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The Washington Nationals are looking to end their four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on a high note.
Diamonbacks continuing to surge
Following a bit of a rough start to the year, the Diamondbacks have continued to trend in the right direction having won eight out of their last 10 games that have pushed them to the second spot in NL West, granted, it’s 10 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona has been able to creep back into the wildcard picture just trailing both the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs being 1.5 games behind both of them in the process. A large part of their push has been fueled by the strong play of their pitching staff that is among the most effective this month as they are currently second in the league in ERA, sixth in opposing batting average, seventh in slugging percentage, and 10th in fewest hits allowed. This has been the backbone to their success this season as they have been able to more than manage after an offseason that saw many major changes to the team that has pushed forward the notion that they were heading into a down year.
Hey @MLB, we'll even write the tweet for you:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 15, 2019
The Diamondbacks have been able to largely find success through their starting rotation with their pitching staff. Although they have dealt with injuries to the backend of their rotation, it has been the backbone of their team. However, this will see reliever Archie Bradley draw a spot start on Sunday as it will be his first start of the year as he holds a 2-3 record with a 4.26 in 29 games. It will likely lead to a pitch count that will limit the number of innings he is able to throw. This will mean that their offense will need to step it up with Bradley likely getting a short leash for the game. They have had consistent production from their primary bats. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar has continued to step it up over the last week as he’s batting .435 with two home runs, and eight RBI in the last six games played. Meanwhile, center fielder Ketel Marte has been a major factor as he’s batting .323 with three home runs and four RBI in the last week. Marte is also coming off a two home run game on Saturday night’s blowout 10-3 win over the Nationals that could carry over into Sunday. With their offense hitting its stride, it should lend well to them grabbing a win to close out the series.
Nationals stumbling south
The Nationals have continued to hover around the .500 mark on the year while sitting largely outside the playoff picture. It has been a campaign that has seen them struggle to gain separation after the loss of All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper over the offseason that has seen them steer clear of competing for the NL East being nine games behind the Atlanta Braves and 6.5 games behind both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies at this point in the campaign. They have been in the bottom of the league in both pitching and hitting that has prevented them truly making a push toward the playoffs and fall under a .500 record in the process that has seen them split their last 10 games. They have also dropped two out of the first three games of the series against the Diamondbacks that have been blowouts in both of the losses in this set.
IF YOU'RE SOTO AND YOU HOMERED CLAP YOUR HANDS!
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 15, 2019
The Nationals have had some bright spots along the roster that has seen star third baseman Anthony Rendon emerge as their best bat as he’s putting together a stellar campaign as he’s batting .314 with 15 home runs, and 48 RBI that has him on pace for what would be career-best numbers with 35 home runs and 111 RBI. He has been productive in the last week batting .261 with four home runs and eight RBI in the last six games played. Meanwhile, veteran second baseman Howie Kendrick has excelled in his first campaign with the franchise as he’s hitting .323 with 12 home runs, and 41 RBI that has also have him on a career-best pace for career highs with 28 home runs and 95 RBI. However, the Nationals will need a strong outing from right-hander Anibal Sanchez to turn things in the right direction as he holds a 2-6 record with a 3.92 ERA in his first 12 starts of the year. Sanchez has been on the mark in his last three starts giving up just two runs over 17.1 innings pitched. If Washington is hoping to end the series on a strong note, it will need Sanchez to put together another strong outing.
- Nationals are 4-9 in their last 13 home games against a team with a winning record.
- Diamondbacks are 6-1 in their last seven games against a team with a losing record.
- Diamondbacks are 4-1 in their last five road games against a team with a losing record.
- Diamondbacks are 7-2 in their last nine games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Diamondbacks have been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last week. This should continue against Sanchez despite his recent success, especially with their offense picking it up. The Nationals’ inconsistency has simply been too hard to depend on that this point in the year.
Full-Game Total Pick
It has been a competitive first three games of the series up through this point. Their respective offenses will be factors, but it should be more of a pitching duel. Keep in mind, the under is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between both ballclubs.