Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Looks To Continue Opening Day Success

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Mar 29, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) delivers a pitch in the third inning during a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) delivers a pitch in the third inning during a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mar 11, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; United States outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a single in the sixth inning against the Dominican Republic during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Marlins Park. Dominican Republic wins 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /

Marlins Lineup Against Strasburg

In seven seasons with the Nats, Strasburg has a winning record against the Marlins in six of them. Over 25 career starts, he is 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA and has 139 strikeouts, which is the second most he has against any team in his career (144 against the Braves).

When you talk about the Miami Marlins offense, the conversation starts with right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton had one of the memorable home runs in the World Baseball Classic against the Dominican Republic.

Stanton has been a thorn in the Nats side for many years. Against Strasburg, he is 14-for-38 (.368) with seven doubles, three home runs, and ten RBI’s. But, he has struck out 13 times and hasn’t homered against Strasburg since 2014.

If the Marlins are going to be one of the surprise teams in the National League, they need Stanton to stay healthy for most, if not all, of the season. They would need a year similar to 2014 when he hit 37 home runs and drove in 105 runs in 145 games.

One player who doesn’t get a lot of attention in this lineup is Marcell Ozuna. The left fielder hit .305 against Washington Nationals with a pair of home runs and nine RBI’s. Out of his 20 hits, seven of them were for extra bases.

Last season, Ozuna hit 23 home runs (tied a career high), drove in 76 runs, and had an on-base percentage of .321. But, his season didn’t end so well when you consider he had a .209 batting average in the second half of the year.

In 2016, the Marlins scored the third fewest runs of any team in the National League. With the talent they have in that lineup and second baseman Dee Gordon expected to play for a full season, their ranking in that category in the NL should go up this year.

Finally, let’s look at the battle of the bullpens and make a prediction on the game

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