Max Scherzer (11-11, 3.03 ERA), attempting to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, is on the hill for the Washington Nationals (71-69) as they square off against Brad Hand (4-5, 5.20 ERA) and the Miami Marlins (60-81) in the last of a three-game series at Marlins Park. The Marlins won the last game 2-0 and Miami leads the series 2-0. Action begins at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sep. 13 and can be seen on FSFL and MAS2.
Hand pitched 1.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering seven runs, striking out two and walking two in a 7-0 defeat to the Mets. Justin Bour (.255, 32 Rs, 16 HRs, 53 RBIs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Scherzer went 6.0 innings, surrendering five runs and striking out six in an 8-5 defeat to the Mets in his last outing. Ryan Zimmerman (.249, 43 Rs, 16 HRs, 73 RBIs, 1 SB) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run.
Washington is favored (-183) over Miami and the Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs. The Marlins have an overall money line of -1,605 and a record as the underdog of 36-53. Miami has gone 6-1 in its last 10 as underdog. The Marlins are one of the best in the MLB in terms of extra base hits with 338. Miami is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 102 bases.
In games where it is the favorite, Washington has a 58-44 record and an overall money line of -1,589. They have been playing solid baseball as favorite with a 31-19 record against fellow NL East members, and a 33-25 record SU. Offensively, the Nationals have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.4 runs per game by averaging 6.1 during that stretch. Washington is excellent at drawing walks with 3.2 per road game, ranking third in the NL. The Nationals average 4.1 runs allowed per game, but does better whenever another team from the NL East is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average down to 3.5 against division foes. When it comes to issuing walks, the Nationals have the fewest in the NL with only 2.2 walks allowed per game.
The Marlins lead the season series, 7-6. The Marlins have a 47-64 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Scherzer takes the mound. Hand (LHP) will be on the hill against the Nationals, who have an 18-16 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was, O/U - Over
The Marlins hold a 24-34 record this season against teams in the NL East Division. The Nationals' record in these matchups is 33-25.
Miami has won 41% (29-42) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Washington has won 52% (34-32) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Nationals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Marlins have a 9-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 11-57. The Marlins have a 13-53 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 29th in home runs, Miami has hit 103 this season. Washington ranks 10th with 151 home runs.
Miami and Washington both rank in the top 10 of the league in hits. Miami sits at seventh with 8.60 hits per game and Washington ranks 10th with 8.52.
Ranking 28th, Miami is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.686). Washington ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .731.
The Nationals are 30-43 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Marlins are 27-52 when they allow at least one homer.