Since manager Dave Martinez placed Bryce Harper into the lead-off spot and moved Matt Adams to the #3, the Nationals have not faced a lefty starter and that all changed today with Clayton Richard on the mound for the San Diego Padres and righties hit him at a .961 OPS and lefties even have a .286 batting average against him this year. That could change today’s line-up or maybe not.
With the smoldering hot stretch from Matt Adams who is hitting righties and even lefty relievers, who knows what Dave Martinez does tonight with his line-up. Dave Martinez has basically guaranteed that Ryan Zimmerman would be in the line-up tonight which could push Matt Adams into left field which would mean that either Howie Kendrick or Wilmer Difo would have to sit tonight. We all knew that tough decisions would need to be made and Davey will have to make some tonight.
Matt Adams is smoldering hot. He has eight home runs in his last two weeks and is slashing .421/.511/1.079/1.590 in that same timeframe. Adams also has seven home runs in the last 7 days, and he is the only MLB player who has accomplished that this season. In Nationals history, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman have both done that also.
Because of Adams and Trea Turner‘s big games last night, they are now #1 and #2 in Fangraphs WAR a top the Nationals positional players rankings. Turner is now a +1.4 and Matt Adams is +1.2. While Turner’s ascent seems sustainable, Matt Adams appears to just be on a hot streak — however, Adams has only had all of 75 at-bats this entire season. If he plays more at a decent rate and plays 1st base where he is a ‘plus’ defender, he can really raise his value. Remember, Adams is a negative defender in left field and that is decreasing his overall WAR value. What we have to determine is who the real Matt Adams is. In the meantime, play the hot hand as he has earned it.
On the mound, it is Jeremy Hellickson‘s turn in the rotation and he threw a 5 2/3 inning shutout 5 days ago and departed in a 0-to-0 game that the Nationals eventually won 3-to-1. Hellickson has expressed his desire to qualify for a win which would be nice and well-deserved, and Helli can help himself by going deeper in the game.
Washington Nationals vs. San Diego Padres
Stadium: Petco Park, San Diego, California
1st Pitch: 10:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: