Washington Nationals vs. Reds Preview (6/30-7/3)
By Ricky Keeler
The Washington Nationals host the Cincinnati Reds for a four game series this weekend. Here’s our preview
In what was an important series for the Washington Nationals (47-32), they ended up sweeping the New York Mets to begin their final homestand of the first half of the season. During the three games, the Nats outscored New York 20-6 and got good pitching performances from Lucas Giolito (MLB Debut) and Max Scherzer.
Of course, Daniel Murphy continued his domination of the Mets when he hit two home runs last night to complete the sweep and he had five RBI’s in the series. Tonight, the Nats begin a four game series against the Cincinnati Reds (29-50), who beat the Nats two out of three games at Great American Ball Park earlier this month.
Bryan Price’s club is 12-15 this month and they have lost seven of their last eight games. This month, the Reds are sixth in the National League in runs scored and ninth in home runs (32). The player to watch on the Reds is left fielder Adam Duvall, who currently leads the NL in home runs with 22.
Other players to watch on this Reds offense include right fielder Jay Bruce (.279, 17 home runs, 59 RBI’s) and first baseman Joey Votto (.244, 13 home runs, 39 RBI’s). Votto’s average is low, but he is hitting .307 in June with four home runs, nine RBI’s, and a .460 on-base percentage.
On the mound, the Reds have a team ERA of 4.67 this month, which is 11th in the NL. The return of Anthony DeSclafani has definitely helped the rotation (1.52 ERA in four June starts). That being said, Cincinnati’s starters ERA of 5.04 is still the second worst in the league.
In the bullpen, the Reds have a league-worst 6.00 ERA and have given up 61 home runs. Their closer, Tony Cingrani, is 9-for-14 in saves and has a high ERA for a closer (3.57).
Before the series starts tonight, check out my breakdown of the four pitching matchups in this series:
Next: Tonight's Matchup