The San Diego Padres (20-29 Overall, 9-11 Away) and Washington Nationals (25-21 Overall, 11-13 Home) meet tonight at 7:05 p.m. E.T. This far this season, these two teams have met four times. The Nats have won three-of-four, including the last one, which was played last night. The score in that contest was 10-2. Washington has struggled this season at home. Still, the Padres are not a very good road team. Our San Diego plays Washington MLB free pick for May 22 has the Nationals at -179 and the Padres at +175. The over/under is 8.5 and listed at -115 for the over and -105 for the under. Both teams come to this game with 6-4 records for their last 10 played.
San Diego at Washington Pitching
Lefty Eric Lauer (1-2 W/L, 8.14 ERA, 2.10 WHIP) starts for the Padres. Lauer’s last win was May 6 when he started against the Dodgers. He went 6.0 innings and allowed no runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out five. In his last two games, he went a total of 6.3 innings. On May 11, he started against St. Louis, lasting just 2.1 innings. In that game, the Cards rocked him for six runs and whacked four round-trippers. His last game was a no-decision against the Pirates, as he lasted less than five innings, giving up four runs on six hits. Lauer will need to bear down tonight, be careful with his pitches, and find his location early on. If not, it could be an early night for the lefty.
For the Nationals, it’s Jeremy Hellickson (1-0 W/L, 2.12 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) on the mound. In six starts, he’s pitched 32 innings, averaging 5.04 IP/G. On May 8 against the Padres, he went 6.2 innings, his longest outing of the season. Hellickson allowed no runs on two hits. He notched eight strikeouts. Those are his best numbers of the season. He recorded his only win of the season in what was a 4-0 game. He has gotten no decisions in his five other starts. Over the course of those five games, the Nats are 3-2. Washington would love to see Hellickson go at least six innings tonight and offer the pitch-command he’s exhibited over his last three starts where he’s been tough to hit.
All of the everyday players on San Diego seem to be struggling at the plate. Eric Hosmer is batting just .267. His .364 OBP is tops on the Padres. Christian Villanueva, who leads the club in homers (12) and RBI (26), is batting .244. Jose Pirela’s 49 hits is pretty darn good on a subpar offensive, but his average is .261. The Padres are not much of a threat to steal and their 42 homers place them 27th in the majors. The Nats are tied for 7th in that category with 60.
For the Nationals, Howie Kendrick, Bryce Harper, and Trea Turner offer a lot of offensive potential. Kendrick is batting over .300 and has 14 doubles. Although hitting just .221, Harper tops the team in homers with 14 and RBI with 33. Turner leads the team in steals (13), hits (49) and OBP (.392). In the first start of his career, and his second MLB game, Juan Soto smacked a homer in his first at bat. A lot is expected from the 19-year-old.
The Padres are hitting just .227, while opponents are averaging .256 against their pitchers. Nats hitters are batting .238, while opponents are at merely .218. Those teams stats say a lot about tonight’s game, and the potential outcome.
Our San Diego Plays Washington MLB Free Pick- May 22
With offensive stats being fairly even, we do think that this game comes down to starting pitching. The Nationals hold the edge in that area. Nats closer Sean Doolittle blew his first save of the season in his last appearance, which was on May 19 against the Dodgers. He comes in with nine saves. Teammate Brandon Kintzler has 10 holds. In 22 appearances, Brad Hand has notched 14 saves and blown two. Craig Stammen has also done well in relief, recording nine holds. Despite Doolittle’s recent struggle, our San Diego plays Washington MLB free pick is the Nats at -179. We’re going with the over at 8.5 (-115).