Washington Nationals (96-66) at San Francisco Giants (88-74)
|Date & Time||Monday October 6, 2014, 3:33 PM (EDT)|
The Line: San Francisco Giants -140 / Washington Nationals +130 --- Over/Under: 6
The San Francisco Giants have a chance to sweep the Washington Nationals in game three of the NLDS from AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The Washington Nationals finished the 2014 season with the best record in the National League, but playing a team with postseason pedigree in the Giants has hardly been a reward thus far. The Nationals have pitched well in two games allowing just four earned runs over 27 innings, but the offense has left plenty to be desired with just three total runs. Bryce Harper and Asdrubal Cabrera each have solo home runs and Anthony Rendon is hitting .455 over 11 at bats, but the guys responsible for driving in runs have been ghosts as Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond are all batting .100 in ten at bats, and leadoff man Denard Span has yet to record a hit, reaching base just once thus far on a walk.
The Nationals will hope Doug Fister can continue his impressive season as the team looks to survive another day. The righty Fister enters this matchup with a WHIP of 1.08 and ERA of 2.41 while posting a 16-6 record in the regular season. Fister’s ERA drops to 3.05 on the road but he was solid against the Giants this year in two starts allowing four runs over 13 innings for a 2.77 ERA.
The San Francisco Giants rode the momentum of their wild card win over the Pirates into two signature road wins to open the NLDS. The Giants lack flash which makes it difficult to quantify their accomplishments statistically sometimes, but really this is just a team with solid fundamentals and coaching that gets enough timely hits to back a strong pitching staff with depth at both starter and reliever. Buster Posey leads the Giants in batting this postseason at .400, Brandon Belt is next at .357 and five RBIs after hitting the go-ahead home run in extras on Saturday night, 23-year-old second basemen Joe Panik is catching attention at .313 with a triple, Brandon Crawford is batting .267 with a grand slam, and Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval have each delivered in the clutch including Panda’s game tying double in the ninth on Saturday night.
The Giants will turn to Madison Bumgarner as the series shifts to San Francisco. Bumgarner won in dominant shutout fashion against the Pirates to start the playoffs and has been the staff ace all season unlike Nationals starter Doug Fister. The lefty Bumgarner had a WHIP of 1.09 and ERA of 2.98 while posting an 18-10 record during the regular season. Bumgarner was actually worse at home with an ERA of 4.03, but he was effective in his lone start against the Nationals conceding two runs over seven innings of work while taking the loss.
Both games in this series have played under the total and even with a full game of extra innings in game two. While 6 is on the low end of totals you will see listed, it is justified here especially considering that the Giants play in a pitcher's ballpark.