Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats vs. Padres (8/25-8/27)

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Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Cashner (5-12, 4.03) vs. Joe Ross (4-5, 3.56) – 7:05 PM ET, MASN and MLB Network

Last season, Andrew Cashner had a 2.55 ERA in 19 starts with the Padres. However, just like I talked about with Ross, Cashner has had his fair share of struggles this season. That being said, he is coming off a good outing against the Cardinals on August 20. In that start, Cashner went six innings, gave up one run (no earned runs) on four hits, struck out eight, and walked two on 114 pitches (most he has thrown in an outing this season).

After going 3-10 in the first half of the season, the 28-year-old right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA in his last six starts since the All-Star Break. While the numbers have been improving for Cashner, opponents are hitting .273 in his last six starts after opponents hit .267 in the first half of the year. On the road this season, he is 2-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 14 starts (3-6, 3.34 ERA in ten home outings).

In ten appearances (five starts) vs. Washington, Cashner is 2-3 with a 3.90 ERA. Back on May 16, Cashner went six innings, gave up four runs (three earned runs) on nine hits, struck out six, and walked two in a 4-1 loss against Max Scherzer. Ryan Zimmerman is 2-for-11 with a home run and three RBI’s against him.

After Tyson starts on Wednesday, his younger brother Joe will get the chance to start against his older brother’s team on Thursday. In Ross’s last start against the Brewers on August 22, he went seven innings, gave up one run on six hits, struck out four, and walked none on 82 pitches to pick up his first win since August 6.

Joe Ross had walked five batters in his previous two starts, but he did not walk a single Brewer hitter and he induced 13 groundball outs, which is tied for the most he has had in an outing this season. The seven innings that Ross threw last time out is the most he has pitched in a game since June 19 against the Pirates.

Advantage: While Cashner’s fastball could give the Nats some problems, I’m going to give the slight edge to Ross in this game because of what I saw in his last start in terms of bouncing back after two rough outings. While Ross is getting up there in terms of innings, he has been able to keep the Nationals in nearly every game that he pitches. The Nats find a way to get the win and take two out of three games in this series.

Next: District Daily: Long Odds Mean Nats Have To Get Hot To Reach October

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