Series Preview: Nationals at Astros

The Washington Nationals will play in Houston for the first time since game 7 of the 2019 World Series when the Nats became World Champions. Since then, the Nats victory lap was victimized by COVID, and then a painful rebuild while the Astros continued to soar. Baseball cycles will do that. The Nats had nearly 10 years of great baseball, and the Astros are now in year-8 of their winning ways — but they were also part of one of the biggest cheating scandals in baseball history that tainted a lot of that winning. At some point the Astros will falter, and the Nats will soar.

Over the weekend, the Nats snapped a six-game losing streak when they won the series finale against the Atlanta Braves. Jeimer Candelario and Dominic Smith led the way with a home run each, and Alex Call used his glove to rob a 2-run homer. Trevor Williams earned the win for Washington, pitching five innings while striking out six.

“If they keep swinging like that in the middle of the lineup, we’re going to do some good things.”

— Nationals manager Davey Martinez said after Sunday’s win

The team got to enjoy a day-off yesterday in Houston before they are scheduled to play 16-games in a row with no scheduled days off until June 29.

The Nationals lineup will have to produce good at-bats against the defending champs. On the other side of the ball, Nationals veteran pitcher, Patrick Corbin, will get the nod for game one. Corbin has 13 starts on the season, going 4-6 while posting a 4.89 ERA. The left-hander has gone 2-2 on the road with two quality starts.

Meanwhile, the Astros head home after completing a grueling seven-game road trip, which resulted in only two wins. Houston will be without Yordan Alverez, who is dealing with right oblique discomfort and was placed on the 10-day IL. Right-hander Hunter Brown will start the game tonight as he goes for his sixth win of the season. He’s recorded a 10.4 K/9 and a 1.21 WHIP, along with a 3.69 ERA this season.

The Nationals sit at the bottom of the N.L. East with a 26-38 record, heading into this Astros series. The Nationals have been playing some sloppy baseball lately, and although they have been facing some darn good teams, Washington has had a disappointing June. Let’s see if they can turn it around in Houston.

This 3-game series will wrap-up on Thursday — but not in a day game on a getaway game, rather a late night game that will return the Nats to D.C. in the early morning hours on Friday before the Nats have a 7:05 game against the Marlins in Nats Park.

Tale of the Tape

Divisional Standings5th2nd
All-Time matchup record212-249249-212
Team Average.262 (6).246 (17)
Runs272 (24)298 (15)
Hits572 (12)547 (16)
Home Runs51 (29)72 (16)
K%18.5% (1)21.9% (9)
OBP.324 (13).314 (21)
ERA4.66 (25)3.32 (1)
WHIP1.47 (28)1.25 (7)
Run Differential-45 (25)+55 (5)
Errors42 (4)27 (23)

Scouting the lineup

Projected starting lineupABBAHHRRBIOPSWAR
LF Mauricio Dubon207.30062214.7271.7
2B Jose Altuve61.2621626.7900.2
3B Alex Bregman251.24361939.7301.3
RF Kyle Tucker231.26862838.7730.7
1B Jose Abreu246.22054329.564-1.3
CF Chas McCormick110.22725516.7420.6
SS Jeremy Pena246.25262826.7301.9
DH Yainer Diaz84.2742338.7580.7
C Martin Maldonado145.1862738.547-0.3

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tues 6/13 – Patrick Corbin (4-6) 4.89 ERA vs. Hunter Brown (5-3) 3.69 ERA

Wed 6/14 – Josiah Gray (4-5) 3.00 ERA vs. Framber Valdez (6-5) 2.36 ERA

Thur 6/15 – MacKenzie Gore (3-5) 4.04 ERA vs. Cristian Javier (7-1) 3.13 ERA

Betting Nuggets

Favorite: Astros (-250)

Underdog: Nationals (+200)

Over/Under: 8

Broadcast Information

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