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Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants Free Pick - 8/15/13

San Francisco Giants (52-67) at Washington Nationals (59-60)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 4:05 pm (Nationals Park)

Ryan Vogelsong (R) (2-4) (6.707) vs. Dan Haren (R) (7-11) (4.992)

The Line: Washington Nationals -145 / San Francisco Giants +135 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds


The San Francisco Giants conclude their road series with the Washington Nationals Thursday.

I think it's safe to say that San Francisco's run in the National League West is over as the hitting and pitching haven't been up to snuff in 2013. The Giants have generally played their best baseball in the second half of the past several years but there doesn't appear to be a run in them this season. A 6-5 loss at Washington Wednesday certainly didn't help with Tim Lincecun charged with all six runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in six frames. The bats totaled 13 hits and walked twice with Brandon Belt going deep, while Pablo Sandoval doubled in two. Ryan Vogelsong gets Thursday's start against Washington for just his second outing since coming off the disabled list. Vogelsong received a no decision in a 5-2 loss to Baltimore with two runs allowed in six innings.

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Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants Free Pick - 8/15/13

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

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Washington has been playing great baseball over the past week with five consecutive victories following Wednesday's win over visiting San Francisco. The Nationals have looked like the team that won the National League East in this stretch with both the bats and arms getting on the same page. The problem is this is a case of too little, too late with the Wild Card still far out of reach. Jordan Zimmerman was the pitching hero with a lone run given up on six hits and a pair of bases on balls through seven frame, while the relief corps nearly blew it with three hurlers allowing four runs. The Nats attack produced eight hits and walked two times that saw Ian Desmond go deep, while Anthony Rendon doubled in two runs. The Nationals send a suddenly hot Dan Haren to the bump to face San Francisco Thursday. Haren has won three in a row with three runs given up on eleven hits and three walks in 21 innings pitched.

Washington is the hotter team but I am amazed at how bad their pen can be. I'm also amazed by the huge juice on Haren who is throwing well but ordinary at best. I'll back the hot team but can't stomach the chalk...

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