Are there two hotter hitters on one team than Mark Reynolds and Juan Soto? That is open for debate as Mark Reynolds leads the Majors in At-Bats per Home Run at 6.0. Juan Soto is close to the top of the rookie class with his hot start to his MLB career, and he will bat lead-off against the righty rookie David Hess tonight for the series finale in Baltimore.
The Washington Nationals are 8th in the Majors for the month of May in batter’s OPS at .768, and they lead the NL in homers in May with 40 dingers. While Juan Soto only has one home run since his call-up, he is getting his hits and batting .393 with an impressive .485 OBP and an equally impressive OPS of 1.092 which ranks him behind the Pirates Austin Meadows for top rookies in baseball. You will see Ronald Acuna all the way at the bottom of the list at #18.
In news to catch up on, our sources have told us that Adam Eaton will head out shortly for a rehab assignment, and as we mentioned since he was put on the 60-day DL he won’t be eligible to come back to the Nationals until June 8th. This could push Juan Soto back to the minor leagues just based on a lack of playing time available.
For Mark Reynolds, he is hitting like a top rookie with improved mechanics and probably the best plate discipline of his career. He is batting .417 and taking his singles while bashing mistake pitches a long way which has boosted his OPS to 1.406 to lead the Washington Nationals. Playing in an American League park, manager Dave Martinez has been able to get all of his power hitters into the line-up as Matt Adams is the designated hitter today. Matt Adams has a .965 OPS, and barely gets noticed these days.
For today’s game, the matchup is Max Scherzer against Hess. This will be the fourth career start for Hess who has a 4.15 ERA, and lefties have smashed him to a slash of .345/.424/.552/.976. His ERA in Camden Yards is even higher at 4.50.
As noted earlier, the Nationals travel to Atlanta after this game for a four-game series, and MLB did not schedule an afternoon game which seems par for the course as the host team as input into the time schedule.
Speaking of MLB, they published the official All-Star ballots today for the ‘live’ online voting. Your Nationals on the ballot are: C Matt Wieters, 1B Ryan Zimmerman, 2B Daniel Murphy, 3B Anthony Rendon, SS Trea Turner OF: Matt Adams, Michael Taylor, Bryce Harper. Yes, Matt Adams was listed for the Nationals outfield and Daniel Murphy who has not played a game is listed as the Nationals second baseman instead of Wilmer Difo. If you want Difo, Mark Reynolds, Pedro Severino, or Juan Soto — you will have to write them in or in this case type them in since all voting is online.
Washington Nationals vs. Baltimore Orioles
Stadium: Orioles Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
1st Pitch: 7:05 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:
- Juan Soto LF
- Trea Turner SS
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Matt Adams 1B
- Mark Reynolds 1B
- Michael Taylor CF
- Wilmer Difo 2B
- Pedro Severino C
Max Scherzer RHP