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May 22, 2018

There is one pick today.

Take Washington Nationals (+100) on the RL (-1.5 Runs) against San Diego Padres risking 3% to win 3%.
(Hellickson and Lauer must start for wager to have action.)

The Washington Nationals were recently swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in their most recent series and need a strong showing in this series with the lowly Padres if they want to keep pace with the division leading Atlanta Braves. The Nats bounced back in a big way in the series opener, pounding the Friars by a final score of 10-2. We believe the second game of this series tonight will end up having a much similar result.

The Padres will send rookie, Eric Lauer to the mound tonight. After impressing in his seasonal debut, he has been anything but in his other appearances this season. Lauer has been tagged for 10 runs in 13 hits over his last 2 outings. He is 0-2 with a 9.24 ERA in his three starts on the road this season, giving up 19 hits and 9 walks over 12 2/3 innings. He has been an extremely hittable pitcher with right-handed batters hitting an impressive .389 with 5 homeruns in 72 at bats against the rookie. Washington has a potent offense, and this could spell an early exit for the rookie tonight.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hellickson is off to a strong start to the season and is 1-0 allowing just one run and 8 hits over his last 17 innings. Included in those performances was an impressive showing back on May 8th where he held the Padres scoreless, giving up just 2 hits over 6 2/3 innings. Hellickson has pitched well at home this season, with an impressive 1.64 ERA and 0.818 WHIP over 11 innings. He should have the edge on the mound over his counterpart tonight.

The Nationals simply cannot afford to slip up in this series. They have already taken a step further back behind Atlanta after their disastrous series with the Dodgers. These are the types of series the Nationals need to not only win, but sweep if they want to keep pace. Given the struggles of Lauer recently, the Nats should be able to manufacture some runs off the rookie and if Hellickson continues to pitch the way he has, the Padres will struggle to generate any kind of offense. The Nationals should win this game convincingly, so there is plenty of value getting them at even odds, expecting they win this one by more than a single run.

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