July 19, 2017
There is one pick today.
Take Washington Nationals (-124) on the ML against LA Angels risking 3.72% to win 3%.
(Gonzalez and Meyer must start for wager to have action)
Ricky Nolasco was supposed to get the start in this contest for the Angels which we believe would have been a pitching mismatch on the mound for this contest, however, the Angels have pulled Nolasco and replaced him with Alex Meyer. Meyer has put up some impressive performances at home this season, however he has struggled recently posting a 6.28 ERA in his last 3 starts. Meyer also hasn't started a game since July 3rd, which could hurt him in the early innings of this matchup before he finally settles in. While we don't believe this will be as big a mismatch as if the Nats were to face Nolasco, we do believe they still hold and advantage against Meyer in this series finale.
The Washington Nationals came out of the All-Star break, firing on all cylinders, and managed to sweep the Cincinnati Reds in 4 games, outscoring their opponents by a 35-12 mark. They managed to win Game 1 of this (short) 2-games series and once again have a strong potential to sweep yet another team. Washington has a very strong offensive unit and ranks 2nd in the league in scoring, averaging 5.66 runs per game while also ranking 2nd, batting a collective .279 and come in 5th in homeruns, hitting an impressive 128 long-balls on the year. They have also been a strong road team this year with a 30-17 record which also ranks 2nd in the Majors up until this point.
If there had been one glaring weakness on this team, it has been their bullpen, who had a collective 5.27 ERA on the season. They believe they may have resolved that weakness by acquiring Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the A's to bolster their pen. Doolittle has a 3.38 ERA in 23 games this season while Madson sports a 2.06 ERA through 40 contests. Having potentially shored up a glaring hole in their game, could pay immediate dividends for this teams run toward the playoffs.
While Washington has been playing well, the same can't be said for their opponents. The Angels have struggled mightily having lost 10 of their last 14 games. Offense has been their biggest issue to date as they have scored more than 4 runs just once in their last 18 games and are averaging just over 2.5 run during that span. We don't believe their offense will improve much in this contest facing Gio Gonzalez who is having a breakout year.
Gonzalez has been impressive this season and comes into this matchup 8-4 with a 2.66 ERA. The last time Gonzalez had an ERA of under 3.00 was back in 2012 when he finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting. He has been strong on the highway this season going 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA. The Nats are 7-3 on the road when Gonzalez has taken the hill. Over his last 3 starts he has been even more impressive, dropping his ERA to an impressive 1.69. Run support has not always been plentiful for the southpaw, but he almost always puts his team in a position to win the game. Gonzalez also has strong numbers against the Halos in his career, going 7-2 with a 2.62 ERA and WHIP of 1.102 over 11 career starts. The Nats are 9-2 in those contests.
Even though we believe the Angels receive an upgrade at the pitching position with Meyer making the spot start, the short notice assignment will likely do more harm than good for the youngster. This Angels lineup has also struggled against Gonzalez in the past which should limit their ability to plate runs in this contest. Gonzalez should have a quality showing in this contest and if he can receive the proper run support, the Nationals should come away with the victory and another series sweep.
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