Washington Nationals At St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview (4/29-5/1)
Stephen Strasburg (3-0, 2.17 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (0-2, 5.64) – 8:15 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN2
Even though his last start didn’t end exactly how he hoped it would, Strasburg put together another strong outing. The right-hander went 7.1 innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out ten, and did not walk a batter on 114 pitches. He was cruising until the eighth when Brian Dozier hit a three-run homer, but he got a no-decision in the Nats’ 16-innning win.
When you look at Strasburg, he has struck out ten batters in back-to-back starts after only having 11 K’s in his first two outings. So far, in his four outings, teams are only hitting .202 against him as he has has continued his strong form from the end of last year.
In his career against the Cardinals, Strasburg is 0-2 with a 2.81 ERA in four starts, but he hasn’t faced them since 2014. First baseman Matt Adams is 3-for-6 against him with two doubles and a solo home run.
This offseason, the Cardinals went out and signed Leake to a five-year deal worth $80 million to replace Lance Lynn, who is out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. However, it has not been a good start for the former Red in his first month with St. Louis.
While Leake has not given up more than four earned runs in any outing, he has only thrown more than 90 pitches once (first start of the year). Right now, with Wainwright’s struggles, St. Louis needs Leake to be more like the pitcher that won 14 games for the Reds back in 2013.
Leake is 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA in nine career starts against the Nationals, but he has not faced them since 2014 when he was in Cincinnati. Jayson Werth is 7-for-19 (.368) against him with a home run and two RBI’s.
Prediction: Leake hasn’t had a rough outing yet and I don’t expect the Nationals to have the offensive surge fans expect. However, I do think Strasburg will have another strong outing and the Nats will finally snap out of their scoring drought to pick up a win.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup