Washington Nationals: Nats Interleague Series Preview
The Washington Nationals head into Comerica Park to face the Detroit Tigers. How good are the Tigers, and how do the Nats stack up against them?
The Washington Nationals continue their interleague play against the American League Central by venturing into the Motor City to take on the Detroit Tigers.
The last time the Nats and Tigers squared off in Detroit was in 2013, the season in which Detroit lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.
2013 was an excellent year for the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera won his second consecutive A.L. MVP award, Max Scherzer won his first Cy Young Award, and Anibal Sanchez led the league in ERA (2.57).
Now, Cabrera is a shell of his former self, Scherzer picked up two more Cy Young Awards, and Sanchez revived his career in the National League East.
The early 2010’s Tigers teams were loaded with talent that is no longer with the team. The 2013 squad, specifically, included All-Stars Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta, and Torii Hunter, along with a young Rick Porcello and prime Doug Fister.
Fans of Detroit baseball are yearning for better days as the team sits at 26-50 and a whopping 24.0 games back of the Twins in the A.L. Central.
The team’s core nowadays consists of consistent hitting outfielder Nick Castellanos and switch-hitting infielder Niko Goodrum.
No position player has a WAR above 1.0, so there is no hitter to fear anymore in the Detroit lineup.
The one bright spot for the Tigers is starting pitcher Matt Boyd, whose 30.8 strikeout percentage and 3.72 ERA will likely earn him the Tigers’ All-Star spot. Luckily for the Nats, both him and the Tigers’ second-best pitcher, Spencer Turnbull, are not projected starters for the series.
The highlight of the series will be the rubber match as Jordan Zimmermann will face Scherzer in a rematch of arguably the greatest game in Nationals history.
While we are not expecting 20 strikeouts from Scherzer again, it will be great to see him and Sanchez return to their old stomping grounds in a series filled to the brim with grand narratives surrounding both teams’ pitching staffs.