June 15, 2013 at 7:34 AM #52355
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Washington Nationals (33-33) vs Cleveland Indians (33-33)
Saturday June 15
Progressive Field – Cleveland, OH
WAS: Jordan Zimmerman (R)
CLE: Scott Kazmir (L)
Moneyline: Wasington -128, Cleveland +118
The Nationals dropped to .500 after losing the opener of this series against Cleveland – it is weird that both these teams have the same record after last night. Neither of these teams are plaing well right now after fast starts and things are looking like they might get worse for the Nats with marquee players like OF Bryce Harper and SP Stephen Strasberg on the disabled list. Without Harper in that lineup the batting order got kind of ordinary in a hurry. Guys like 2B Ian Desmond and 1B Adam Laroche don’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers.
Amidst the struggling of the Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman has been superb, easily outperforming more celebrated rotation mates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. Zimmerman enters the weekend ranked second in the National League in wins and ERA. He has been especially good of late with no ERs in his last two starts, wins against New York and Minnesota. The Nationals are 10-3 in Zimmerman’s starts, good for +6.73 units.
The Cleveland Indians enter the weekend in second place in the American League Central despite being one of the coolest teams in the league. They took the opener against Washington to inch back up to .500. It was a battle of aces with Justin Masterson battling Gio Gonzalez. They scored just a couple of runs in the victory but generally offense has not been the Indians problem, it has been getting quality innings from any starter other than Masterson.
Teams are always desperate for pitching so I suppose it is no surprise that the Indians were willing to take a chance on Scott Kazmir, maybe the first example of the Rays ability to really develop pitching. So far the results of his comeback have been middling and the numbers unimpressive but I suppose it somewhat of an achievement that he is even in the majors at all. Cleveland is 5-5 with Kazmir on the hill this season and in this matchup he is by far the inferior hurler.
O/U Pick: Under
Score Prediction: Washington 5 – Cleveland 1
Washington, with their lofty expectations have been killing bettros all season long. The major exception has been when Zimmerman is on the hill. That alone makes Washington the smart play on Saturday and even though it seems like and obvious one you are actually getting pretty good value. This seems like a good play no matter what angel you look at it from.
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