Tanner Roark (1-2, 3.71 ERA) and Phil Hughes (1-2, 4.42 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (12-4) and the Minnesota Twins (5-12) at Nationals Park. The Nationals won the last game 8-4, and Washington leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Apr. 23 and can be seen on MASN and FSN.
Roark pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering five runs (one unearned), striking out two and walking two in a 6-1 defeat to the Marlins. Daniel Murphy (.411, 9 Rs, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 1 SB) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two runs and one RBI. Hughes went 6.0 innings, surrendering four runs (one unearned), striking out six and walking two in a 7-4 win over the Brewers in his most recent start. Eduardo Nunez (.405, 6 Rs, 7 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with two RBIs.
The odds for Washington and Minnesota are Washington -130, while the Over/Under (O/U) is currently 8.
The Nationals have the edge in the season series, 1-0.
Predictions: SU Winner - WAS
Minnesota has won 22% (2-7) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Washington has won 83% (5-1) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Twins managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Nationals who are heading in with a 4-3 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Twins are 4-2. The Nationals have a 10-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 23rd, Minnesota sits near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 57 this season. Washington ranks in the top half at 11th with 71.
Ranking eighth, Washington is in the top 10 of the league in walks, notching 57 this season. Minnesota ranks in the top five with 59.
The Nationals are 9-3 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Twins are 3-7 when they hit at least one homer.