#905 Washington Nationals (Ross) -105 over San Francisco Giants (Anderson) 2:45 PM CT
Joe Ross looked like a future star for the Nationals making solid appearances in 2015 and 2016 but the 2011 1st round pick’s career has been derailed the past few years. He has worked his way back to the big leagues but holds an 8.10 ERA in 30 innings this season. Walks have been the big issue with 18 allowed but Ross can still generate strikeouts and he has had bad luck with runners on base scoring 40 percent of the time as well as a .376 BABIP. Ross has pitched well in his two starting efforts including allowing one hit in over five innings in his last start in Arizona last Friday. Pitching in a favorable ballpark against a light-hitting Giants team should be beneficial as Ross can deliver a steady outing. Washington has had bullpen issues all season but the team made several additions and currently is a deeper and stronger relief unit than the numbers suggest. San Francisco made a big run in July to get into wild card contention but dealt several relievers and signaled that the team wasn’t going after the playoffs this season. San Francisco has responded in kind going 4-8 the past 12 games. This team was lucky to get back to .500 with great fortune in one-run and extra-inning games and the bullpen no longer has the weapons to continue to win those games consistently. Rookie Shaun Anderson isn’t that much younger than Ross despite being drafted in 2016 and he has a K/9 below 6.0 and faces a Washington lineup that rarely strikes out today. His ERA has climbed to 5.08 and he has allowed at least three runs in six consecutive outings. While Washington is a stronger hitting team vs. left-handers, the Nationals have scored nearly 6.0 runs per nine vs. right-handers in the past 10 games compared to a 3.3 runs per nine average for the Giants. San Francisco is only 25-30 at Oracle Park while the Nationals are a winning road team and a team that continues to play for the postseason.
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