2014 MLB Division Playoffs Betting Preview: Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants

Bumgarner will get the start in game 3, and threw a CG in his last (shoutout) outing.
Bumgarner will get the start in game 3, and threw a CG in his last (shoutout) outing.

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants
Time: 5:05 PM ET (Oct 6, 2014)
Spread: SF -1.5
M/L: SF -133; WAS +123
Total: 6

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Washington Nationals trail the San Francisco Giants 0-2 in this series, and major league baseball oddsmakers don’t expect the situation to get much better in Game 3. MLB odds show the Giants as 1.5 run favorites over the Nats.

The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner to the mound, and he’s good enough to prove to be a difference maker. He finished the season 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 219 strikeouts. His WHIP of 1.09 speaks to Bumgarners’ control on the mound, and he threw a complete game in his last outing, which saw the fifth year pitcher strikeout 10 batters with only one walk, and no earned runs.

In the regular season, Bumgarner walked just 43 batters to his 219 strikeouts.

Where the Nats begin to run into trouble is the fact that Doug Fister is just as good, if not a little better. The 6’8” Fister went 16-6 this season with a 2.41 ERA. He’s not a strikeout god like Bumgarner is, but his WHIP is just as good (1.08). Fister made 25 appearances this year, but he threw just one complete game. He also allowed less home runs than Bumgarner. But all things even, most would prefer Bumgarner’s skill set in a game of this magnitude.

Thus far, Anthony Rendon has easily been the most successful National at the plate. The third baseman is 5 for 11 from the plate; this from a batter who hit just .287 during the regular season. In game 1, Rendon hit 4 of 7 and stole a base, while also having been walked in the game. It’s not reasonable to expect Rendon to carry these stats over the series, especially given his 1 of 4 outing in Game 2.

While the Nats haven’t had a lot of success generating offense, the result has been far different for the Giants, who have six batters with four hits or more in the series.

Buster Posey is 6 of 15 from the plate with two RBIs, while Brandon Belt has five RBS and a homer. Hunter Pence has been able to round the bases for three runs.

By all accounts, Bumgarner has a heady task to quell the Giants’ barrage of offense. In the regular season, the Giants ranked just 10th in batting average at .255, and were 12th in runs scored, but thus far in the postseason, San Fran has been getting it done and are expected to take a 3-0 lead today.

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