Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.30 ERA) and Jeff Hoffman (0-1, 13.50 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the Washington Nationals (74-53) and the Colorado Rockies (60-67) at Nationals Park. Action begins at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 26 and can be seen on MAS2 and RTRM.
Gonzalez pitched 5.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering four runs (one unearned), striking out eight and walking three in a 7-6 defeat to the Braves. Bryce Harper (.251, 68 Rs, 22 HRs, 70 RBIs, 18 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Hoffman went 4.0 innings, surrendering seven runs (one unearned), striking out two and walking one in a 9-2 defeat to the Cubs in his most recent start. Trevor Story (.272, 67 Rs, 27 HRs, 72 RBIs, 8 SBs) went 1 for 2 Wednesday with one RBI.
This one isn't expected to be close when Washington, a substantial -180 favorite, takes on Colorado. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at nine runs for this matchup. Though the Nationals have had a tough season in terms of their overall money line (-275), they have done fairly well as a favorite with a record of 63-36. The Nationals have no trouble scoring as they rank fourth in the NL in offense with 4.9 runs per game. The Nationals are one of the best in the MLB in terms of home runs with 169. Washington's batters do not strike out very often, with only 7.6 per game. Opposing batters know they're in for a battle when they play Washington. The Nationals are one of the top teams when it comes to pitching, allowing just 3.7 runs per home game. The Nationals are the second-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.185 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Nationals, who rank second in the NL in strikeouts per home game with 9.8.
In games where it is the underdog, Colorado has a 35-44 record and an overall money line of -189. The Rockies have a dynamic offense, ranking third in the league with 446 extra base hits.
The Rockies lead the season series, 2-1. The Nationals have a 56-41 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Hoffman takes the mound. Gonzalez (LHP) will be on the hill against the Rockies, who have a 15-21 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - WAS, O/U - Over
Washington earned its ninth shutout of the season in its last game. Colorado has been shut out five times this season.
The Nationals are coming into this game after allowing no walks during their last outing. The Rockies have a 3-1 record when opponents don't give up any walks.
When they are outhit, the Rockies are 13-45. The Nationals have a 13-30 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 13th in home runs, Colorado has hit 160 this season. Washington ranks fifth with 169 home runs.
Ranking first in hits, Colorado has earned 9.40 per game this season. Washington ranks eighth with 8.72 hits.
Ranking eighth, Washington is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.765). Colorado ranks in the top five at second with an OPS of .795.
When the Rockies allow at least one home run, they are 31-52. When the Nationals allow one or more homers, they have a 41-42 record.