Major League Baseball Betting Preview: Washington at Arizona (-107)

May 14, 2014

Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks (-107)

Analysis: Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy is coming off his worst outing of the season wherein he yielded seven earned runs on nine hits to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.  Prior to that implosion, McCarthy had been flying under the radar with very good numbers: 24.7 IP; 24 H; 6 ER; 29 K; 7 BB (four starts).  McCarthy possesses the mindset to effectively bounce back from his last outing, and I really like the Diamondbacks at home tonight.  “That’s one of the things I do well, is move on from things quickly,” McCarthy said.  “This one has hung around for a little while just because it was so perplexing.”  Let’s not forget that McCarthy recorded a 3.29 ERA in 43 starts with the Athletics from 2011 to 2012.  I also like the fact that McCarthy has walked two batters or fewer in 36 of his past 39 starts.

Meanwhile, Washington right-hander Doug Fister’s return from the disabled list last week against the Athletics was a complete disaster.  Specifically, Fister allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in just 4 1/3-innings of work. “Physically, I felt like I was in the right place today,” Fister said following his most recent turn.  “I felt strong, but it was a matter of a lack of execution.  I was excited for tonight, no more than normal, everything felt good.  I’ve been working on keeping pitches down in the zone, and I didn’t do that tonight.”  Washington investors can find comfort in the fact that Fister owns  a 2.09 career ERA in twelve games (11 starts) against National League opponents. Moreover, the five current Arizona players who have faced the right-hander own a  .122 (6-for-49) batting average versus Fister.

Fister’s task won’t get any easier tonight at Chase Field, which is second only to Colorado in terms of scoring.  And, the Diamondbacks are fourth in the league in batting average and sixth in scoring. In contrast, Washington is batting just .251 with a .312 on base percentage this season (3.9 runs per game), including hitting .236 with a .302 on base percentage versus right-handed starters (3.6 runs per game) and .227 with a .268 on base percentage over the last ten days (2.4 runs per game). While Denard Span is 4-for-12 lifetime against McCarthy, the rest of his teammates are a combined 1-for-20 against him.  From a technical standpoint, Washington is a money-burning 17-40 (-19.1 units) as underdogs and 10-35 (-21.4 units) as road underdogs, while Doug Fister is a lousy 18-36 (–20.2 units) in competitively-priced games (-125 to +125), 2-10 (-11.6 units) in May, 9-17 (-13.3 units) in the first half of the season and 22-42 (-19.5 units) on the road.

Finally, McCarthy own a 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in his lone start against Washington, and I expect him to duplicate that success before the home faithful tonight.