sports betting:

Vegas Play of the Day: Marlins at Nationals

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Rick Scuteri / AP

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) before a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, May 11, 2018, in Phoenix.

Sun, Jul 8, 2018 (9:48 a.m.)

The fifth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun’s sports staff is now under way, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

Washington Nationals minus-1.5 at plus-105, $500 to win $520: The Nationals at the beginning of the season were projected to again run away with the National League East. But, one week before the all-star break, they have just a 45-43 record and trail the Braves and the Phillies in the standings.

But there is hope.

They have won two straight games since having a players-only meeting to discuss the horrible play, including on Friday erasing a nine-run deficit against Miami and on Saturday posting a double-digit win. They finish the series with Miami today and should again post a lopsided victory.

The Nats are getting hot. There’s no reason to think it won’t continue, especially against a Marlins team which has one of the league’s worst pitching staff with a 4.87 team earned run average.

Keefer (3-0, $11,290), Brewer (0-0, $10,000), Grimala (1-1, $9,800), Granger (0-0, $9,600)

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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