Julio Urias (1-2, 4.95) vs. Stephen Strasburg (13-0, 2.51) – 12:05 p.m., MASN2/MLB Network
Due to Kershaw not being ready to come back from his back injury, the Dodgers are going to go with Urias in Thursday’s afternoon start. Here is the tweet from Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:
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The 19-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since July 4. While Urias has only thrown more than five innings once in his eight Major League starts, he has 44 strikeouts and has only given up more than three runs twice. In his last outing in the minors on July 10, he only went one inning in relief.
Back on June 22, Urias faced the Nats and went five innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out six, and walked one in a no-decision. The only two runs scored against Urias that night were RBI doubles by Danny Espinosa and Joe Ross.
Strasburg got the first start of the second half for the Washington Nationals and he was able to set the tone for the Pirates series. He went eight innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out six, and walked two on 105 pitches as he remains undefeated in 2016.
After that Pittsburgh outing, Strasburg has now given up three earned runs in his last four starts. Even though he allowed someone to steal a base against him (Starling Marte in the fifth) for the first time this season, he was able to keep the Washington Nationals in the game until they scored late to get him the win.
Strasburg was supposed to start against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw in the last series, but was scratched because of the upper back strain. He is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles. Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-9 against him with a double and a RBI.
Prediction: The Washington Nationals will get to see Urias for a second time and it will be interesting to watch Urias since he has only thrown one inning in a baseball game since that last Major League start. If Strasburg has his best stuff on a getaway day, I like the Nats to get this win and take two out of three games in the series as Strasburg goes to 14-0.