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Series Preview: Houston Astros at Nationals (May 13th-May 15th)
The Nationals continue their homestand, now hosting their opponents from the 2019 World Series, the Houston Astros
The Nationals continue their homestand, now hosting their opponents from the 2019 World Series, the Houston Astros (21-11). Before getting into the series notes, here are some notes from the previous series against the New York Mets.
Mets Series Notes:
Despite his baserunning error last night, Juan Soto has been one of the better baserunners in baseball. He is tied for 10th in FanGraphs BsR metric.
Joan Adon walked five in a 4-1 loss on Thursday.
Keibert Ruiz got his first career stolen base in the 8-3 victory on Wednesday.
The Nationals bullpen continues to impress, looking like it can become one of the better bullpens in the National League.
Friday, May 13, RHP Josiah Gray (4-2, 3.45 ERA) vs LHP Framber Valdez (1-2, 3.34 ERA) | First Pitch: 7:05 P.M. ET
Over his last two starts against good Angels and Giants teams, Josiah Gray has dominated with a 2.38 ERA over 11.1 innings and a .150 opponents' batting average (6-for-40). He has not faced any of the Astros hitters. Hopefully, he can build upon his recent success.
Framber Valdez is a ground baller lefty who primarily throws a sinker and curveball. He mixes in a changeup around 10% of the time, and a rare four-seamer or cutter once in a blue moon. His fastballs sit around 93 or 94 MPH. Four Nationals hitters have a combined 21 plate appearances against Valdez during the regular season, with a .176/.333/.412 against him. Josh Bell has had the most success, with a home run and a walk in two plate appearances.
The game will be televised on MASN and can be listened to on The Team 980.
Saturday, May 14, RHP Erick Fedde (2-2, 3.90) vs RHP Christian Javier (2-0, 0.83 ERA) | 7:05 P.M.
Erick Fedde has been dominant over his last three starts. He tossed 16.2 innings with a 1.62 ERA. His peripherals suggest regression, especially after walking five Angels previous start, and an unsustainable 91.8% strand rate. If he can cut down on the walks, this might finally be Fedde’s breakout year.
The Astros have used Christian Javier as a swingman so far this season, with two starts in six games. 25-year-old’s repertoire consists of a four-seamer and slider used 91.5% of the time, with a changeup and curveball used in the remaining 8.5%. Despite using his four-seamer so much, it remains one of the more dominant pitches in baseball right now.
This game will be televised on MASN and can be listened to on 106.7 The Fan.
Sunday, May 15, LHP Patrick Corbin (0-5, 6.06 ERA) vs RHP Justin Verlander (4-1, 1.55 ERA) | First Pitch 1:35 P.M.
The Houston Astros last saw Patrick Corbin in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, where he threw three innings of scoreless relief. Over his last three starts, Corbin has thrown 19 innings to the tune of a 2.37 ERA and 2.55 FIP. He struggled with walks in his last start, but otherwise, he has been dominant with Riley Adams as his personal catcher.
Justin Verlander does not age. Coming off Tommy John surgery at 39 years old, Verlander has a 1.55 ERA in 40.2 innings. In his last start, he threw eight innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts. Against current Nationals, Verlander has a .228/.256/.340 opposing triple slash during regular season games, according to Stathead. Dee Strange-Gordon has the most success over a larger sample size, with a .333/.333/.583 in 12 plate appearances. Alcides Escobar makes up a bulk of those plate appearances from his Royals days when Verlander was still a Tiger.
The game will be televised on MASN and can be listened to on 106.7 The Fan.
Despite having one of the worst batting averages in baseball, the Astros have the 10th best OPS in MLB. This comes from just absolutely crushing the baseball.
The Astros pitching staff has the 6th best fWAR and 2nd best ERA in baseball.
The Astros are currently on a 10-game win streak.
33 games into the season, the Nats have an MLB worst -7 Outs Above Average at SS. Only one player on the Nationals has a positive OAA on the entire roster, Victor Robles with one. For a team built on pitching, they sure make it hard for themselves.
With the uncertainty of Alcides Escobar’s playing time because of injury, Dee Strange-Gordon will get some run. Currently ranked 127th all-time in stolen bases and the current active leader, he can make some ground and try to climb the rankings.