The leaders of the pack in the NL East, the Washington Nationals are going to be up for a challenge on Thursday when they start their weekend series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in MLB betting action.
The Nats are still comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack in the NL East, and they are going to likely become the first team in the National League, and potentially in all of baseball, to reach 60 wins this year. It is amazing to think that Washington is playing nearly .600 ball this year, especially when you considering the fact that it has two more wins on the road (30) than at home (28). The starting pitching staff has been outrageous this year, and though all eyes have been on Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Jordan Zimmerman, one can’t forget about Edwin Jackson either. Jackson knows that he is going to have to step up his game to take over for Strasburg when (and if) the Nationals shut him down this year, so this is a big start for him. The right hander might be just 5-6 on the year, but he does have a 3.73 ERA and has arguably been unlucky. Case in point: Jackson threw seven innings against the Atlanta Braves last weekend and allowed just five hits and one run. He got the loss in a 4-0 game. Still, for the year, there is no shame in a 1.15 WHIP or the fact that batters are hitting just .230 against him.
The Brewers have already likely conceded the fact that they are going to be out of the race this year, and assuming that they trade Zack Greinke before July 31st, they are going to be relying heavily on Yovani Gallardo to take over as the team’s ace. It isn’t a role that is unfamiliar to this righty though, as he is only 26 years old and already has 61 wins in his career, including three straight seasons with at least 13 victories. With 78 more strikeouts, it will also be the fourth consecutive campaign with at least 200 K’s. The truth of the matter is that there haven’t been many more consistent pitchers in the NL than Gallardo over the course of the last several years. Every year in his career, Gallardo posted an ERA between 3.52 and 3.84, and every year he had a WHIP of between 1.22 and 1.37. Batters have never hit higher than .251 against him in a season, but with just one season of an exception, none had ever batted lower than .245 either. Against Washington for his career, Gallardo is 3-1 with a 3.90 ERA.
Gallardo is the better of these two pitchers in our eyes, and we think that that is going to make the slightest of differences on Thursday. Don’t be all that shocked if the normally patient Washington hitters end up taking a fall in the end, as Gallardo strikes out a dozen and leads the Brew Crew to a much needed pick me up. Milwaukee 6 Washington 2