It’s the conclusion of a weekend set between National League opponents on the diamond in the nation’s capital. The San Francisco Giants are on the road as they finish up a four-game series with the Washington Nationals Sunday afternoon. These teams were slated to open their series Thursday night but were rained out. In Friday’s contest, it was the Giants clawing out a 1-0 victory to start things on a positive note. The pitching matchups for Saturday’s doubleheader saw Kevin Gausman take the mound for the Giants against the Nationals’ Erick Fedde in the opener. The Nats took the first game 1-0 and the Giants took the second game in extra innings 2-1. First pitch for the opener at Nationals Park was set for 2:05 pm ET while the nightcap was expected to begin at 7:15 pm ET.
San Francisco Giants Looking to Leave Town on Positive NoteSan Francisco won for the ninth time in 12 games Friday night as they earned a low-scoring victory thanks to quality pitching and one timely hit. The Giants entered Saturday holding a 1.5-game edge over the Dodgers in the NL West race. In Friday’s contest, Buster Posey had two of the four San Francisco hits in the contest. That included a solo homer, his 11th of the season, in the fourth inning to account for the game’s only run. Anthony DeSclafani (6-2) went the distance to earn the victory. He tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing two hits with one walk and eight strikeouts to win a pitchers’ duel.
Johnny Cueto is on the hill for San Francisco as he makes his 10th start of the season in this contest. He comes in 4-2 with a 3.70 ERA, a 1.253 WHIP, eight walks and 40 strikeouts over 48.2 innings of work on the year. Cueto took the loss in his last start, which came last Sunday at home against the Cubs. He threw 4.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a game the Giants went on to drop by a 4-3 score. In his last three starts, Cueto is 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP, two walks and 14 strikeouts over 16.1 innings of work. Cueto makes his 13th career start against the Nationals in this contest. He comes in 7-4 with a 3.67 ERA, a 1.211 WHIP, 20 walks and 73 strikeouts over 76 innings of action. Cueto is 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA, a 0.877 WHIP, six walks and 31 strikeouts over 35.1 innings in 48 career starts at Nationals Park.
Washington Nationals Hope to Close Set With WinWashington lost for the fourth time in five games as they were upended in a close game and took another injury in the process. The Nationals entered Saturday last in the NL East race, eight games behind the Mets for the division lead. Washington mustered only two hits in Friday’s contest: a double by Josh Bell and a single by Trea Turner. Max Scherzer didn’t factor in the decision as he departed after only 12 pitches with a groin injury. He retired the only hitter he completed an at-bat with as he left with a full count on Brandon Belt. Paolo Espino (0-2) took the loss on the mound as he allowed one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts over 3.1 innings of work.
Jon Lester gets the call for the Nationals as he logs his ninth start of the season here. He comes in 0-2 with a 4.19 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, 16 walks and 27 strikeouts over 38.2 innings of work on the year. Lester didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the Rays. He threw 3.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts in a game the Nationals eventually dropped by a 3-1 score. In his last three starts, Lester has no record, a 2.03 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, six walks and nine strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. Lester makes his seventh career start against the Giants in this contest. He comes in 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA, a 0.889 WHIP, 10 walks and 30 strikeouts over 45 innings of action. Lester is 1-2 with a 4.46 ERA, a 1.488 WHIP, 16 walks and 34 strikeouts over 40.1 innings in eight career starts at Nationals Park.
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Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
We’re looking at a matchup of veteran pitchers with a truckload of experience facing a pair of lineups that have been inconsistent at best. Both teams have dealt with injuries with the Giants currently missing Evan Longoria, Tommy La Stella and Darin Ruf among others. Washington has had a ton of injuries to their pitching staff but their bats haven’t done the job this season either. With this being on the heels of a doubleheader, both managers may have to lean on their starters a little longer than they’d like to hear. Lester has pitched well against San Francisco in his career and he’s due for a victory. Look for Washington to find a way to claw out a win here on getaway day.
Full-Game Total Pick
San Francisco has seen the over post a 30-30-2 mark on the season entering Saturday’s action. The Giants are 9th in the majors in runs per game as they put up 4.79 runs per game this season. San Francisco is fourth as they allow only 3.58 runs per game, giving them a total of 8.37 runs per contest this season. Washington has seen the under post a 38-18-3 mark in their contests entering Saturday, giving them the highest under percentage in the league. The Nationals stand just tied for 28th in the majors with an average of 3.81 runs per contest on the year. Washington is 16th in run prevention by allowing 4.36 runs a night on the season. That puts the Nationals at an average total of 8.17 runs per game on the season. Both pitchers have had their ups and downs this season and with the pitching staffs worn down a bit, look for the bats to take command and push this over the mark.