San Francisco Giants (46-70; 55-51-10 O/U) vs. Washington Nationals (68-45; 56-53-4 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 7:05pm EST
Line: Washington -200/San Francisco +160
The Washington Nationals will host the San Francisco Giants as the clubs continue a three game series Saturday night from Nationals Park. The Giants will send 26-year old right-hander Chris Stratton to the mound, and the Nationals will counter with 33-year old right-hander Edwin Jackson. Washington swept San Francisco in late May to take a 3-0 lead in the season series.
Stratton Targets First Win of Season
Chris Stratton will make his sixth appearance and third start of the season, searching for his first win. Stratton held his own in his previous outing, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings to the Diamondbacks, and finished with the no decision in a game the Giants won. The rookie right-hander has looked better in his last two starts, however he has conceded a total of 15 runs (14 earned) in his 19 innings pitched. Stratton has had trouble with his command, issuing 12 walks. Buster Posey has not had a problem reaching base against the Nationals tough pitching this season, recording a hit in 6 of 11 at bats with two RBI’s and two walks. The 30-year old catcher is having another steady season, sporting a .321 average with 12 home runs and 51 RBI’s. Posey has driven in six runs this month.
The Giants are scoring an average of 4.01 runs per game, ranking them down at 28th in the Majors, and are hitting .246 as a team. The San Francisco pitching has been mediocre, posting a 4.51 team ERA, positioning them 16th in the Major Leagues.
Jackson Shaky in Loss to Cubs
Edwin Jackson will make his eighth appearance and fifth start of the year, aiming for his third victory. Jackson conceded four runs in five innings to the Cubs in his previous start, and was charged with the loss. The veteran right-hander has pitched well through four starts with the Nationals this season, and owns a 4.34 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP to go with a 2-2 record in 29 innings pitched on the season. He has had trouble with the Giants in his career, posting an ugly 5.03 ERA with a 4-4 record in 11 career starts. Hunter Pence is 5 for 20 against Jackson, while Buster Posey is 1 for 15, and Brandon Crawford is 3 for 11. Bryce Harper is heating up again, collecting seven RBI’s along with two homers over his last six games. The 24-year old right fielder is having a tremendous season, sporting a .327 average with 29 home runs and 87 RBI’s. Harper is 0 for 8 against the Giants this season.
The Nationals powerful lineup is averaging 5.46 runs per game, good for second in the Majors, and are sporting a .275 team batting average. The Washington pitching has been solid, recording a 4.09 team ERA, placing them ninth in the Major Leagues.
The San Francisco Giants are:
- 4-1 in their last 5 games overall.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record.
The Washington Nationals are:
- 1-4 in Jackson’s last 5 Saturday starts.
- 4-10 in Jackson’s last 14 starts against a team with a losing record.
- 0-5 in Jackson’s last 5 starts on six days of rest.
I am taking a shot with the Giants in this contest, however my stronger play is on the total. Edwin Jackson has struggled against the Giants, posting a poor 5.03 career ERA, and right now the Giants are swinging the bats much better, averaging 5.1 runs over their last ten games. Also, Stratton has conceded two earned runs in each of his last two starts, so I am confident he can slow down the Nationals offense.
Pick: San Francisco Giants
Stratton has been very shaky this season and Jackson has had trouble against the Giants. Stratton has allowed 15 runs (14 earned) in his 19 innings pitched this season, and the over is 4-1 in the Giants last five Saturday games. The Giants are swinging the bats better as of late and the over is 4-1 in Jackson’s last 5 starts against the NL West.