Yanks look to close out road trip as 1.5 run favorites over the Nats
Through two games, the regular-season series between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals is now tied at one game a-piece following yesterday’s shellacking. This will be the final game of the season between the Nats and the Yanks. After today, the only time these teams will see each other again this season would be if they faced off against each other in the World Series.
As opposed to the first game of this season series, yesterday’s contest went the full nine innings. The Opening Day game between New York and Washington was canceled in the sixth inning due to inclement weather. The Nationals took the Yanks to the shed, shelling them for nine runs on their way to a 9-2 victory, their first win of the season.
The pitching was the clear difference in this one. The Nationals were able to win this one with ease even though starter Stephen Strasburg was scratched before the game. The Nats used five pitchers to get through the game. Erick Fedde started the game for Washington and did surrender two runs in the first four innings. However, the Nats went to their bullpen after that and were able to hold the Yankees scoreless through the final five innings of the game.
Now, I am not a person who gets a full-head when he gets a prediction right. However, I do feel an emphatic “I told ya so” is in order when looking at James Paxton’s performance in yesterday’s contest. I said in my preview, “… I don’t have faith in James Paxton to limit the Nationals…” Well apparently, the Yankees did not have faith in Paxton either. He was pulled after giving up two runs in the second inning. His replacement didn’t do much better, allowing the Nats to score one more run before finishing the inning down 3-0.
After Paxton’s exit, the game ended up being close for a while. Despite being down by three runs, the Yanks managed to claw their way back into it to make the game interesting. An RBI from DJ LeMahieu and a solo Home Run from Giancarlo Stanton put the Yanks back in the game, down just one run to Washington in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring the Yankees would manage for the evening. Meanwhile, the Nationals finished the game by scoring six more runs for the eventual 9-2 victory.
Let’s look ahead to this afternoon. As I mentioned before, this is the final game of the regular season series between these squads. Patrick Corbin will get the start for Washington while Jonathan Loaisiga gets the nod for the Bronx Bombers. It’s going to be fascinating to see how Corbin, a New York native, handles his second career start against the Yanks. Although, I am worried about him because he has not made a start against the Yanks since 2013.
The Yankees are expected to go to their bullpen earlier in this game with Loaisiga on the mound. I’m sure the team has faith in Loaisiga to give them a couple good innings, but I feel that bringing in a series of fresh arms to keep the Nats on their toes is the best way to win this game. Just look at how well Washington did yesterday using five different pitchers.
Even though the series is tied, I think it is the Yankees’ game to lose. Top to bottom, the Yanks have a lineup of guys that can get on base or go yard any time they step up to the plate. In fact, I know we are not even three games into the season yet, but Giancarlo Stanton looks like an early favorite to win AL MVP. He has four hits for two home runs and four RBIs in just six at-bats. Furthermore, in an abbreviated season, this guy can be the best player in baseball if he can stay healthy for just 60 games, a much easier task than staying healthy for 162 games.
The Yankees are favored by 1.5 runs in today’s game, but I don’t think they’ll be able to cover that spread. I am confident in the Yanks to win. They have a better lineup than the Nationals, and I feel like going to the bullpen early may be the move to give them a slight edge over the Nationals. However, both teams will be able to score some runs. In the end, New York will win the game, but it will only be by one.