Nationals vs. Giants Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Pitchers Quiet Bats in SF? (April 29)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Thairo Estrada
- The Giants are considerable favorites tonight against the Nationals.
- Alex Wood takes the mound for San Francisco, opposed by Washington's Aaron Sanchez.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Nationals vs. Giants Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||10:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Nationals enter Friday night with one of the coldest offenses in baseball, and they’ll be up against it with Giants lefty Alex Wood on the mound.
While Washington does have a decent enough starter in Aaron Sanchez, is that enough to make them a value as a long underdog? Should we target the total instead?
Let’s get into this matchup.
Nationals Searching For Offense
We’re up to eight losses in a row for the Washington Nationals. This team has been a massive disappointment at the plate, failing to score more than three runs since April 19th and averaging 3.19 per game to rank 27th for the season.
This team is simply lacking in major-league quality bats around MVP favorite Juan Soto and has done little to win ballgames.
Washington is down in 22nd when it comes to walk rate, drawing a base on balls in just 8.3% of plate appearances. While it ranks fourth in contact rate, just three teams have a worse hard-hit rate than the 34.1% mark this team has mustered up so far.
Sure, the bat is getting on the ball, but that does no good when the ball isn’t traveling fast enough to translate into hits.
Sanchez makes for a fascinating starter for the Nationals against his former team. The once highly-touted young sinkerballer has bounced around in recent years and struggled to find consistency.
He’s started off the year in shaky fashion, allowing four earned runs on six hits over 4 1/3 against these same San Francisco Giants with just one strikeout. His 3.42 expected ERA coming out of that start would seem to indicate he was unfortunate to have that kind of outing, as would his one walk, but punching out just one hitter in four frames isn’t too great.
Giants’ Pitching Has Been Good
Relatively speaking, life is good for the San Francisco Giants. They’ve won five of six with a three-game sweep of these same Nationals and wins over the Brewers and A’s.
They’re fresh off a strange 1-0 loss which came after a Chad Pinder leadoff home run dealt a blow from which San Francisco couldn’t come back.
Still, this is a Giants team playing some solid ball. They rank 12th in hard-hit rate and seventh in barrel rate, though the stellar contact has only resulted in a league-average offense judging by OPS and wRC+. San Francisco has scored the fifth-most runs per game with 4.79 on average, so it’s hard to feel so negative about the lineup.
That also doesn’t really matter too much because the Giants once again have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. Wood will be the man starting things off on Friday, and while he does carry a 4.91 xERA into this one which clashes with his 2.51 ERA, his strikeout and walk rates are nearly identical to those he posted a year ago and his hard-hit rate at 43.6% is just three percentage points higher than it was in 2021.
He’s perhaps been a little lucky to escape with an ERA under three runs due to the number of barrels he’s given up, but in general he profiles out the same.
There’s not too much to be said for how the Nationals hit lefties given we don’t have a large enough sample size to look into handedness splits, but we do know they’ve struggled against just about everyone to this point and lack in right-handed power bats.
While you may choose to believe Wood is overvalued at this number, you should consider that the Nationals have been one of the least-menacing teams in the league when it comes to quality contact.
The under has gone 5-3 in the Giants’ eight home games this season, and the conditions late at night in the Bay Area do suit pitchers’ duels. Wood should be able to quiet a lackluster Nationals offense and do his part.
Sanchez’s impressive peripherals should also help guide this one under against a Giants team that has been solid at the plate, but has lacked massive offensive nights at home with the exception of a 13-2 win over the Padres in the early weeks of 2022.
Pick: Under 7.5 (-110)