Washington Nationals at Diamondbacks Preview (8/1-8/3)

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Jul 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb (22) triples in the twelfth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb (22) triples in the twelfth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Jul 21, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Stephen Strasburg (14-1, 2.68 ERA) vs. Archie Bradley (4-6, 4.17 ERA) – 9:40 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN2

Strasburg coming off the first loss of the season, responded great in the last start against the Cleveland Indians. He tossed seven scoreless innings, yielding three hits and fanning seven batters.

The right-handed pitcher has arguably been the best starter in the Washington Nationals rotation. He is limiting the opposition to a .196 average, while his ERA in eight starts on the road is 1.72. He has tossed at least six innings in seven of his eight starts on the road.

Strasburg had a solid month of July (2.08 ERA), as there was just one outing in which he allowed more than one run and that was the loss to the Dodgers on July 21. He remains composed with runners in position, by holding other teams to a .254 average in this situation.

Strasburg has experienced success against the Diamondbacks, as indicated by his 3.53 ERA in seven career starts against them. However, in four starts at Chase Field, his ERA is 5.01. Goldschmidt is 5-for-13 against him with two doubles and two RBI’s.

As for Bradley, it’s been a rocky season with him battling control issues. He has walked 41 batters, given up 11 home runs and compiled a 1.41 WHIP in 82 innings.

In 10 of his 14 starts, the right-hander has walked three or more batters. He has the stuff to be a top three pitcher in their starting rotation but needs to command his pitches better.Despite allowing way too many baserunners, Bradley has yielded more than four runs in only three starts this year.

A contributing factor is that opposing teams have posted a .243 average facing him, and right-handed batters have mustered just a .194 average.

He hasn’t fared too well at home, as indicated by his 5.15 ERA in six home starts. He is excellent with runners in scoring position, by holding the opposition to a minuscule .123 average during this situation.This will be the first time facing the Washington Nationals in his career.

Prediction: I expect the Washington Nationals to score some early runs off Bradley, and this will allow Strasburg to settle into a rhythm on the mound. I’ll pick the Washington Nationals to win the series opener.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup

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