Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies Preview (4/26-4/28)
Vincent Velasquez (2-1, 0.93 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (2-1, 4.32) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN
Velasquez was one of the pitchers that the Phillies acquired in the offseason trade with the Houston Astros for Ken Giles. So far, Philadelphia won that trade considering how bad Giles has been as the eighth inning guy for Houston.
The 23-year-old right-hander went 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA in 19 games for Houston last season. So far, with the Phillies, he has 29 strikeouts in three games, including 16 against the Padres back on April 14.
In his last outing against the Mets on April 19, he struggled as he went 4.1 innings, gave up two solo home runs on five hits, struck out four batters, and walked none. According to Fangraphs, he has an average fastball velocity of 94 miles per hour to go with a slider, curveball, and changeup.
Even though the Washington Nationals have had a good start from their rotation, it’s safe to say their ace, Max Scherzer, has been their worst starter so far. In his last start against the Marlins, Scherzer went five innings, gave up five runs on eight hits, struck out three, and walked two in the loss.
So far, the two main issues for Scherzer have been giving up the long ball (four home runs in four starts) and his slow starts to game. Out of the 12 runs he’s given up, six of them have occurred in the first inning (tied with Tanner Roark for most on the team and third in the National League).
However, Scherzer’s best start of the season came against the Phillies back on April 16. He went seven innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out seven, and walked one on 108 pitches in the win. Odubel Herrera is 4-for-15 against Scherzer with a RBI in his career.
Prediction: Even though its tough to pick against Scherzer, I think Velasquez is going to give the Washington Nationals lineup some difficulties. It will be a close games, but Scherzer’s first inning difficulties have me concerned a little bit. Philadelphia finds a way to win a close game and snaps the seven game home winning streak.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup