nail-biter that came down to Jason Martin grounding a double at the top of the ninth inning that sent in a tiebreaking run. Nationals closer Wander Suero gave up the game-winning hit after Max Scherzer held the Pirates scoreless for five innings.

Scherzer struggled on the mound early in the game by giving up three runs in the first three innings. However, the Nationals didn’t concede to those struggles and continued to ride him all the way to the ninth inning. It was a wise choice considering how quickly he settled into the game and started shutting down the Pirates’ bats.

Going cold on offense must have been contagious because the Nationals faced those same struggles down the stretch. The only difference is they didn’t have a Martin knocking in the game-winner. They stayed cold for the rest of the game after the third inning. Adam Eaton came across home plate twice after getting two hits, while Howie Kendrick netted one run and an RBI off a double to center in the 4-3 loss.

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The Nationals are in the middle of a bullpen shakeup after the relief help blew another game. All manager Dave Martinez could do was shake his head as Suero gave up the winning run late in the game. It isn’t ideal to be fixing serious bullpen issues during the season, but Martinez’s back is against the wall with his relievers accounting for a 7.75 ERA, which is currently the worst in the National League.

Fortunately for the Nationals, they’ll be taking on a Giants team with the league’s second-worst batting average (.199) and worst on base percentage (.227). If the Nationals can’t close the deal at home against that Giants offense, there isn’t much hope they’ll ever improve to the point where they can actually be competitive this season.

The strength for the Giants has been their pitching, as they are ranked third in the league in ERA (2.75). However, the Nationals will be able to combat that with their batting. They are the fifth-ranked team in runs scored and 11th in on base percentage. This is a flawed but efficient offensive team that typically finds a way to get on base and get their runners across home plate. I like the Nationals to take Game 1 at home.

Prediction: Washington Nationals (-205)

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The under is 21-7-2 in the last 30 head-to-head meetings between the Giants and Nationals. While the Nationals are one of the best run-scoring teams in the league, they are only averaging 3.00 runs in their last three outings. That isn’t a promising statistic heading into a game against a team only allowing an average of 3.24 runs per game, which ranks second best in the league. Take the under in this one.

Prediction: Under (8)

Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

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