Nationals Look to Close out Series with Marlins in Victorious Fashion

Who: Miami Marlins v. Washington Nationals

When: Wednesday August 9th, 2017 7:05PM EST

Where: Nationals Park—Washington, DC

When the Nationals and Marlins close out their 3-game series in the Nation’s Capital, they will do so with full knowledge that the winner will win the series. While a loss to the Marlins would be a psychological blow, it is one the Nats can realistically withstand. Right now, the Nationals are 13 games up on this very Marlins team and do not look like their supremacy in the NL East will face much of a challenge, at least not this year.

The Nationals are one of the few MLB teams who have playing more or less the same baseball all season long. While this may sound like a negative thing, it is this consistency that has helped them become a shoe-in for a playoff berth. What’s more, even though the Nationals come from a weak division, they have performed well against the stronger sides. In fact, the Nationals have walked away winners from recent series with the Cubs and Diamondback, two teams that are more than likely going to be having a run at the World Series.

For the Marlins, the story is not so upbeat. At 13 games back in the division and 10 games back in the Wild Card, the Marlins are in need of a miracle if they are to have any shot at the post-season. Realistically, however, their chances of playing post-season baseball have long since passed. Despite this, the Marlins are a team that will continue to fight and will do so while playing a bunch of young, promising prospects. Though the 2 pitchers starting the game are far from young prospects, there is a lot of youthful talent on the field for Miami. Make no bones about it, the Marlins are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the East in the coming seasons.

Game Overview and Analysis

For the Marlins (+155) it will be veteran left-hander Adam Conley (4-4 5.10 ERA) who will be taking the mound. Conley was recently moved to the starting role from a relief position, and has had mixed results through the early running. In his last 3 starts, however, the veteran is beginning to prove his worth by going 2-1 overall. Though he is not a sure-thing as far as lasting 6+ innings is concerned, Conley has been delivering acceptable performances.

The Marlins’ bats have been hit or miss all season long, and there is no better example of this than what they have done over the course of this series’ first 2 games. In game 1, the Marlins jumped out to a commanding lead and ended up taking care of the Nats by a final score of 7-3. A night later, the bats couldn’t seem to muster much of anything and the Marlins fell by a scoreline of 3-2. This type of inconsistency is exactly why the Marlins are on the very far outside looking in as far as making the playoffs is concerned.

On the mound for the Nationals (-180) will be another veteran, this time in the form of Gio Gonzalez (9-5 2.66 ERA). To put things simply, Gonzalez is chomping at the bit to get back out there against the Marlins. Not only did he grow up in the Miami metro area, his last outing (against the Marlins) saw him pitch more than 8 complete innings of no-hit baseball before having his no-hitter undone in the 9th.

Gonzalez, who just got back from paternity leave on Monday, will be looking to pick up right where he left off, and I do not think there are many people who are doubting his abilities. Well-rested and ready to prove his playoff worth, Gonzalez is looking like a force to be reckoned with heading into the series finale.

Betting Prediction

Bovada may see the Nationals (-180) as heavy favorites on the moneyline, and there is good reason why this is so. Objectively, the Nationals are the more talented team, and in this matchup are putting forth the better of the two pitchers. Being that his last outing saw him go 3 outs from pitching a complete game no-hitter, we all are well-aware of what Gonzalez can do against the Nationals. For this reason, I think the moneyline bet on Washington is the bet you have to make.

Right now, the over/under for this game is being listed at 9.5 runs (-105/-115). For this game, I think the under (-115) is the logical choice. I think this because I do not think Gonzalez will allow much, if any, scoring, and I think the Nationals will not be able to eclipse 9 runs on their own. As such, I like the under (-115).

Finally, there is the point spread which sees the Nationals listed as -1.5 run favorites (+110). Once again, I think the Nats will win, and if they do win I think it will be by more than 2 runs.