Yankees vs. Nationals: Interleague Play Delivers World Series Preview
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | June 15, 2012
On one side you have the New York Yankees; they’ve got more rings than Liberace. The other you’ve got the Washington Nationals, a failed franchise from Montreal that rebooted like a summer blockbuster. Teams completely different in history have recently had similar success, making this weekend’s three-game series feel like a heavyweight bout in late October.
But don’t expect haymakers, the tale of the tape has us anticipating a low-scoring series. The Yankees bats have taken a backseat to surprising pitching during their interleague matchups. New York allowed 2.17 runs per game during their series sweep over the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, highlighted by another ace performance by Phil Hughes, who lowered his ERA to 4.76 with a two-run game versus the Mets. Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 3.43 ERA) continued his surprising season on Wednesday versus the Braves, giving up two runs to help the Yanks secure another sweep.
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The Yankees need their staff to stay sharp to compete with Washington. All the Nats do is throw heat at the competition. Washington is first in ERA (2.16) and WHIP (1.14), and third in Ks and quality starts. They have horrible rankings in hitting, but they don’t need great hitting. They use their nasty staff and a 19-year-old rookie, Bryce Harper, who bats like he’s been in the MVP convo since the new millennium. The Nats are also coming off two three-game sweeps, helping the Yankees’ cause by taking out AL East rivals Toronto and Boston (Washington’s interleague streak sits at seven on the season). The good news for the Yanks is they’ll be dodging the cannon of Stephen Strasburg, as he likely won’t pitch again until Monday. But they’ll be doing battle with the equally impressive arm of Gio Gonzalez in Game 1 (8-2, 2.35 ERA), Jordan Zimmerman in Game 2 (3-5, 2.91 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.02 ERA) to close out the series.
Bettors should keep an eye on the Under in Games 1 and 2 as they both could turn into pitching duels. The hot-hand of Hughes is facing Gonzalez and Andy Pettitte’s (2.81 ERA, 3-2) ageless arm is taking on Zimmerman.
If you have a good grasp on one of these contenders, it might be profitable to buy in before the series starts. We could see a shift in MLB odds to win the 2012 World Series if one of team blows up the other like a Michael Bay flick this weekend. New York currently sits at 15-2 to win it all while the Nationals are still a bargain at 12-1. The Nats in particular have been a steady riser in MLB Futures, as oddsmakers are slowly realizing that “Natitude” is no joke.
Armed and ready. Get your MLB odds, futures and props at Bovada.