After splitting the first two games of the series, the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks will play the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. The game has even betting lines, as both teams have a moneyline of -110. There is also an over/under of nine runs.
After losing on Saturday, the Nationals sit in the last place in the NL East. The Nats have now lost eight of their last 11 games and are just 6-10 on the road this year. However, Washington is still just five games under .500 and four games out of first place in the NL East.
As for the Diamondbacks, they snapped a three-game losing streak with Saturday’s 11-4 win over Washington. They are just 3-9 in their last 12 games, thanks to a six-game losing streak last week. That stretch has dropped Arizona four games under .500 and 5.5 games off the pace in the NL West.
Cool Hand Luke
The Diamondbacks will send Luke Weaver to the mound for Sunday’s rubber match. After a breakout season in 2019, Weaver had a disastrous 2020 campaign and has had an up-and-down 2021 season thus far. Weaver has had two starts in which he pitched at least six shutout innings but has otherwise struggled, going 2-3 with a 5.00 ERA over seven starts.
Weaver will face a Washington lineup that has struggled lately outside of a 17-run outburst on Friday. Trea Turner has been the team’s best hitter and remains red-hot right now, batting .423 with five extra-base hits over his last six games. However, the rest of the lineup has slumped over the past week outside of Starlin Castro and three home runs from Kyle Schwarber.
Time for Fedde
With Stephen Strasburg still on the IL, the Nationals will give another start to Erick Fedde on Sunday. In seven starts this year, Fedde is 2-4 with a 5.29 ERA. After a couple of solid starts, Fedde has now given up 12 runs over his last 21 innings, losing three of his four starts during that span.
Of course, the Diamondbacks have been in a bad spot offensively lately, scoring three runs or less in eight of their last 12 games despite scoring 11 runs on two occasions during that stretch. Arizona has been hurt by a slew of key players on the IL, including Carson Kelly and Asdrubal Cabrera, who have been two of the team’s best hitters this year. At the moment, David Peralta and Josh Rojas are the only healthy batters who are producing consistently for the Diamondbacks.
Neither team has been able to show any consistency this season, so after Arizona’s 11-4 win on Saturday, the Diamondbacks are due for a letdown on Sunday. Weaver also has troubling numbers against some of Washington’s hitters, including the red-hot Turner and Schwarber.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s watered-down lineup doesn’t have a lot of experience facing Fedde. Bet on the Nationals to take the rubber match from the Diamondbacks on Sunday.
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