Saturday night baseball and we will see the Washington National take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in game 2 of their 3 game series from Chase Field in Arizona. The game is scheduled for an 8:10 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on MASN2 (Washington) and FS Arizona (Arizona). Currently the odds have Arizona favored at -130, while Washington is dogs of +122. The total for the game sits at 9 runs.
Free Analysis: The Nationals are fast becoming the team nobody wants to face in the playoffs and Arizona is learning that the hard way. One game after being held to one run by Stephen Strasburg and three relievers, the Diamondbacks look to snap the Nationals’ seven-game winning streak on Saturday. Arizona has lost three straight to Washington, and the team has dropped five of seven overall. While Washington (70-43) has taken care of business by going 32-22 at home, a big reason for its overall success is a major league-best 38-21 mark on the road. In the midst of their longest road winning stretch since a nine-game run Sept. 12-26, the Nationals have won 11 of 12 away from home. They not have dropped a road series since losing two of three at Baltimore from June 22-24. Washington rookie Bryce Harper went 0-for-2 on Friday, and he’s hitting just .173 (18-for-104) since the All-Star break. Manager Davey Johnson said Harper will get Saturday off and return for Sunday’s series finale. The Diamondbacks look to bounce against former teammate Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.56), who has allowed two runs over 12 1-3 innings while going 1-0 in his last two road starts. He gave up those runs and two hits while striking out eight in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-4, 11-inning victory at Houston on Monday. Jackson, who went 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA and threw a no-hitter for Arizona in 2010, is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts against his former team, but he is 4-6 with a 5.24 ERA in 15 career appearances (14 starts) at Chase Field. While Washington became the first team in the majors to reach 70 wins on Friday, Arizona remained four games out of first in the National League West. The Diamondbacks made a minor deal just before last month’s trade deadline, but it’s paying major dividends. Third baseman Chris Johnson has made a seamless transition since being acquired from Houston, batting 14-for-42 (.333) in 11 games since the July 29 trade and relegating rookie Ryan Wheeler to a backup role. Wheeler has just four hits in 22 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A Reno, where he was hitting .351 with 15 homers. Wade Miley is a major reason why Arizona has remained in postseason contention this year, and is also a strong contender for the National League rookie of the year award. He has won three of his past five starts while allowing just one home run during that span. Miley is 7-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 11 outings (nine starts) at Chase Field this season.
Free Pick: Going with the Diamonbacks in this one. Arizona really needs this game, especially with LA and San Fran both struggling of late. Wade Miley has been a nice surprise for the D-Backs this year and has pitched very well in this hitters park, going 7-3 with a 2.76 ERA. Edwin Jackson has had his adventures in this park as a member of Arizona and in his career he has 15 appearances (14 starts) and is 4-6 with a 5.24 ERA here. The Nats have won the first 5 of this trip, but the first four were vs the lowly Astros, while last night they had a stronger pitcher on the mound facing an Arizona team that was in their first game back off a long trip. I expect Arizona to play with some urgency tonight vs a starter that has struggled in his career in this park. Look for Arizona to bounce back tonight.
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MLB Free Picks: Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks
What Baseball bettors need to know about Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday (8/11/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and host Marco D'Angelo.