Though their last meeting with the Atlanta Braves (5-4) didn’t go as they had hoped, the Washington Nationals (7-2) didn’t have to wait long for a rematch.
Washington will face the Braves in their second weekend series in a row, this time in Atlanta. Between meetings with the Braves, the Nationals swept the Miami Marlins, while the Braves lost a series to the New York Mets.
The Nats’ sweep allowed them to move into first place in the NL-East, and they will look to build on that lead this weekend. Though it is early in the season to be considering standings, the Braves asserted their dominance on the division right from the start of last season, and none of the other NL-East teams were able to catch up.
It’s never to early to win, and the Nationals will be anxious to finally show their rivals what they are capable of.
The Braves boast the third-best ERA in the majors (2.39), but the Nationals aren’t far behind with a third place 2.63. Nationals’ pitchers have also struck out more hitters than any other staff, with 105 strikeouts to the Braves’ 70.
Yes, it’s early. But no pitcher scheduled to start this weekend for either team has an ERA over 3.00, and only Julio Teheran, who is Friday’s scheduled starter, is outside the 1.00 range with an ERA of 2.53.
But the Braves pitchers won’t be impossible to beat if the Nats bring out their bats.
In nine games, Aaron Harang, who is scheduled to start Sunday, has a 3.99 ERA against the Nationals. Teheran has a 2.92 ERA against the Nationals in six starts, but the Nats have a .715 OPS against him.
There is no doubt that the Braves have a talented pitching staff. But with the momentum from a hot-hitting sweep in Miami, the Nationals will try to get the best of them.
In The Zone
Anthony Rendon (2B) .412 AVG, .444 OBP, .676 SLG, 8 RBI, 1 HR, 34 AB (nine-game hitting streak)
Jayson Werth (RF) .375 AVG, .487 OBP, .625 SLG, 8 RBI, 2 HR, 32 AB (four-game hitting streak)
Freddie Freeman (1B) .455 AVG, .520 OBP, .545 SLG, 2 SO (last six games)
Justin Upton (LF) .348 AVG, .400 OBP, ..609 SLG, 2 HR (last six games)
Jason Heyward (RF) .130 AVG, .286 OBP, .261 SLG, 7 SO (last six games)
Dan Uggla (2B) .174 AVG, .200 OBP, .174 SLG, 9 SO (last six games)
4/11, Tanner Roark (1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 5 SO, 6.0 IP) vs. Julio Teheran (1-1, 2.77 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 8 SO, 13.0 IP)
4/12, Taylor Jordan (0-0, 1.42 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3 SO, 6.1 IP) vs. Alex Wood (1-1, 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 9 SO, 14.0 IP)
4/13, Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 0.75 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 11 SO, 12.0 IP) vs. Aaron Harang (1-1, 0.71 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 12 SO, 12.2 IP)