Orioles Look to Quiet Nationals’ Bats in Interleague ShowdownBy David A.
The National League East leading Washington Nationals visit the American League East Baltimore Orioles on Monday night in an interleague showdown. The current line has Washington favored at -123, with Baltimore at +114 and the over/under run total on 9.
Entering this game, Washington has a record of 73-50 overall and 37-27 on the road. The Nationals are 6-4 over their past 10 games played. Baltimore on the season is 67-56 overall and 40-22 at home. The Orioles are 4-6 over their past 10 games played.
Washington will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound on Monday. The Nationals right-hander is 15-4 with an ERA of 3.59. Baltimore will counter with Dylan Bundy. The Orioles right-hander is 6-4 with an ERA of 3.36.
Strasburg has lost four of his past six starts for the Nationals, including the past three straight. Bundy was sharp since he became a starter for the Orioles until he ran into the Boston, the best offense in baseball last Wednesday giving up five runs on nine hits over just 4 plus innings.
Washington is coming off a series versus Atlanta in which the Nationals won three of four as they continue to stretch their lead in the NL East. Baltimore is in a much tighter race in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Nationals lost on Sunday 7-6 to miss an opportunity for another series sweep, but still lead by 8 ½ games over second place Miami. Bryce Harper has finally come out of his slump with 11 hits in 27 at bats over his past seven games played.
Baltimore has lost five of its first six games to open a home stand of eight games as the pitching staff has given up 8.3 runs per game over that same span.
With the slide, Baltimore now trails the AL East leader by 2 ½ games and is just one game in front of Seattle for the second and final wildcard in the AL.
Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 4 hits in 8 at bats over the past two games since returning from the disabled list.
Baltimore right fielder Mark Trumbo has a home run in three of his past four games and now has 37 to lead the league.
Prediction: The Nationals have played well all season and will continue but tonight Strasburg’s struggles continue. Lean toward the Orioles here.