Washington Nationals At Dodgers Series Preview (6/20-6/22)
By Ricky Keeler
Tonight, the Washington Nationals begin a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Here’s our preview
The Washington Nationals (43-27) began their ten game road trip by splitting a four game series against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. In their two wins against San Diego, the Nats scored 15 runs. But, the last two games involved the bullpen giving up six runs in the eighth on Saturday and a bad outing from Gio Gonzalez on Sunday.
Despite some of the negatives in those last two games, the player who had the best game of the series on the Nats was Michael Taylor. Taylor went 4-for-4 with two home runs and a hustle double in the loss yesterday.
Today, the Washington Nationals continue their road trip when they begin a three game series at Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33). Even though the Dodgers have won three straight games, they are 6.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
For Dave Roberts’ squad, the offense has struggled to hit for average this month. Their .218 batting average in June as a team is the second worst in the National League (Phillies – .203). But, they are tied with the Cubs for the most home runs (28).
The player that leads the Dodgers in the three major categories on offense is 22-year-old shortstop Corey Seager. Seager is hitting .280 this season with 15 home runs, 36 RBI’s, and has a .342 on-base percentage. The three hitters with 10+ home runs on the Dodgers are Seager, center fielder Joc Pederson (12) and right fielder Trayce Thompson (11).
In terms of starting pitching, the Dodgers have the fifth lowest ERA in the NL (3.53), but their rotation isn’t as strong as it was last year when they had Zack Greinke, who is now with the Diamondbacks. This year, Los Angeles is 13-1 when Clayton Kershaw pitches (25-32 in other games).
When you look at the bullpen, they have one of the better closers in the NL In Kenley Janssen (1.59 ERA, 19-for-22 in saves) and they have the best bullpen ERA in the NL (3.08).
Before this series starts tonight, here is my breakdown of the three pitching matchups:
Next: Tonight's Matchup