This afternoon’s starters at Nationals Park are Erick Fedde and Caleb Smith who both exceeded their rookie limits last year, and in the equivalent of their sophomore seasons this year, it is Smith who has emerged from seemingly nowhere as the best lefty in the National League ahead of even Patrick Corbin. In fact, the southpaw’s style is much like Corbin’s with the swing and miss stuff on the slider and changeup, and he has the fastball to keep you off-balance having you stay back enough for his off-speed.
Fedde is actually nearly two years younger than Smith who turns 28 years old in July. The lefty was prior property of the Yankees, Cubs, and Brewers and was traded by the Yankees with Garrett Cooper to the Marlins for international slot money and Mike King.
Diving into the numbers, Smith is not as good on the road where he cannot take advantage of the cavernous dimensions like he has in Marlins Park. Smith at home has a 1.84 ERA and 3.04 on the road. His combined ERA is 1/2 a run ahead of Fedde who is at 2.87 this season. In the sunlight of day games, Smith has a 4.50 ERA, and those will be his conditions today in D.C. The formula for success in these types of games is some small ball to get a lead on Smith and for Fedde to do what he did in his last start and be stingy where he only gave up 1-run and that came via an infield hit.
The Nationals have won two-games in a row and trying to do something they have not done all season which is win three consecutive games. While the stats favor the Marlins in this one, there is a reason we play the games.
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 1:35 pm EDT
TV: MASN, Fox Sports – Florida, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® Sirius 138 XM 186 (Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):