Washington Nationals At White Sox Series Preview (6/7-6/9)

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May 31, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier (21) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Mets at Citi Field. The White Sox defeated the Mets 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier (21) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Mets at Citi Field. The White Sox defeated the Mets 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Jun 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Scherzer (6-4, 3.87) vs. James Shields (2-7, 4.28) – 8:10 p.m, MASN2

In his last start against the Phillies on June 1, Scherzer went eight innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out 11, and walked two to pick up his sixth win of the season. The Nats’ right-hander has pitched into the seventh inning or later in each of his last five starts.

Over that five start period, Scherzer has 55 strikeouts and his 101 K’s are the third most in the National League. Even though he has given up 16 home runs this season, he has held opponents to a .213 batting average, which is the lowest of any pitcher in the rotation

This will be Shields’ first start with the White Sox since being traded from the San Diego Padres on Saturday for pitcher Erik Johnson and shortstop prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. Shields did not end his time in San Diego well after he gave up eight runs on ten hits in 2.2 innings in a loss to the Mariners on May 31.

However, before that outing, Shields had given up two earned runs or fewer in five of six outings. The 34-year-old will look to be that third reliable option for the White Sox behind their two top pitchers, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Since 2010, Shields has won 13+ games in each season with the Rays, Royals, and Padres.

Against the Washington Nationals, Shields is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three outings. He faced them last year with San Diego and twice with the Rays (2006 and 2009). Ben Revere is 4-for-11 (.364) against Shields in his career.

Prediction: I expect this matchup to be a close game with two veteran right-handers on the mound and Shields should pitch well in his White Sox debut, But, I will take Scherzer and the Nats to win a close one against Chicago.

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