Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview (5/26-5/29)
By Ricky Keeler
Mike Leake (3-3, 4.07 ERA) vs. Joe Ross (3-4, 2.70) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN/MLB Network
Even though Leake has not been as consistent as the Cardinals would’ve hoped, he has not lost a game since his last outing against the Washington Nationals on April 29. In his last game on May 21 against the Diamondbacks, he threw seven shutout innings, gave up four hits, and struck out three in a win.
The 28-year-old right-hander has won three of his last four starts and three straight decisions. His 2.08 ERA in the month of May is by far the lowest in the rotation this month. He has given up six runs in those four starts. While he doesn’t strike many hitters out, he has held opponents to a .200 average this month.
Back on April 29, Leake went seven innings, gave up five runs on five hits and allowed two home runs in a loss to the Nats. He is 3-4 with a 4.98 ERA in ten starts against Washington. Wilson Ramos is 4-for-15 (.267) with two home runs and three RBI’s against him.
In what will be likely his second to last start of the month, Joe Ross is still looking for his first win in May. Ross, who is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA in May, had a good start against the Marlins on Saturday in a losing effort. He went 5.2 innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked one in the loss.
Ross had a pickoff error in the fourth inning of that game and he gave up a two-run home run to Justin Bour in the sixth. The problem for the 23-year-old this season has been the sixth inning. In that inning, he has given up eight runs (tied for fourth in the NL) and opponents are hitting .448 against him.
Back on April 30, Ross went six innings, gave up one run on six hits, struck out four, and walked two in a win over St. Louis. Kolten Wong is 1-for-3 against Ross with a RBI.
Prediction: This month, the Nats have only scored nine runs when Ross makes a start. With Ross’ sixth inning struggles and Mike Leake pitching well right now, I am going to give the Cardinals the edge and the win in the first game of this series.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup