The Arizona Diamondbacks hope to avoid being the victims of a four-game sweep when they host the Washington Nationals on Sunday night. While the Nationals have won the first three games of the series, the Arizona Diamondbacks are -120 over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
The Diamondbacks are going through their first rough patch of the season, losing four straight games and seven of their last 10 games. However, with everyone else in the NL West also nursing a losing streak, Arizona has managed to hold onto its lead atop the division. The Diamondbacks also retain the best record in the National League heading into action on Sunday.
The Nationals, on the other hand, are trying to climb their way to the top of the NL East after a sluggish start to the season. Washington has now won 12 of their last 14 games, a streak that started exactly two weeks ago when they beat the Diamondbacks to avoid getting swept at home, something the D’Backs will now attempt to do.
Surprising As Hell
The Nationals have received a surprising boost over the last few weeks from starting Jeremy Hellickson. Despite not making the opening day roster, Hellickson has been excellent in his first five starts of the season, posting a 2.25 ERA. He’s thrown 12.1 scoreless innings over his last two starts, striking out 12 and allowing just five hits, including six perfect innings against the Padres in his last time out.
Prior to that, he allowed just two runs over 5.1 innings against the Diamondbacks, doing so on just 57 pitches. Following that performance, the hitters on Arizona’s roster are batting just .190 against Hellickson in their careers, albeit with rather limited at-bats. The Diamondbacks have also fallen a little short of lofty preseason expectations on the offensive side of things. David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, and Daniel Descalso have carried the team, but no one else has stood out, including Paul Goldschmidt, who’s hitting just .216 with only four home runs.
A Godley Performance
The Diamondbacks will look to Zack Godley to be their slump stopper. Godley has had some ups and downs early in the year, and one of those poor outings came against the Nationals. Despite getting the win, Godley allowed four runs on 10 hits over five innings. He also allowed four runs over 5.2 innings in his last start, so he’ll need to show some improvement on Sunday, as his strikeout rate is lower than a year ago and his WHIP is considerably higher.
Unfortunately for Arizona, his career numbers against Washington’s roster paint a bleak picture, as the Nationals are hitting a combined .329 against him with an OPS of .938. To make matters worse, Ryan Zimmerman, who’s 0 for 9 against Godley, just went on the DL, leaving either Matt Adams or Mark Reynolds to play first base. Bottom line, Godley will step on the mound Sunday night with a lot to prove.
Put Away the Brooms
On paper, the Nationals are in good shape to get the sweep. But the Diamondbacks are too good to lose a fifth straight game. Washington has only out-scored Arizona 7-3 during the first three games of the series, so each game has been close. Even if Godley has another bad night, the Diamondbacks have the best bullpen in the National League. As long as Arizona can scratch out a few runs, the bullpen will guide them to a win. Bet the Arizona Diamondbacks +120 over the Washington Nationals on Sunday Night Baseball.