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Nats, Giants Meet in Rubber Match

Stephen Strasburg will look to pitch the Nationals to a series victory over the Giants.

Stephen Strasburg will look to pitch the Nationals to a series victory over the Giants.

Postseason hopefuls the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants meet in the rubber match of a three-game series in D.C. on Sunday afternoon.

First pitch at Nationals Park is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.

20140823_NL_EastWashington (74-54, 42-25 home) enters the game having taken firm control of the NL East, and having compiled the best record in the National League.

The Nationals had a 10-game winning streak snapped in Friday’s series opener, losing 10-3 to the Giants. Bruce Bochy’s side rebounded Saturday with a 6-2 victory, a fourth win of the season over the west coast club.

Now the club will look to record a second series victory over the Giants, a team it could potentially meet in the postseason.

20140823_NL_WestSan Francisco (68-60, 36-28 road) – 16-17 since the All-Star break – continue to do just enough to stay ahead in the wild card race.

Bruce Bochy’s club ceded ground to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, and now sits 4 1/2 games back of their in-state rivals. The Giants continue to hold onto the second wild card berth though, which looks to be evolving into a three-horse race with the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Giants need a win on Sunday not just to keep a nose ahead of the Braves, but also to prove they can cut it with the league’s elite, which would lend the team the confidence it needs in these final six weeks of the season, and into the postseason.

Pitching matchup

For Sunday’s matinee game, Washington will sent staff ace Stephen Strasburg (10-10, 3.41 ERA) to the mound.

Strasburg has allowed one run or fewer in four of his last five starts, a stretch that’s seen the right-hander go 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA. This latter figure is more of what we’re used to from the 26-year-old, who has a somewhat inflated ERA this season.

Strasburg has enjoyed success against the Giants in his young career, and will be hoping this continues as he looks to win a third consecutive game.

  • Strasburg is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 4 career games (4 starts) vs. San Francisco
  • Strasburg is 21-12 with a 2.49 ERA in 54 career games (54 starts) at Nationals Park
  • Strasburg is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 1 game (1 starts) vs. San Francisco this season
  • Strasburg is 8-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 14 games (2.30 starts) at Nationals Park this season
  • Washington is 14-13 when Strasburg starts a game this season

Ryan Volesong (7-9, 3.73 ERA) will start for San Francisco.

Like Strasburg, Vogelsong has an inflated ERA this season and will be looking to make a dent on it on Sunday afternoon. The 37-year-old right-hander has allowed more than two runs in just three of his last 10 starts, but he’s gone just 2-6 during that stretch, while the Giants have lost seven of those games. He’ll need some run support if he’s to be successful in this one.

Vogelsong’s history with the Nationals isn’t pretty.

  • Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA in 8 career games (4 starts) vs. Washington
  • Vogelsong is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 1 career game (1 starts) at Nationals Park
  • Vogelsong is 0-0 with a 7.36 ERA in 1 game (1 starts) vs. Washington this season
  • Vogelsong has yet to play at Nationals Park this season
  • San Francisco is 13-12 when Vogelsong starts a game this season

Injury report

San Francisco enters the game with 2B Ehire Adrianza, 1B Brandon Belt and 2B Marco Scutaro on the 15-Day DL, while C Hector Sanchez is on the 7-day concussion list, and OF Angel Pagan is listed as day-to-day with a calf injury.

Washington will be without 3B Ryan Zimmerman and OF Steven Souza, both currently on the 15-day DL.

Buster Posey and the Giants are clinging to a wild card berth.

Buster Posey and the Giants are clinging to a wild card berth.

San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals odds for 08/24/2014

Washington (-186) opened as the favorite over San Francisco (+176) when the moneyline opened, and maintain a comfortable lead.

The Nationals are 4-2 against the Giants this season, ensuring that they’ll own a tiebreaker advantage over their west coast rivals in the unlikely event the postseason race comes down to that.

The Nationals have also won seven of the last 10 head-to-head meetings between the two clubs, as well as eight of the last 10 the two have played in D.C.

Some other trends to consider:

  • San Francisco is 30-19 in day games
  • Washington is 25-17 in day games
  • San Francisco is 22-11 vs. NL East opponents
  • Washington is 21-8 vs. NL West opponents
  • San Francisco is 47-36 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Washington is 51-41 vs. right-handed pitching
  • San Francisco is 10-10 since August 1
  • Washington is 16-6 since August 1
  • San Francisco is 16-17 since the All-Star break
  • Washington is 23-12 since the All-Star break

The total opened at 7, where it remains.

Five of the six meetings between the two clubs this season have seen the over pay out, including both games this series.

The total has gone over in six of San Francisco’s last eight games in Washington.


The Giants return to the west coast following Sunday’s series finale, where they’ll host the Colorado Rockies for four games, starting Monday.

After a hugely successful homestand, the Nationals will hit the road and begin a three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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