- Washington entered the series sitting 2.5 games back of division-leading Atlanta
- Arizona has won an NL-best 24 games, and are 3.5 games up on the Colorado Rockies in the NL West
- The D-backs have jumped to fourth among World Series favorites (+1000), while the Nationals have fallen to ninth (+1600)
The Arizona Diamondbacks host the Washington Nationals at Chase Field on Friday May 11th. While the two teams weren’t miles apart in odds-makers’ eyes at the beginning of the season, there was enough of a difference between them to consider the Nationals the favorites.
Now Arizona, who opened at 33-1 odds, is leading the NL West. Meanwhile, Washington is trying to reassert themselves atop the NL East after opening as 9-1 favorites to win the World Series.
|WSH (-1.5)||WSH (-200)||OVER (7.5)|
|ARZ (+1.5)||ARZ (+170)||UNDER (7.5)|
After a quick two-game stop in L.A. to face the Dodgers, Arizona will send Matt Koch to the hill. In Koch’s last start he held the Houston Astros to one run and six hits over 6.1 innings. He’s off to a 2-1 start with a 2.13 ERA.
The Nationals will counter with the dominant Max Scherzer. An NL Cy Young favourite, he’s sporting a 1.74 ERA and 0.85 WHP. His 80 strikeouts in 51.2 innings is scary.
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) May 6, 2018
Unsurprisingly, Bryce Harper leads the way offensively in Washington. He’s blasted 12 home runs, while knocking in 28 RBI and scoring 29 times. Those are all team-highs. Matt Adams is giving him a run for his money though. He has smashed seven home runs through the first eight games of May, adding 14 RBI.
Bryce Harper leads the way offensively in Washington. He’s blasted 12 home runs, while knocking in 28 RBI and scoring 29 times. Those are all team-highs.
For Arizona, Paul Goldschmidt is off to an uncharacteristically slow start, so it’s a good thing A.J. Pollock is tearing it up. The injury-prone outfielder has played in 35 of 36 games, leading the team in home runs (11), RBI (31), and batting average (.308). If he can keep this up AND stay healthy, he’ll generate MVP buzz.
At his current pace, the Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock would finish the season with:
He'll be a free agent in the fall.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 9, 2018
|4.6||Runs per Game||4.36|
These teams have already squared off once this season when Arizona took two of three. They roughed up Stephen Strasburg for five runs, and scraped together four runs in ten innings in Game 2. Gio Gonzalez served as the stopper, holding them to just one run over seven innings. Robbie Ray went just 1.1 innings in that one, landing on the DL with an oblique injury.
Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 1
Despite dropping two of those three games, Washington kept it close, losing by just a run in the first two, and winning game three 3-1. The Nats got to fatten up a bit, going 2-1 against the San Diego Padres.
The D-backs took two of three from the Houston Astros and then split with the Dodgers 1-1. Arizona needs Koch to outduel Scherzer to take home the win. He’s faced two daunting lineups in his previous starts (Dodgers and Astros), but the third time won’t be the charm.
The under has been a safe bet between these two as of late. They’ve combined to go under in four of their last five head-to-head, while the Diamondbacks have gone under in five of their last six at home. The Nationals offense has been inconsistent, but it’s coming around. They’ve scored four or more in six of their last nine entering the series, so take the road team in Game 2 of this potential playoff preview.