Washington Nationals vs. Orioles Series Preview (8/22-8/25)
By Ricky Keeler
Reynaldo Lopez (2-1, 4.37) vs. Kevin Gausman (4-10, 4.11) – 7:05 p.m, MASN2/MLB Network
For the second straight start, Lopez picked up a win against the Braves on August 18. This time around, he did it in dominant fashion. He went seven innings, gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits, struck out 11, and walked two on 101 pitches in the win.
During this start, Lopez had eight strikeouts over the course of the first three innings. According to Brooks Baseball, Lopez’s fastball maxed out at about 99 miles per hour and 53 of the 68 fastballs he threw were for strikes.
The 11 strikeouts Lopez had in his last start were nine more than he had in his prior start against the Braves (August 13). If you count the minor league numbers, it was the fifth time Lopez had ten or more strikeouts in a game this season.
It’s been a rough season for Gausman, but he did get a win in his last start on August 18 against the Astros. He went 6.2 innings, gave up five runs (four earned runs) on seven hits, struck out eight, and walked one on 112 pitches in the victory.
With the Orioles questions coming into the year regarding the starting rotation, they needed the 25-year-old right-hander to have a good 2016. During the first half of the season, Gausman only had one win in 15 starts and he had an ERA of over four from May-July.
In the month of August, Gausman has shown improvements as he is 2-2 with a 3.80 ERA and he has held opponents to a .242 batting average. Against the Washington Nationals, Gausman is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts. Wilson Ramos is 2-for-3 against him with a home run.
Prediction: While I think Lopez can have a strong outing tomorrow night against the O’s if he commands his fastball, he is facing a much different lineup than he saw with the Braves in his last two starts. Maybe I am looking to see what Lopez can do against a power-hitting team, but I will take the Orioles to win a high scoring game.
Next: Wednesday's Matchup