Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats at Dodgers (8/10-8/12)

2 of 4

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.75 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (6-6, 3.06) – 10:10 PM ET, broadcast on MASN

In his last start against the Diamondbacks, Gio Gonzalez had one of his best games in terms of racking up the strikeouts. His seven strikeouts were the most he had in an outing since May 24 against the Phillies. While Gonzalez has been, arguably, the most productive starter on the Nats recently, he still is having a problem going to deep into games.

Gonzalez went five innings, gave up two runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked one on 95 pitches. Gonzalez has not given up more than two runs in seven straight starts, but he hasn’t thrown six innings in his last three starts. Since the break, he is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in four starts.

Against the Dodgers in his career, Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts and has went six innings in each of those games. Third baseman Alberto Callaspo (.233, one home run, 15 RBI’s) is 9-for-26 against him with a double, triple, and three RBI’s.

This past offseason, the Dodgers signed left-hander Brett Anderson to a one-year deal worth $10 million. While the 27-year-old has had injury issues during his career, he has paid off for Los Angeles when he’s on the field.

In his last two starts, Gonzalez has given up three runs, struck out seven, and walked three over the course of 13 innings. The last time Anderson gave up more than three runs in an outing was back on June 10 against the Diamondbacks.

When you watch Anderson, you have to look at the amount of groundball he induces. Anderson has induced ten or more groundball outs in nine of his last ten starts. While Anderson has never faced the Nationals in his career, one Nats player has faced him in his career. Yunel Escobar is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against him.

Advantage: With Greinke and Kershaw looming in the next two games, this is a game that the Nationals need to get their West Coast trip off on the right foot. If Gonzalez can get the Nats into the sixth or seventh inning, I do like the Nats’ chances to get runs off Anderson when you consider that the team has scored 24 runs over its last four games. Nats win a 4-3 game.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup