Series preview: Nationals vs Marlins

Something happened in Minnesota because Washington has been on a tear since the Twins vs. Nationals series. The Nationals have won four of their last seven games, and they’ve been very competitive in 80.5 percent of all contests this season. But, unfortunately, after starting 1-6, the Nationals started in a deep hole, and just digging their way out. Now the Nats are just two games behind a wild card spot thanks to a Phillies loss last night. Sorry, I need to repeat that. The Nationals are two games out of the playoffs. And now it’s not 2025. It’s 2023.

The Nationals will take the field in Miami on Tuesday night to kick-start a three-game set. The MLB regular season is just over 25 percent completed, and if the Nationals continue their same pace, they will end the season with 71 wins. Check out this piece by Steve “Ghost” Mears yesterday showcasing the development of the 2023 Nationals.

“Let’s forget about the first week of the season…We’ve been playing really well.”

Davey Martinez after the Nationals beat the Mets 10-3

The Marlins have been struggling in the month of May, and after a promising 16-13 start to 2023, they have only tallied four wins in May. Miami has recorded 12 losing seasons in the past 13 years, but the hope is that the Marlins can reach the playoffs with center fielder Jazz Chisholm.

The Nationals sit at the bottom of the N.L. East with an 18-23 record, but they quickly gain ground in the division and are tied or better than seven other teams in baseball. With so much parity in the middle of the pack, it has put the Nats and several other teams in the hunt. The Mets are looking terrible after losing two of three to the Nationals in New York and splitting the 4-game series in Washington, and now the Mets must face one of the best teams in baseball. The Nats are at 18-wins and three teams in the N.L. East have exactly 20 wins as of today, and with an excellent series, the Nationals could easily jump their division opponents or finished tied with some of them.

Coincidentally, former Nats top prospect, Jesus Luzardo, starts against his former team tonight for Miami. Luzardo was part of that blockbuster Sean Doolittle trade. The Nats are actually ahead of the Marlins in most key offensive categories.

Tale of the Tape

Divisional Standings5th3rd
All-Time matchup record252-245245-252
Team Average.255 (11).247 (14)
Runs156 (27)141 (29)
Hits346 (12)339 (14)
Home Runs25 (29)37 (24)
K%18.6% (1)23.4% (18)
OBP.320 (15).304 (25)
ERA4.43 (18)4.54 (20)
WHIP1.42 (25)1.37 (23)
Run Differential-27 (22)-56 (27)
Errors23 (21)24 (22)

Scouting the Lineup

Projected starting lineupABBAHHRRBIOPSWAR
CF Jazz Chisholm Jr.144.22933716.6940.1
DH Jorge Soler142.23934919.8140.3
2B Luis Arraez136.38252114.9081.5
LF Bryan De La Cruz132.28037313.7280.0
RF Jesus Sanchez69.2902039.9140.9
3B Jean Segura121.1902304.478-1.4
1B Yuli Gurriel89.2472238.681-0.2
C Nick Fortes74.1891415.470-0.1
CF Garrett Hampson65.2621717.7250.2

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tue 5/16 – Josiah Gray (3-5) 2.96 ERA vs. Jesús Luzardo (3-2) 3.39 ERA

Game start – 6:40 p.m.

Wed 5/17 – Mackenzie Gore (3-2) 3.29 ERA vs Edward Cabrera (2-3) 5.35 ERA

Game start – 6:40 p.m.

Thu 5/18 – Trevor Williams (1-1) 4.23 ERA vs TBD

Game start – 1:10 p.m.

Betting Nuggets

Favorite: Marlins (-145)

Underdog: Nationals (+124)

Over/Under: 7.5

Broadcast Information

Television: Nationals fans will be able to watch all three games against the Marlins on MASN. 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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