Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats at Rockies (8/18-8/20)

3 of 4

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg (6-6, 4.62) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (7-5, 4.75) – 8:40 PM ET, MASN2

While Stephen Strasburg ran into some trouble in the first inning of his last start, he was able to settle down and put together a quality outing. Against the Giants on August 13, Strasburg went six innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out six, and walked two. However, the Nats only scored one run, which caused Strasburg to lose his first outing since May 23 against the Phillies.

In his last six starts, Strasburg has given up no more than two runs in any outing. He made his return to the rotation from a left oblique strain on August 8 against the Rockies. In that game, he went seven innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out 12, and did not walk a batter in the win.

Strasburg is 3-3 with a 2.77 ERA in six starts against the Rockies, but he is 0-2 at Coors Field with a 5.56 ERA. Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu (.319, 5 HR, 45 RBI’s) is 4-for-12 with a home run and two RBI’s against Strasburg.

When you look at Jorge De La Rosa’s numbers, he is by far the best pitcher in the Rockies’ rotation. The 34-year-old left-hander has given up seven earned runs in his last three starts combined. Against the Mets on August 12, De La Rosa went six innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out seven, and walked two in a loss.

In the series against the Nationals, De La Rosa went up against Jordan Zimmermann, and got a no-decision in that game. On August 7, he gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits, struck out one, and walked two. While De La Rosa has been good away from Coors Field, he has a 6.62 ERA in ten home starts this season (3.17 road ERA in ten starts)

De La Rosa is 5-2 with a 4.12 ERA in nine career starts against Washington. Ryan Zimmerman is 5-for-16 against him with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI’s.

Advantage: While I expect Stephen Strasburg to put up another good outing in this game, the Rockies are a team that can take advantage of any mistakes a pitcher makes. That being said, De La Rosa’s ERA of 6.62 at home has to make Nats’ fans feel a little confident about the outcome of this game. It may be a high scoring game, but I like the Nationals to get the win.

Next: Thursday's Matchup