Washington Nationals vs. Braves Series Preview (9/5-9/7)
By Ricky Keeler
This afternoon, the Washington Nationals are back home to begin a three game series against the last place Braves
Over the weekend, the Washington Nationals (79-57) lost two out of three games to the New York Mets at Citi Field. A.J. Cole did pick up his first big league win on Friday, but the offense struggled in the last two days against Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo as they went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
Despite losing the series, the Nats still have a 8.5 game lead in the NL East with 27 games to go (magic number to clinch is 18). Today, they begin a ten game homestand as they start a three game series against the Atlanta Braves (54-83).
While the Nats are 11-2 against the Braves this season, Atlanta has been playing some good baseball lately. The Braves enter Washington D.C on a six game winning streak after sweeping the Padres and Phillies. They had 13 wins in the month of August, which are the most wins Atlanta has had in any month this season.
During the month of August, center fielder Ender Inciarte hit .371 (43 hits) and had a .430 on-base percentage at the top of the order. Plus, first baseman Freddie Freeman continued to have success on offense (.313, nine home runs, 24 RBI’s). Freeman has three home runs and eight RBI’s against the Nats this season.
As for how the Nats hitters have done against Braves pitching this year, Bryce Harper has three home runs and 14 RBI’s in 11 games while Daniel Murphy has four home runs, 10 RBI’s, and is hitting .378 (also in 11 games).
Over the course of this six game win streak, the Braves have allowed 18 runs. Even though Atlanta has pitched well lately, their team ERA of 5.19 was the fourth highest in the National League last month. But, they got a good performance from Julio Teheran yesterday as he shut out Philadelphia in six innings.
Before the series starts this afternoon, here is my breakdown of the three pitching matchups:
Next: Today's Matchup