Washington Nationals: 5 storylines to watch in trip to Houston

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Edwin Jackson faces another test

Tomorrow night, Jackson will be taking the mound against one of the tough lineups in baseball. Even as the fifth starter in the Washington Nationals rotation, he has exceeded anyone’s expectations.

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In five of his last six starts, Jackson has given up three runs or fewer. Against the Padres, he went seven innings, gave up one run on eight hits, struck out four, and walked one on just 83 pitches.

One of the keys for Jackson in his success at the big league level has been his ability to get strikeouts with multiple pitches. According to Brooks Baseball, he has recorded five or more strikeouts with his four-seam fastball, cutter, and slider.

Jackson doesn’t have much experience against most of the Astros hitters, which could go in his favor. Marwin Gonzalez does have a home run against him in four at-bats and Altuve is 2-for-6 with a triple.

As for Jackson’s opponent, Mike Fiers leads the team in ERA (4.32) and has not recorded a win since July 21. He has given up multiple home runs in his last four starts and has walked three or more batters in four of his last five outings. This might be a matchup where Jackson might actually have the upper hand.

Next: Gio bids for NL Cy Young

What are the storylines you are watching in this week’s Nationals-Astros series? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.