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

4 of 4

Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer (11-9, 2.73) vs. Yohan Flande (2-1, 4.19) – 8:40 PM ET, MASN2

Max Scherzer had an excellent first half for the Washington Nationals, but his second half has been anything but excellent. In his last six starts, the Nats’ ace is 1-2 with a 5.18 ERA and has allowed opponents to hit .279 against him. He has a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts this month, with opposing batters hitting .306.

In his last start against the Giants on August 14, Scherzer had his shortest outing of his season. He went three innings, gave up six runs on seven hits, struck out three, and walked none on 58 pitches. It now begs the question whether or not he is tired from all the innings he has thrown this season (165 – second most in the National League).

Scherzer faced the Rockies on August 9 and got a no-decision. He went six innings, gave up four runs on eight hits, struck out ten, and walked one. However, he gave up three home runs, which is the second time he has done that this season. In that game, Carlos Gonzalez hit two home runs against him and he’s 3-for-9 with three home runs against Scherzer lifetime.

As for Yohan Flande, he has had no-decisions in back-to-back starts and has not lost a game since July 3 against the Diamondbacks. In his last start against the Padres on August 14, the 27-year-old left-hander went six innings, gave up four runs on eight hits, struck out four, and walked one.

Flande did face the Nationals on August 9 when he went up against Scherzer. He went 4.2 innings, gave up three runs on six hits, struck out two, and walked none.

Flande gave up three home runs in that game, two to Ryan Zimmerman and one to Jayson Werth. However, one thing that the left-hander has been able to do in his last two starts is induce hitters into groundball outs. In his last two starts, Flande has 25 groundball outs combined.

Advantage: I have to reverse my trend of picking Scherzer in games this season. While Scherzer is due for a great outing, he has lost some of his command and in a ballpark like Coors Field, some of those mistakes will end up being home runs. The Nats could use a sweep of the Rockies, but I think Flande is able to bet Scherzer and the Rockies salvage the series.

Next: District Daily: Scherzer Discusses Recent Struggles

More from District on Deck