The Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks continue their three-game series on Saturday. The Nationals will be looking for their second straight win over the Diamondbacks after taking the opener, 3-0 on Friday.
Still In The Mix
The Washington Nationals are currently sitting in second place in the NL East behind the Atlanta Braves. The Nationals will be on the road for this series, and they are currently sitting right around .500 in away games this year. They are batting .257 as a team this year with 146 home runs and a 4.35 ERA.
Starting for Washington in this game will be their veteran right-hander Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg is 14-4 this season after picking up the win in his last game against the Dodgers where he gave up just one run through seven innings. He now has a 3.26 ERA with 168 strikeouts this season. Strasburg is a veteran who has posted another very solid year so far, as in July, he had five starts and grabbed five wins, bringing his current win streak to seven.
Leading out of the batter’s box for the Nationals has been their third baseman, Anthony Rendon. The 29-year-old veteran is leading the team with 23 home runs, a .317 batting average, and 80 runs batted in. With the absence of Bryce Harper for the first time this season, Rendon has stepped up in a big way, making an impact on a daily basis.
Not So Comfy Confines
The Diamondbacks are now in third place in the NL West, 17 games behind the LA Dodgers. The Diamondbacks are at home this series, where they are just 23-27 so far this year. They are batting .258 as a team with 151 home runs and a 4.32 ERA. They are coming off a rough series against Atlanta and will look to bounce back against the Nationals.
Robbie Ray will be getting the start for Arizona in this game. Ray is currently 9-7 this season. While he lost his last game against Miami, he was able to take wins in his previous four outings. Ray currently carries a 3.91 ERA with 173 strikeouts this season. Look for him to bounce back from his loss against the Marlins to get back on track to start his month of August.
On offense, Ketel Marte is leading Arizona in home runs with 23 and batting average at .314. The second baseman has stepped up and had a big season for them this year. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar leads the team with 81 runs batted in, as he also carries a .281 batting average and has hit 22 home runs.
What To Expect
This one should be a pretty close matchup; each team has a similar record, and the Diamondbacks don’t have much of a home-field advantage. I will take the Nationals, who have the veteran star pitcher on the mound, which I think will be the difference in this game.