San Francisco (62-46) at Washington (64-44)
When: Friday, August 5th 2016
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: MLB Network
Two first place teams square off in the Nation’s Capital Friday night as the Washington Nationals host the San Francisco Giants. The Nats just completed a nine-game road trip at 6-3 including a four-game split in San Francisco to end July. Washington holds a seven game lead over the Miami Marlins in the NL East. San Fran has been scuffling and managed to avoid a sweep in Philadelphia by taking the finale 3-2 in extra innings on Thursday afternoon. They are just 5-13 since the All-Star Break and their lead over the Dodgers in the NL West is down to two games. Washington’s offense broke out in the three-game sweep in Arizona scoring 32 runs. Daniel Murphy, batting an NL-best .358, was 7-for-12 with a homer, four RBIs and six runs scored in the series. Murphy was named the NL Player of the Month and Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg was selected as NL Pitcher of the Month for July.
Pitchers: Giants – Jeff Samardzija (9-7, 4.30 ERA) | Nationals – Gio Gonzalez (6-9, 4.29)
Jeff Samardzija was pushed back a day after the Giants acquired Matt Moore from Tampa Bay and will get the start in the opener tonight. Samardzija has allowed 14 runs over 16.2 innings while going 0-2 over his last three starts. Murphy is 6-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs against Samardzija, who gave up four runs in six innings in last week’s loss to Washington at AT&T Park.
Gio Gonzalez has been pitching very well over his last four starts allowing two runs or less in each. The left-hander took the loss at San Francisco last Sunday despite allowing only one earned run in six innings. Gonzalez also hasn’t allowed a homerun in his last three starts.
Washington is just playing better than San Francisco right now and Samardzija has been getting hit pretty good. Gonzalez is back in form after a rough patch in the middle of the season. Take the Nationals tonight and don’t worry about laying the -140.
Pick: Nationals -140