Justin Nicolino (2-0, 2.79) vs. Stephen Strasburg (5-0, 2.76) – 1:05 p.m ET, MASN
In Game one of the doubleheader, the Washington Nationals will see Justin Nicolino. The 24-year-old left-hander was called up to the big leagues on April 27 for Jarred Cosart. In his three outings, he has given up just six runs and pitched at least six innings.
Nicolino made his debut with the Marlins last June. He made 12 starts and went 5-4 with a 4.01 ERA. Last Sunday against the Phillies, he went six innings, gave up two earned runs on seven hits, struck out one, and walked one in a no-decision.
So far, he has 12+ groundball outs in each of his last three starts. Nicolino has an average fastball velocity of 88.8 miles per hour (according to Fangraphs) to go with a cutter, a breaking ball, and a changeup. He faced the Nats last season (September 20) and gave up seven runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. Jayson Werth went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI’s in that game.
Strasburg will get the start in game one tomorrow after the news of him signing his seven-year, $175 million extension this week. In his last outing on Monday against Detroit, he went seven innings, gave up four runs on six hits, struck out 11, and walked three on 107 pitches in a no-decision.
The only two mistakes the right-hander made were two-run home runs by Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez. But, he struck out six of the last seven batters he faced in the game. Strasburg has struck out at least seven hitters in six consecutive outings.
In his career against the Marlins, Strasburg is 11-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 24 starts. Back on April 19, he threw eight shutout innings against Miami, gave up only three hits, struck out ten batters, and walked two in a win. Stanton is 14-for-35 (.400) with seven doubles, three home runs, and ten RBI’s against Strasburg in his career.
Prediction: Even though Nicolino has pitched well for the Marlins, I think the Nats will be able to put together a crooked inning on offense against him. Plus, with Strasburg being dominant this season, it’s tough to pick against him. I have the Nats taking game one of the doubleheader.
Next: Game 2 Matchup