It happens every once in a while that #1 overall draft picks face-off. Tonight, we can see three of them from three consecutive drafts. All of them are Boras Corporation clients and all of them have seen different trajectories in their careers.
Stephen Strasburg and the right-hander Gerrit Cole faced each other at PNC Park on May 24th of 2014, and Bryce Harper was not in the line-up in that game as he had a left thumb injury. Tonight, all three can be in the same game representing the #1 picks from the 2009, 2010, and 2011 drafts.
In 2015, Cole was an All-Star and a top-4 Cy Young finisher, and was 5th in ERA at 2.60. This season he is having his worst season of his career and will finish with an ERA north of 4.00. On the other side, Stephen Strasburg enters this game with a 2.63 ERA and looking like a Top-3 Cy Young candidate.
Stephen Strasburg has been one of the hottest pitchers in the last month and had a run of scoreless innings that was snapped, but Strasburg holds the mark for the lowest BAA (batting average against) since the All Star break at .170. plus his K/BB rate this season is at 12.0 which has helped him keep runners off the basepaths. Strasburg’s WHIP (walk + hits per inning) is the lowest in the NL since the All-Star break at just 0.85 meaning he allows under 1 baserunner per inning.
This chart will show you the hottest pitchers in the second half, some familiar names on there including some Cubs. Note that Max Scherzer ranks 35th at 3.39 ERA in the second half, and did not make the top 10 list.
Dusty Baker plans on playing his regulars the rest of the weekend as he told the media yesterday. There could always be a trick or two for Dusty, and he expects Bryce Harper to start tonight. If Harper starts with the regulars of Trea Turner, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Michael Taylor and Matt Wieters, the last time this group played together was June 2nd. The last time the original projected Opening Day line-up was together was April 28th with Adam Eaton.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, ATT-Sportsnet Pittsburgh, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 183 Sirius 216 (Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
Here's how we're lining up for Game 160. pic.twitter.com/ZjESGp1YzT
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 29, 2017