Washington Nationals: 5 to watch back home against the Reds

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Jun 20, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price (38) comes to the mound to take out Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Amir Garrett (50) during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price (38) comes to the mound to take out Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Amir Garrett (50) during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Joey Votto

If Votto were on a contender, you would think he would get more recognition than he’s getting now. He is one of four players in the National League with 20 or more home runs and he continues to be one of the best hitters in the league in getting on base (.419 on-base percentage).

The 33-year-old first baseman is one of the best hitters in the league at working the count and drawing walks. But, this season, his pitches per plate appearance are down to 3.74 (finished 2016 with 4.28).

Despite those numbers being down, Votto is tearing the cover off the ball in June. In 19 games, he has a slash line of .365/.440/.662 with six home runs, 11 RBI’s, and ten walks. Also, his 27 hits are three behind Daniel Murphy for the National League lead this month.

Against the Washington Nationals last season, Votto was 7-for-21 with two home runs and three RBI’s. In four of the last five seasons that he has faced the Nats, he has hit two or more home runs. He has three hits each against Tanner Roark and Stephen Strasburg, but two of his three hits against Strasburg have left the yard.

While Votto has the same amount of home runs home and road this year, his batting average away from Cincinnati is at .273 (.344 at home). The Nats will hope this weekend that they can slow down Votto and not let him beat them. If he does, they need it to be solo home runs, which will mean keeping Billy Hamilton off the basepaths.

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