The Washington Nationals (65-65) are coming home.
After a 10-game road trip that powered them to an even record for the first time in over a month, the Nats will kick off a six-game home stand against the Miami Marlins (49-80), an opponent that provides them the opportunity to put some meat on that .500 record.
The Nationals haven’t been able to hold on to .500, let alone a winning record, for long this season, but the coming week’s opponents – the Marlins and the New York Mets – will set the table for the Nats to build a solid record at their home park.
Washington has won five of its last six, against the mostly unimpressive Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals. The Marlins, on the other hand, have won only one of their last six games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies, and have averaged a tragic 2.2 runs per game in that span.
The Nats’ bats have been picking up, and against the team with the second-worst record in all of baseball, they have the ability to do some damage.
The Nationals are batting .314 and slugging .511 over their last six games, during which they have scored four runs or more. Their August performance has ranked them third in the National League for runs scored per game (4.9) this month.
Those numbers stacked against the offensively challenged Marlins bodes for good results for the Nationals. However, even the most lopsided matchups can have unexpected results, so the Nationals will need to play as hard as ever in the opening series of this home stretch.
In The Zone
Tyler Moore (LF) .476 AVG, .476 OBP, .524 SLG, 1 2B (last five games)
Giancarlo Stanton (RF) .381 AVG, .500 OBP, .714 SLG, 4 2B (last six games)
Ed Lucas (3B) .300 AVG, .417 OBP, .450 SLG, 1 HR (last six games)
Christian Yelich (OF) .087 AVG, .192 OBP, .130 SLG, 9 SO (last six games)
Donovan Solano (2B) .083 AVG, .154 OBP, .125 SLG, 5 SO (last six games)
8/27, Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58 ERA, .222 BAA, 31 SO) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (2-4, 3.82 ERA, .236 BAA, 40 SO)
8/28, Stephen Strasburg (6-9, 3.00 ERA, .210 BAA, 162 SO) vs. Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.86 ERA, .251 BAA, 34 SO)
8/29, Gio Gonzalez (7-6, 3.72 ERA, .237 BAA, 156 SO) vs. Tom Koehler (3-8, 4.45 ERA, .264 BAA, 77 SO)