Nationals Lineup Against Volquez
Since Volquez was in the American League Central last season, it’s only fair we start with another player from the AL Central last season. Of course, today is also the first game Adam Eaton will be playing center field for the Washington Nationals.
With the White Sox last season, Eaton got to see a lot of Royals pitching. In his battles with Volquez, he was 5-for-9 with a RBI after going 3-for-16 against him the previous year.
A lot of the intrigue in the lineup will be where Dusty Baker decides to put Eaton in the lineup. He could hit him second behind Trea Turner or hit him sixth like he did for part of the spring. If there was one bold prediction to be made today, I think Eaton will find a way to steal a base for the first time against him.
All eyes will also be on Daniel Murphy, who didn’t get much playing time in the World Baseball Classic and hasn’t played in many exhibition games since. Murphy showed a great ability to shake off rust in the postseason last year, but how will he do to start this season?
If there’s one pitcher that could help him get on track, it just might be Volquez. Murphy has faced him each of the last two seasons and in the World Series back in 2015. He is 8-for-18 against him with two doubles, three RBI’s, and three stolen bases.
As a unit, the Nats have a .305 lifetime average against Volquez, but only one of them have hit a home run (Jayson Werth). Ryan Zimmerman doesn’t have a large sample size to go off of, but he is 3-for-6 with a double and four RBI’s.
While the Nats don’t have much of a history against Volquez, the opposite could be said for the Marlins against Strasburg: