Washington Nationals: Victor Robles Crushing Division Rivals

The Washington Nationals got help from center fielder Victor Robles in their 4-0 win last night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Washington Nationals are 26-17 against National League East opponents this season with a run differential of +42.  Center Fielder Victor Robles is a big reason why as he is playing his best baseball in these critical games.

Friday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies is an excellent example of his successes.

In the top of the second inning, in a bases-loaded situation, and an 0-2 count, Robles shortened-up and placed a base hit right over the head of Phillie’s first baseman Rhys Hoskins, which scored two runs.

He advanced to second base on the play and promptly clapped his hands, referencing Gerardo Parra’s new walk-up song Baby Shark.

Later in the game, Ryan Zimmerman and Juan Soto added one run batted in each with sacrifice flies, but Robles’ single gave the Nats all the runs they needed to defeat the Phillies.

Robles’ success against divisional rivals is nothing new.  He has been crushing them all season long.

This season against N.L. East opponents, Robles is batting .287 with a .967 OPS.  Nine of Robles’ 13 home runs are against N.L. East rivals, and so are 25 of his 39 RBI’s.

Against divisional opponents, compared to his season averages, Robles’ strikeout rate is lower, his walk rate is higher, and his hard-hit rate is higher.

Looking at more advanced statistics, Robles’ 148 wRC+ is nearly 50 points higher than his season mark, and his isolated power mark (ISO) is almost one hundred points higher.  We touched on his home runs, but nine of Robles’ 14 doubles are against the N.L. East, and so are both of his triples.

The only thing Robles does worse against his rivals is steal bases.  In 2019, one-fourth of his steals are against the division, but one-half of his “caught stealings” have been as well.

If Robles can keep producing against these teams while still hitting in the bottom third of the order, the Nats are going to continue racking up wins and keep the pressure on their opponents during the stretch run.