Series preview: Nationals vs Tigers

After a promising series against the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals got swept by the Miami Marlins, and had one of there most frustrating series of the season. It was a tough three-game set for the Nationals, and that’s putting it lightly. Miami won two one-run games and yesterday’s loss was at one-run going into the bottom of the eighth inning before the Nats lost the finale by two-runs.

Meanwhile, the Tigers have won their last three games and are looking promising on the road, as they’ve won four of their last six matchups. The Tigers lack offense, similar to the Nationals, and their pitching has been mediocre at best. However, in the previous week, Detroit’s offense is coming alive, scoring 17 runs in their last four road games. Detroit has gone 9-5 in May, recently splitting a series with the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates of May.

Newcomer, Jake Irvin, is on the mound for the Nationals in their series opener against the Tigers. The 26-year-old rookie has only made it past the fifth inning once this season, but Irvin can still consistently throw strikes. This season he has recorded a 4.11 ERA across three starts, allowing 12 hits and eight walks while striking out 14. He had four scoreless innings going before a blowup fifth inning, his worst inning of his short MLB career. The Tigers are throwing Matthew Boyd on Friday. The left-hander had a rough outing last time he had his named-called option, as he gave up six runs over 1 1/3 innings.

The 26-year-old, selected in the fourth round of the 2018 draft by D.C., had only made it past the fifth inning once when he scored a quality start against the San Francisco Giants, shutting them out over 6 1⁄3 frames while striking out five. The right-hander gets by on a four-pitch arsenal led off by a four-seam fastball (93.3 mph, 33.5%), curveball (79.2 mph, 31.9%), sinker (92.8 mph, 23.2%) and changeup (88.0 mph, 11.4%), per Baseball Savant.

Unfortunately, after being swept by the Marlins, the Nationals are tied with the worst record in the National League with the Cardinals and are 9.5 games behind first place in the NL East. After a fantastic start to May, the Nationals have lost five of their last seven games and are in fifth place in the NL East. If the Nats beat Miami on Tuesday when they were one out from a win, they would have been 2.0 games from a Wild Card spot.

Tale of the Tape

Divisional Standings5th3rd
All-Time matchup record12-1010-12
Team Average.259 (9).229 (27)
Runs176 (25)143 (30)
Hits387 (9)319 (30)
Home Runs29 (29)31 (28)
K%19.0% (1)24.5% (25)
OBP.323 (13).294 (30)
ERA4.39 (18)4.34 (17)
WHIP1.42 (24)1.23 (6)
Run Differential-24 (21)-48 (26)
Errors27 (6)20 (17)

Scouting the Lineup

Projected starting lineupABBAHHRRBIOPSWAR
RF Zach McKinstry91.2752526.7580.4
CF Riley Greene158.29146315.7530.9
SS Javier Baez145.24836319.6560.8
1B Spencer Torkelson150.23335318.649-0.3
3B Nick Maton113.15017416.564-0.6
LF Akil Baddoo87.2412104.6370.2
DH Miguel Cabrera77.1821404.462-0.7
2B Andy Ibanez52.2501315.6820.0
C Eric Haase106.26428212.6740.3

Probable Pitching Matchups

Fri 5/19 – Matthew Boyd (2-3) 6.47 ERA vs. Jake Irvin (1-1) 4.11 ERA

Game start – 7:05 p.m.

Sat 5/19 – Alex Faedo (0-1) 4.22 ERA vs. Patrick Corbin (2-5) 4.65 ERA

Game start – 4:05 p.m.

Sun 5/21 – Joey Wentz ( 1-3) 6.38 ERA vs Josiah Gray (3-5) 2.73 ERA

Game start – 1:35 p.m.

Betting Nuggets

Favorite: Tigers (-112)

Underdog: Nationals (-107)

Over/Under: 8

Broadcast Information

Television: Nationals fans will be able to watch all three games against the Tigers 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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