Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats At Braves (9/29-10/1)

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg (10-7, 3.63) vs. Ryan Weber (0-2, 5.91) – 7:10 PM ET, MASN

For Stephen Strasburg, he is heading into the offseason with a lot of confidence. In his last start against the Phillies on September 26, Strasburg went eight innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out 13 batters, and walked one, but he ended up only getting a no-decision.

Over his last four outings, the 27-year-old right-hander has given up only five runs in 30.1 innings, has struck out 50 batters, and only walked four. Strasburg has 85 strikeouts to just seven walks in nine starts since the All-Star Break and has held opposing hitters to a .170 batting average. That being said, he does have a 4.33 ERA away from Nats Park this season (3.07 ERA at home).

Strasburg’s lone start against the Braves this season occurred on June 23 at Nats Park. He went five innings, gave up no runs on four hits, struck out six batters, and walked one in a win. He is 5-7 in 18 career starts against Atlanta with a 4.17 ERA, including a 5.60 ERA in eight starts at Turner Field. If Freddie Freeman plays, he is 12-for-28 against Strasburg with three home runs and nine RBI’s.

Thursday night will be the first time that the Nats have seen Ryan Weber this season as the 25-year-old rookie is making only the fifth start of his career. Weber was a 22nd round selection by the Braves in the 2009 MLB Draft. In his last start against the Marlins on September 25, he went seven runs on nine hits, walked one, and did not strike out a batter in the loss.

Weber has only averaged 77.5 pitches per outing and has not been able to strikeout many hitters. He has nine strikeouts in four games, but five of those came in one start against the Phillies on September 13. According to Fangraphs, the right-hander has an average velocity of 89.5 miles per hour on his fastball to go with a curveball and changeup.

Advantage: While it will be interesting to see how the Nats offense is going to adjust to Weber, it’s difficult to pick against Strasburg when he is having some dominant outings. Even though Turner Field has been his own house of horrors in his career, I expect Strasburg to put together another dominant outing and for the Nats to take two out of three games in this series.

Next: Rivero Should Be Considered For Prominent Bullpen Role In 2016

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