Fresh off their latest roster upgrade, the Washington Nationals are in the midst of a four-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Game 3 this Wednesday (7:05 PM ET) at Nationals Park. But is it too late for new closer Jonathan Papelbon to save Washington’s season? The Nats (54-50, –4.97 betting units) are just 5-11 since the All-Star Game, and would miss the playoffs if they started today.
Gio Gonzalez (3.18 FIP) will try to stop the bleeding Wednesday night. Gonzalez has pitched very well this year, leading Washington to 4.78 units in earnings on a team record of 12-7, including four of his last six starts. Gonzalez has allowed six earned runs combined during this hot spell, but he’s also having trouble going deep into games, so Papelbon (2.91 FIP) and the rest of Washington’s No. 6-ranked bullpen (3.3 WAR) will be on notice.
The Diamondbacks aren’t completely out of playoff contention at 51-53 (+2.32 units), and they won the first game of this series 6-4 as +112 underdogs. Rubby De La Rosa (4.67 FIP) will try to keep the ball rolling in Game 3; Arizona is 12-9 in De La Rosa’s 21 starts for 3.30 units in profit.