When: 10:05 EST
The Starters: Jackson (1-1, 4.26) vs. Volquez (0-2, 4.30)
The Line: Nats -115, Padres -105, O/U 6 Runs, Nats -1.5
Tonight the Nationals will take their fifth shot at completing their first sweep of the 2012 season, after losses in the first three attempts and a rain out in the last one. To do that they will have to win a matchup of two very similar right handed veterans. Both pitchers are 28 years old, have career records right around .500 (Jackson 61-61, Volquez 33-31), and mediocre eras (Jackson 4.46, Volquez 4.64). In Jackson the Nats have a guy that can be counted on to eat innings but not a whole lot else. He can be really good at times like his 2-hitter against the Reds two starts ago, but really bad at times like giving up 5 first inning runs against the Astros in his last start. Since Jackson tends to have a good outing every other start and is coming off a bad one, I think he’ll perform well tonight against a bad Padres lineup. Volquez is much like Jackson in terms of inconsistancy, but he’s yet to have a really bad start so far this year. With the exception of a steller performance in 2008 (17-6, 3.21 era), he has been average at best. I think he’ll pitch pretty well tonight, but mostly just because the National’s lineup isn’t very potent and Petco is the best pitcher’s park in the league. The Nat’s batting order finally came alive last night, tying a season high by scoring seven runs. I don’t think they’ll score that many tonight but I still think they’re slightly better then San Diego with the bats. Washington’s bullpen is still top five in the majors, San Diego’s is not, advantage Nats there. Tonight I expect the Nationals to finally claim that elusive first sweep of the year and make it five straight curly W’s.
Prediction: Nationals 4, Padres 2
Key Players (Stat Prediction): Jackson (7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 2 BB), Desmond (2-3, HR, 2 RBI), Volquez (6 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 6 K, 3 BB), Venable (3-4, 2B, SB)
Jesse’s Picks W/L: 12 – 6
Jesse’s Picks ATS: 10 – 7