Washington (Strasburg) at Arizona (Bradley) O/U 8
Recommendation: Washington -1.5 -120
Arizona has gone through some significant injury problems this season which have played an important part in another disappointing season. What is not a surprise however, is that their bullpen remains a mess and since the All-Star break it has been in full meltdown mode. Unloading their bridge to closer pieces Tyler Clippard (Yankees) and Brad Ziegler (Red Sox) has left them with a free for all in the pen where 25-year-old Jake Barrett is now the closer. The situation figures to get better in time once ace Zack Greinke, no. 2 starter Shelby Miller and back-of-the-rotation Rubby De LaRosa return because the D’Backs can then remake their bullpen possible using De Larosa and current starter Zack Godley. For now though, oppponents will continue to focus on running the starter out of the game early and get into the bullpen. Tonight’s starter Archie Bradley has thrown quality starts in five of his last seven but has not exceeded six innings in any of them. That opens the door for the Nationals to get into the pen tonight and with their ace Stephen Strasburg on the hill they likely won’t need a bushel of runs. Contrary to the Diamondbacks bullpen situation is Washington’s which was strengthened by the acquisition of Pittsburgh closer RH Mark Melancon. Arizona’s miserable 17-35 home record just another reason to fade them tonight but rather than laying the hefty price, the play here will be to shave 80 cents off and grab the -1.5 run-line at -120.