When: 10:05 EST
The Starters: Gonzalez (1-0, 2.04) vs. Richard (1-1, 5.89)
The Line: Nats -135, Padres +125, O/U 6 Runs, Nats -1.5
Tuesday night’s opener between the Padres and Nationals will be a battle of two southpaws. The Nats will send the red hot Gio Gonzalez to the mound to face a San Diego lineup that doesn’t scare anyone. After a rough day in his first start with the Nationals (3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 6 K, 3 BB) against the Cubs, he’s been amazing in his 2 starts since going 14 scoreless innings while allowing just 6 base runners (4 H, 2 BB) and striking out 15. I expect Gio to continue his hot streak tonight. For the Padres it will be fifth year pro Clayton RIchard. RIchard is reletively unknown probably due to playing most of his career on the west coast with a usually non-contending team, but he hs been solid in his time in the big leagues. Last year in 18 starts he posted a 5-9 record but had a solid era of 3.88. Richard has benefited from pitching at one of the toughest hitting parks in the league, with drastically better numbers at home than on the road. Gio is red hot right now and he’s the better pitcher in this matchup anyway, so advantage Nationals. For the lineups there aren’t really any big names to speak of on either side, especially with Mike Morse injured and Ryan Zimmerman out tonight with a shoulder issue. The Nat’s lineup right now is nothing spectacular but the Padre’s may be the worst in the league, so advantage Nats. When it comes to the bullpens, the Nats have a great one and the Padres is just average if that. The Nationals get the nod for having the better bullpen, therefore they sweep all three catagories tonight. So it should come as no surprise that I like the Nationals to take the series opener. I think both pitchers will pitch well due to the poor lineups they’re dealing against and the tough ballpark they’re pitching at, but in the end the Nationals will come up with one or two more big hits.
Prediction: Nationals 3, Padres 1
Key Players (Stat Prediction): Gonzalez (7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 2 BB), Espinosa (3-4, HR, 2B, RBI), Richard (6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 K, 2 BB), Maybin (2-4, 2B, SB)
Jesse’s Picks W/L: 9 – 6
Jesse’s Picks ATS: 10 – 6