Washington Nationals at Rockies Preview (8/15-8/17)
The Washington Nationals kick off a nine game road trip tonight when they begin a three game series against the Colorado Rockies
Over the weekend, the Washington Nationals (69-47) were able to take two out of three games in a series against the Braves. Bryce Harper returned to the lineup yesterday and had a RBi double while Reynaldo Lopez picked up his first Major League win on Saturday night just to name a few of the good things that happened.
One other good note was the on-base streak of Jayson Werth Is now at 42 games. Werth had the day off yesterday, but should be in the lineup tonight as the Washington Nationals begin a nine game road trip with a three game series at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies (56-62). The Nats head into Colorado with a 8.5 game lead in the NL East, but the Rockies have struggled recently.
This past weekend, the Rockies lost all three games to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park and they’ve lost seven of their last eight games as they are now six games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot.
Despite the losses, the Rockies have had the best offense in baseball. They have scored the most runs (618), have the highest slugging percentage (.456), and they have hit the fourth most home runs (Washington Nationals are second).
Third baseman Nolan Arenado (.282, 31 home runs, 93 RBI’s) has had 23 RBi’s since the All-Star Break while center fielder Charlie Blackmon (.324, 20 home runs, 59 RBI’s) is hitting .357 with eight home runs and 16 RBI’s over his last 30 games.
Another player to watch is rookie left fielder David Dahl, who is hitting .342 in his first 20 games with three home runs and ten RBI’s. But, the Rockies are without rookie shortstop Trevor Story, who was a favorite for Rookie of the Year. He is out for the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his thumb.
On the mound, the problem for the Rockies in past years has been finding consistent starting pitching. Since the All-Star Break, Colorado does not have one starting pitcher with an ERA under four. Their starters ERA of 4.87 is the third highest in the National League.
As for the bullpen, Walt Weiss’ ‘pen has an ERA of 4.85, which is the third highest in the NL. Right now, their closer is Adam Ottavino, who is 1-for-3 in ERA. A reliever to watch is left-hander Boone Logan. This season, lefties are hitting .148 against him.
Before the series starts tonight, check out my breakdown of the three pitching matchups:
Next: Tonight's Matchup