Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Angels
Dates: Tuesday, July 18 – Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Location: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
The Nats biggest weakness all season has been the bullpen. The offense has been fantastic and the starting pitching has also held up its end of the bargain. Because of it, upper management just sent over a bunch of prospects to the Oakland A’s to earn the services of Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.
The Sciosciapath’s troops did themselves no favors losing the series to the Rays over the weekend. Tampa Bay is a team they’re chasing at the top of the wild card standings who now sits three games ahead of them in the standings. Should the team fall to .500 as a host after this series, it might be enough for the front office to wave the white towel.
Game 1 Probable Pitchers – Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 10:07 p.m. ET ( Local TV )
Edwin Jackson vs. Jesse Chavez
Jackson will get the call to start this one with Joe Ross put on the DL and likely to miss extended time due to an elbow injury that might require Tommy John surgery. The veteran was worthless out of Baltimore’s pen earlier this season and was subsequently DFAd. He signed a minor-league deal with Washington in June, and has since gone on to allow just 1 ER through 20.1 innings while racking up a 22:10 K/BB ratio. He’s 2-4 with a 4.62 ERA and hefty .339 BAA through seven career starts at the “Big A.”
Chavez will make his 19th start a loser in three straight after taking the loss in a 5-2 defeat to Texas before the break. The veteran has failed to reach the sixth inning in each of his last four starts with none of the outings of quality. Los Angeles is 8-11 in his 19 appearances with the under cashing 11 times. He’s been much better at home where he sports a 3.83 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, but he’ll have his hands full with a Washington offense that’s 45-30 straight up and averaging 5.8 runs per game against right-handers.
Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 10 p.m. ET ( ESPN )
Gio Gonzalez vs. Ricky Nolasco
Gio is pitching like a man possessed having put forth quality efforts each of the last nine times he toed the rubber. The lefty just snapped a personal three game losing streak by tossing a near complete game shutout against Cincinnati at the Great American Ball Park. Like the Reds, the Angels have issues with southpaws having gone 14-14 against them while batting .241 as a team ( No. 20 ). Gonzalez checks in 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.18 WHIP on the road, and stands 3-1 with a .229 BAA through five career Angel Stadium starts.
Nolasco has arguably been the Halos best starting pitcher this season. With him the owner of a 4-10 record and 4.82 ERA, that hardly puts LA in a good light. Regardless, he’s in a bit of a groove right now having logged quality starts in three of his last four outings. He’ll make start No. 20 off a gem thrown at the Rays in which he took a tough no-decision after tossing seven innings of 1 ER ball. Los Angeles has only won three of his nine home starts, and he’ll do his best to avoid Bryce Harper’s bat which has done major damage against him by batting .478 and launching a pair of home runs in 23 ABs.