Washington Nationals vs. Indians Preview (8/9-8/10)

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Aug 6, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller (24) pitches during the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Cleveland Indians won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 6, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Andrew Miller (24) pitches during the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Cleveland Indians won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Aug 3, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Trevor Bauer (7-5, 4.08 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (12-6, 2.87) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN/MLB Network

The 25-year-old right-hander struggled mightily in his last start on August 3 against the Twins. He went 2.2 innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out one, and walked five in a loss. Bauer is 0-3 in his last five starts and hasn’t won since July 1.

Bauer does throw a lot of pitches in games (averages 118.7 pitches per start), but he does struggle with his command as evident by his 49 walks. He had a strong start to his season, including going 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA in the month of June. But, opponents hit .262 in July against him (.190 in June).

Even though Bauer has never faced the Washington Nationals in his career, one player who has multiple hits against him is center fielder Ben Revere (2-for-3).

As for Scherzer, he gave up two home runs in his last start against the Diamondbacks, but he put together another good outing. In eight innings, Scherzer gave up three runs on four hits, struck out 11, and walked one on 103 pitches in the win.

Since the All-Star Break, Scherzer is 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA, has 34 strikeouts to only four walks, and an opponents batting average of .183 in his last four starts. Plus, he hasn’t given up more than three runs in a game since June 24 against the Brewers (seven starts).

Scherzer has a lot of experience facing the Indians from his time with the Tigers. In 19 starts, he is 9-4 with a 4.49 ERA and hasn’t lost to Cleveland since 2012 (four starts). Jason Kipnis is 6-for-31 (.194) against Scherzer with a RBI in his career.

Prediction: With Bauer’s tendency to struggle with his command and Scherzer being dominant in his last four starts, I will take the Washington Nationals to win this game, even with Bryce Harper out of the lineup tonight with the stiff neck.

Next: Tomorrow's Matchup

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