Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats Vs. Marlins (8/28-8/30)

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Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Conley (1-1, 4.88 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (11-10, 2.79) – 7:05 PM ET, broadcast on MASN

Due to the vast amount of injuries in the Marlins’ rotation, they have had to call on some young arms to help fill those slots. One of those starters is left-handed pitcher Adam Conley. The 25-year-old will make his fifth start of the season tonight. Conley was the team’s second round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft out of Washington State University.

As a starter, Conley is 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA in four starts. In his last outing against the Phillies on August 23, he went six innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out five, and walked four on 106 pitches (a season-high). According to Fangraphs, Conley has a fastball that averages 90 miles per hour, a slider, and a changeup. However, before his last start, he had not thrown more than 4.2 innings in any outing this season.

After the Nationals re-aligned their rotation on Tuesday, it allowed Max Scherzer to get some extra rest and hopefully rejuvenate him for these final 36 games. Scherzer had a great first half for the Nats, but he has underachieved in the second half of the year. Scherzer has a 5.08 ERA in his last seven starts and has a 6.86 ERA in four starts this month.

The 31-year-old right-hander has not started since August 20 against the Rockies. In that game out at Coors Field, Scherzer went six innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked three in a loss. He has not won a game since July 30 against Miami.

Against those Marlins this season, Scherzer is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA and has given up just five earned runs in 14 innings. Second baseman Dee Gordon (.333, 2 HR, 35 RBI’s) is 6-for-17 with a double, a home run, and two RBI’s. Gordon has bothered the Nats all season. He is 15-for-37 (.405) with a home run, two RBI’s, and a .436 on-base percentage against them.

Advantage: Although the Nationals lineup might look different and could struggle against Conley early, this is where the experience of Max Scherzer and the rest he has been given should give him the edge in this game. The Nats did score 17 runs in the three games against San Diego and I expect that offensive success to continue in this game.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup