Series preview: Nationals vs Diamondbacks

The Washington Nationals are on the road again as they went west to face the Arizona Diamondbacks and then the San Francisco Giants. Outfielder Alex Call laced a game-winning walk-off homer yesterday as Washington won 4-3 in a thrilling game. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks won an exhilarating 12-7 game against the Rangers on Wednesday.

Hey now! The Nationals are playing some big-boy baseball, which is great to see. The Washington Nationals are 8-5 since the Minnesota series and beat the Cubs three out of four this week. I’m not saying this is a 70-win team…yet. But the math says they are nearing that mark at a .419 winning percentage (68 wins). At least the Nationals are fun to watch, and with a lot more baseball left to play. Plus, exciting names could be promoted later in the season if the prospects progress like Robert Hassell III, Jackson Rutledge, and a real reach for James Wood. That could excite many fans. This time last year — the Nationals had one of the worst farm systems in the league and were playing poor baseball.

Now, the Nationals’ farm system is top-12 in many rankings, and they have a direction they’re headed. Even with Victor Robles’s surprisingly below-par defense, he’s still hitting the ball better than he ever has with a .302 batting average, and CJ Abrams is leading the team in slugging as well as RBIs! An extension may be on the table at any point with him, but the shortstop has to remain consistent on the field and at the plate before Mike Rizzo would want to offer a contract. Anyway, let’s return to the series preview and discuss the Dbacks!

The Nationals begin a six-game road trip out west starting tonight, facing the Diamondbacks for three games and the Giants for three games before hosting a Mets team at home. The Nationals can make up some ground in the division if they stay hot.

The Diamondbacks are well rested, having a day off on Thursday. Before, however, they split a short two-game series with the Rangers and won two of three against the Rockies. The Dbacks are 5-5 in their last ten while yielding an 8-6 home record.

The Nationals sit at the bottom of the N.L. East with a 13-18 record, heading into this Diamondbacks series. However, their gaining ground as their only two games behind the Phillies and three games behind the Mets and Marlins. Who would have thought the Nationals would be four games out of second place, a month into the season? Not many.

Divisional Standings5th2nd
All-Time matchup record70-9494-70
Team Average.251 (14).265 (5)
Runs115 (28)161 (8)
Hits262 (15)278 (9)
Home Runs18 (29)31 (T-21)
K%18.1% (1)19.9% (3)
OBP.314 (20).319 (17)
ERA4.32 (13)4.88 (24)
WHIP1.38 (T-23)1.37 (21)
Run Differential-25 (23)+8 (14)
Errors19 (T-8)9 (29)

Scouting the Lineup

Projected starting lineupABBAHHRRBIOPSWAR
2B Ketel Marte105.26728512.8390.9
3B Josh Rojas91.28626017.6940.8
DH Corbin Carroll99.3133149.9121.1
1B Christian Walker110.26429725.8150.7
RF Pavin Smith46.26112211.8380.1
LF Dominic Fletcher10.400402.9550.1
C Gabriel Moreno77.28622114.6730.5
CF Alek Thomas91.1761628.555-0.3
SS Geraldo Perdomo66.409272171.1091.6

Probable Pitching Matchups

Fri 5/5 – Josiah Gray (2-4) 2.67 ERA vs. Merrill Kelly (3-2) 3.06 ERA

Sat 5/6 – MacKenzie Gore (3-2) 3.77 ERA vs. Tommy Henry (1-0) 6.52 ERA

Sun 5/7 – Trevor Williams (1-1) 3.41 ERA vs. Ryne Nelson (1-2) 6.39 ERA

Betting Nuggets

Favorite: Diamondbacks (-187)

Underdog: Nationals (+158)

Over/Under: 9

Broadcast Information

Television: Nationals fans will be able to watch all three games against the Diamondbacks on MASN. Furthermore, Friday night’s contest will be nationally televised on MLB Network. Bob Carpenter will handle play-by-play duties, with Kevin Frandsen as the color analyst. Dan Kolko will report from the field. MASN’s television territory covers all or parts of six states and the District of Columbia, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Charlotte, N.C., including Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Local Radio: 106.7 is the flagship station of the Washington Nationals. Find all listings here. Play-by-play broadcasters Dave Jageler and Charlie Slowes will call the action. All games will be available to listen to on the radio.

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