Giants vs. Nationals prediction and odds for Sunday, July 23

The Giants will need their bullpen to continue to shoulder a huge load to avoid getting swept in DC.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Austin Slater (13)
San Francisco Giants outfielder Austin Slater (13) / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a streaky second half so far for the San Francisco Giants. They won their first five games out of the All-Star break and then turned around and dropped their next four including the first two of this three-game series against the Washington Nationals in DC. 

For the series finale and the penultimate game of this road trip San Francisco will go with another bullpen game opened by Scott Alexander who is 6-0 with a 3.04 ERA in 31 appearances this season. The San Francisco bullpen will look face off against Makenzie Gore who is 5-7 with a 4.59 ERA in 19 starts this season. The Washington lefty struggled last time out. 

Let’s get into the odds for this afternoon start in DC. 

Giants vs. Nationals odds, run line and total

Giants vs. Nationals prediction and pick

Since June 1, the San Francisco bullpen has logged the most innings in baseball by a fairly wide margin with 202.2 and they’ve been excellent with that massive amount of work. The Giants really don’t expect a lot from the back end of their starting rotation and regularly use openers or bullpen days and have a lot of success. The Giants’ relievers have a league best combined record of 19-4 since June 1 with a 3.15 ERA and a 3.21 FIP. 

That means it’ll be a very tough day for Mackenzie Gore to match that bullpen. Gore has 114 strikeouts in 96.0 innings this season to just 41 walks, but his biggest issue is the 16 home runs he has allowed including two last start. This is a good matchup against the Giants because their lineup doesn’t typically punish lefties too much. San Francisco has a .684 team ERA against lefties and are 27th in slugging at .378. 

The Giants will be happy to have Austin Slater back in the lineup because he is slugging .536 against lefties which is third in the team behind Wilmer Flores and Patrick Bailey. The Nationals put up 10 runs yesterday after Logan Webb blew up early, but today will be different. I’m not confident that the Giants will avoid the sweep today, but I am confident that it’ll be close and low-scoring. I’ll take the under and trust the San Francisco bullpen. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change