Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats vs. Rockies (8/7-8/9)

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Aug 2, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge De La Rosa (7-4, 4.87 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (8-7, 3.54) – 7:05 PM ET, broadcast on MASN

Jorge De La Rosa is the pitcher with the most experience in the Rockies’ rotation, be has had an up-and-down season. Nevertheless, he is coming into this start with some confidence. After giving up six runs in back-to-back outings, the 34-year-old left-hander put together a good start against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In that outing on August 2, De La Rosa went 6.2 innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out four, and walked none in his first victory since July 5. The problem for De La Rosa all season has been his command. Despite not walking a batter against the Cardinals, his 46 walks are seventh in the National League.

This season, the left-hander is 5-2 with a 3.02 ERA in eight road starts (2-2, 6.62 in ten home starts). His opponents’ batting average against him on the road is .216 (.279 at Coors Field). Against the Nats, he is 5-2 in eight career starts with a 4.07 ERA. Ryan Zimmerman is 4-for-14 against him with two doubles, a home run, and four RBI’s.

As for Jordan Zimmermann, he comes into tonight’s game after a rough start against the Mets. While Zimmermann went six innings or more for the third straight start, the problem for the right-hander was the home run ball. He gave up three home runs in the third inning during the Mets’ 5-2 win.

The 29-year-old has now lost back-to-back decisions and he has given up 11 runs in his last three starts combined. Since the All-Star Break, he is 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in four starts. If the Nats want to make it to the postseason, Zimmermann has to find his form and be that consistent number two starter behind Max Scherzer.

This start could be the one that gets Zimmermann back on track. In eight starts vs. Colorado, he is 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA. D.J. LeMahieu is 5-for-8 against him with a triple and two RBI’s.

Advantage: While De La Rosa is coming into this game with some confidence, the stats lean to the Nationals because of Zimmermann’s success against the Rockies. In addition, Colorado has not won at least two straight games since July 10-12 against the Braves. This game might be low scoring, but I like the Nats to win this one, 5-3.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup