In the second of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (2-1) and the Miami Marlins (1-2) at Nationals Park, Joe Ross (5-5, 3.64 ERA) and Tom Koehler (11-14, 4.08 ERA) take the hill. The Marlins won the last game 6-4, and Miami leads the series 1-0. Action starts at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, Apr. 9 and will air on MASN and FSFL.
Ross takes the hill after pitching 76.2 innings last year, wrapping up the season with a 5-5 record, 3.64 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 69 strikeouts. Daniel Murphy (.364 ) continued his strong start to the season Thursday, going 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Koehler is on the mound for the Marlins. He pitched 187.1 innings last season, going 11-14 with a 4.08 ERA 1.37 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts. Giancarlo Stanton (.308 ) has been hitting the ball well to start the season, going 2 for 5 Thursday with one run.
Washington is going to open a very big favorite in this matchup, as Tom Koehler is a guy with huge home/road splits. Joe Ross was spectacular in his half-season with the big league club last year and expectations will be for more of the same this season. Bryce Harper's next home run will be his 100th career blast, so that's a small milestone to watch for in this game of NL East rivals.
Washington has won all of its games (1-0) when leading after seven innings.
The Marlins are coming off of a hot pitching game where they recorded 10 strikeouts. The Nationals have a record of 1-1 when they are struck out that many times or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Nationals and the Marlins both have records of 1-0.
Ranking 17th, Washington is in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 11 this season. Miami ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 16.
Washington ranks at the top of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage of .000. Miami ranks near the bottom at 27th with an OPS of .785.
The Marlins are 1-2 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Nationals are 1-0 when they allow at least one homer.