Stephen Strasburg (7-6, 4.22 ERA) and James Shields (9-5, 3.74 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (62-61) and the San Diego Padres (61-63) at Nationals Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and can be seen on MASN and FSSD.
Strasburg pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs (one unearned) and striking out five in a 4-1 win over the Rockies. Bryce Harper (.330, 86 Rs, 31 HRs, 74 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong play Sunday, going 2 for 5 with one run. Shields went 6.0 innings, surrendering zero runs, striking out seven and walking two in a 9-0 win over the Braves in his last outing. Justin Upton (.258, 66 Rs, 20 HRs, 67 RBIs, 18 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Padres, going 2 for 5 Sunday.
The odds for Washington and San Diego are even, while the Over/Under (O/U) is currently unavailable. Washington's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 5.4 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.0. 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.
Offensively, the Padres have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.1 runs per game by averaging 5.6 during that stretch. The Padres have a dynamic offense, ranking fifth in the league with 334 extra base hits. The Padres have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.3 strikeouts per game, making them one of the top five teams in the league.
The Nationals lead the season series, 3-1. The Nationals have a 46-48 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Shields takes the mound. Strasburg (RHP) will be on the hill against the Padres, who have a 47-51 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Was
San Diego recorded at least two errors for the 15th time this season.
The Nationals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Padres have a 12-25 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Nationals are 10-53. The Padres have a 9-45 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 19th in home runs, San Diego has hit 111 this season. Washington ranks 12th with 125 home runs.
Washington and San Diego both rank in the top half of the league in hits. Washington sits at 12th with 8.33 hits per game and San Diego ranks 13th with 8.29.
Ranking 28th, San Diego is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.686). Washington ranks in the bottom half at 16th with an OPS of .714.
When the Padres allow at least one home run, they are 33-44, well-matched with the Nationals who are 26-37 when allowing at least one homer.