Stephen Strasburg (8-6, 4.14 ERA) and Brad Hand (4-3, 4.23 ERA) take the hill in the last of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (65-63) and the Miami Marlins (52-78) at Nationals Park. The Nationals won the last game 5-1 and the series is currently tied 1-1. Action begins at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 30 and can be seen on FSFL and MASN.
Strasburg pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out seven and walking one in an 8-3 win over the Padres. Yunel Escobar (.308, 59 Rs, 9 HRs, 42 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 2 yesterday with one RBI. Hand went 8.0 innings, surrendering two runs and striking out five in a 5-2 win over the Pirates in his last outing. Justin Bour (.250, 27 Rs, 13 HRs, 42 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
This one isn't expected to be close when Washington, a substantial -260 favorite, takes on Miami. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The Nationals have an overall money line of -1,502 and a record as the favorite of 51-40. Washington has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 25-16 and 27-21 records as the favorite and SU respectively. The Nationals have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 5.9 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.2 runs per game. Washington's pitchers put it all together when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game drops to 3.4 against fellow NL East members, compared to its 4.0 season average. The Nationals are the top team in the NL at limiting walks to their opponents, allowing only 2.1 walks per game so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, Miami is coming in with an overall money line of -2,154 and a disappointing record of 30-50 as the underdog. They have played poorly as the underdog with a 9-15 record against fellow NL East members, and a 3-7 record SU. The Marlins have a dynamic offense, leading the league with 306 extra base hits. The Marlins are an excellent base stealing team with 94 stolen bases, ranking fourth in the MLB.
The Marlins lead the season series, 6-5. The Nationals have a 16-14 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hand takes the mound. Strasburg (RHP) will be on the hill against the Marlins, who have a 42-60 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was, O/U - Over
The Marlins currently sit below .500 against the NL East Division at 18-32, and the Nationals have a 28-21 record.
The Nationals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Marlins have a 16-36 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 10-54. The Marlins have an 11-51 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 29th in home runs, Miami has hit 94 this season. Washington ranks ninth with 134 home runs.
Ranking 11th, Washington is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.35 per game. Miami ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 8.53.
Ranking 29th, Miami is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.681). Washington ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .719.
When the Marlins allow at least one home run, they are 24-49. When the Nationals allow one or more homers, they have a 28-39 record.