A.J. Cole (2016 debut) vs. Dylan Bundy (6-4, 3.36) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN2/MLB Network
With Strasburg on the disabled list, it’s up to Cole to get the job done for the Washington Nationals. Cole was called up to help the Nats last Thursday in Atlanta, but Lopez had a good game and Cole wasn’t needed.
This will be the second Major League start of Cole’s career. His first start was on April 28, 2015 against the Braves at Turner Field. In that outing, he went two innings, gave up nine runs (four earned runs) on nine hits, struck out one, and walked one in a no-decision.
At triple-A Syracuse this season, Cole is 8-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 22 games. However, he has pitched seven innings or more in four straight games and he has a 2.80 ERA in his last five starts. Byron Kerr of MASN tweeted more on how Cole has done in triple-A:
Tonight, the Washington Nationals will see Dylan Bundy for the first time. Against the Red Sox on August 17, he went 4.1 innings, gave up five runs on nine hits, struck out two, and walked two on 89 pitches in a loss, which snapped his three-game win streak.
Bundy has battled numerous injuries in his career since the Orioles selected him with the fourth pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. The 23-year-old started the season in the bullpen, but went into the rotation on July 17.
As a starter, Bundy has a 3.65 ERA in seven starts. While he does have 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings, he has given up eight home runs. According to Fangraphs, Bundy has an average fastball velocity of about 94 miles per hour to go with a changeup and breaking ball.
Prediction: With Strasburg not making this start, the Washington Nationals will need length out of Cole in this game with the way the bullpen has been used. I expect Cole to struggle against the good Orioles lineup and that will be enough for Bundy to get the win over the Washington Nationals.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup