Nationals vs Giants Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Monday, May 8

Nationals vs Giants Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Monday, May 8 article feature image

Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Lane Thomas

Monday's MLB slate is on the lighter side, with just 11 games to pick from, including one juicy underdog.

As a reminder, the Payoff Pitch podcast MLB experts break down their favorite picks from the day's slate every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, including each analyst's favorite underdog on the slate, and they've got one more to recommend today.

You can read about their picks below, and be sure to subscribe to Payoff Pitch for MLB picks and predictions all season long.

Nationals vs. Giants, 9:45 p.m.

Jake Irvin vs. Anthony DeSclafani

BJ Cunningham: Jake Irvin's numbers in Triple-A were not good, and even in Double-A going back it wasn’t that good either. But in Triple-A he did have a Stuff+ of 98 and a Pitching+ of 101 which is serviceable for an average Triple-A starting pitcher.

But I believe this line is just incredibly way too high on DeSclafani. He’s been good this season: 2.13 ERA, but his xERA is getting close to 4, so he’s due to regress. And his Stuff+ numbers are very concerning: 91, none of his pitches are over 100. This is just screaming of a pitcher who’s going to regress at some point.

And I get it, the Nationals' bullpen is an absolute nightmare. I had them on Saturday night against the Diamondbacks. They teased me by scoring four or five runs in the top of the ninth and then just completely blowing it in the bottom of the ninth. That was not fun. But the Giants' bullpen has been pretty below average as well: They have an ERA over 5 right now, a walk per nine rate over four, and a left on base percentage is 62.5%.

If it weren’t for the Oakland Athletics, that would be the worst mark in Major League Baseball. And the Giants are also 24th in defensive runs saved, so I get it they’re good against right-handed pitching and this is a below average pitcher they’re facing, but I only have the Giants at -157, so I think there’s pretty decent value here on the Nationals at this big of a number in San Francisco.

Sean Zerillo: I’m a bit higher on the Giants. I have them at -170, but at +190 there’s still plenty of value here to bet the Nationals here. I like them down to +185 which is roughly where it opened. I agree with the sentiments of Irvin, I think he could be a serviceable backend starter in the major leagues – a number five starter moving forward.

DeSclafani has been pitched well; he's beaten me a couple times. You can throw out last year’s stats: his expected metrics were north of 5 or 6 last year. He is a 4 ERA type of pitcher if you go back over the past few seasons. That’s roughly where his peak is settled. I think he’s back there this year, but I can’t really put him past, as BJ mentioned, that 4 or 3.9 xERA mark.

So putting those pitchers at those respective levels, where I view these teams relative to one another: the Giants coming into the year weren’t projected to be much better than .500, the Nationals by some projections actually have them as high as 65 or 70 wins. So there’s not a massive massive difference between the Nationals, who I view as one of the better bad teams in the league, and a team like the Giants who I view as sort of a mid-pack team, maybe best case scenario competing for a wild card.

So this line is pretty high for me even with the Giants at home. Instead I like the Nationals, bet them at close +200 and can take them down to +185.

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