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On Thursday evening, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals will begin a four-game series at Nationals Park. The game will also be their first meeting of the year, with six more to come before the 2019 season ends.
First pitch is set for 7:05 P.M ET and will feature two starting pitchers with sub-3.00 ERAs, Zach Greinke (Arizona) and Erick Fedde (Washington).
D-Backs Hope to Open Series With W
On the year, the Arizona Diamondbacks have found themselves on a roller coaster. They ended May with a five-game losing streak but then shot right back with a five-game winning streak early in June. Overall, they are right around .500 (35-33), though they remain in the mix when it comes to the NL Wild Card race.
Having said that, the D-Backs play well on the road. This year, their record away from the desert (21-17) is better than at home (14-16). A big reason why is Zack Greinke, Arizona’s ace starter, who will be the starter for the D-Backs in our game.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 8, 2019
On the road, Greinke has picked up four wins in eight starts, a testament to his veteran status and even-keel approach. His last road start, which was actually his most recent start overall, yielded just four hits and zero earned runs (at Toronto), bringing his season ERA on the road to 3.21.
Injury-wise, Arizona has had its fair share of issues, which includes a long-term injury to Jake Lamb, who finally started his rehab assignment, and a broken foot to Wilmer Flores, one of their best utility guys. On the bright side, though, five-time All-Star Adam Jones recently returned to the lineup after a short spell on the sidelines.
Nationals Back to Respectability
For most of the 2019 season, things were going badly for the Washington Nationals. All parts of their roster weren’t responsible, the bullpen was the main culprit, and after dropping five straight in late May, they were 19-31 on the season. This team, once a favorite to win the NL East, was in a complete tailspin. Around D.C., rumors swirled about breaking it all up at the trade deadline.
Then, out of nowhere, it all flipped and things fell into place (saving manager Dave Martinez’s job in the process). In their last 17, they’ve gone 12-5 to get their record back to respectability. They’re still seven back of the NL East lead and 6.5 back of the final NL Wild Card spot but at least they’re not talking about blowing it all up as much.
— MLB (@MLB) June 12, 2019
On Thursday, Erick Fedde will be in charge of keeping their trajectory headed upward. A former first-round pick of the Nats, he recently rejoined the big club and now finds himself right in the thick of their rotation. He’ll make his fifth start of the season on Thursday against Arizona.
In his previous starts this season, he’s been solid, posting a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings.
- 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. Arizona.
- 12-5 in their last 17 games overall.
- 12-5 in their last 17 games on grass.
- 9-23 in the 32 meetings vs. Washington.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Yes, Zack Greinke is a great pitcher, but don’t count out Erick Fedde just because he’s not a big name yet. No, Fedde is a future star, and potential All-Star. A lefty, he was a first-round draft pick by Washington and has a stellar sinker that’s incredibly tough to hit. He throws it more than any other pitch and it’s helped him to a 2.93 ERA this season.
Prediction: Washington Nationals +105
Full-Game Total Pick
Although both offenses in this game are above average, I like the under. Both pitchers have proven they’re skilled at limiting damage, even if some creeps in, and the recent past tells us that Arizona-Washington games trend under. In their last six meetings, the final score has been under the posted total five times.
Prediction: Under 8.5