A pair of marquee teams take the field in the nation’s capital to close out an interleague set. The New York Yankees finish up a two game interleague set with the Washington Nationals Wednesday night. New York won two of three from Oakland, taking the rubber game 6-2 Sunday afternoon at home. Washington swept a four-game set from the Diamondbacks on the road, taking the finale 6-4 Sunday night. The pitching matchup for Tuesday’s series opener saw Masahiro Tanaka pitch for the Yankees against Washington’s Gio Gonzalez. First pitch in that contest was set for 7:05 pm ET.
New York Yankees Battling for AL East Lead
New York has been on a roll with 19 wins in their last 22 games after beating Oakland Sunday afternoon. As a result, the Yankees entered Tuesday with a 28-12 record, putting them half a game ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East. Giancarlo Stanton (run, three RBI) led New York on Sunday with four hits, including his 10th homer of the year. Brett Gardner (run), Aaron Judge (two runs, RBI) and Miguel Andujar (run) each had two hits for the Yankees. Luis Severino (6-1) earned the win after tossing six innings, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
CC Sabathia gets the call for the Yankees as he makes his eighth start of the season in this contest. He comes in 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA, a 1.018 WHIP, five walks and 28 strikeouts over 36.1 innings of action this year. Sabathia recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came Thursday at home against the Red Sox. He allowed four runs on nine hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a game the Yankees eventually lost 5-4. Sabathia is 1-0 with a 2.65 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, one walk and 16 strikeouts over 17 innings in his last three starts. He makes his fourth career start against the Nationals in this contest. Sabathia is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA, a 0.917 WHIP, seven walks and 16 strikeouts over 24 innings of work. In his 517th major league start, he pitches at Nationals Park for the first time in his career.
Washington Nationals Look to Stay Hot
Washington swept a four-game set in Arizona and won for the seventh time in eight games by taking the finale of that set. The Nationals improved to 24-18 on the year and entered Tuesday two games behind the Braves in the NL East race. Washington got three hits, including a pair of homers, from Mark Reynolds (two runs, three RBI) in his season debut to lead the way. Howie Kendrick (run, RBI) added a pair of hits while Bryce Harper (his 13th) and Trea Turner (his fifth) homered as well. Jeremy Hellickson recorded a no-decision after allowing one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts over five innings. Ryan Madson (1-2) earned the win with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief while Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Max Scherzer takes the hill for his 10th start of the campaign looking to build off a brilliant beginning of the season. He is 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA, a 0.818 WHIP, 13 walks and 91 strikeouts over 58.2 innings of work. Scherzer picked up the win in his last outing, which came Friday night in the desert against the Diamondbacks. He threw seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with a walk and 11 strikeouts in a 3-1 Washington triumph. Scherzer is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP, four walks and 34 strikeouts over 19.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his eighth career start against the Yankees here. Scherzer is 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.488 WHIP, 19 walks and 43 strikeouts over 42.1 innings of work. He is 22-14 with a 2.96 ERA, a 0.927 WHIP, 74 walks and 435 strikeouts over 337.2 innings in 50 career starts at Nationals Park.
- No Key Trends
- Nationals are 6-0 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Nationals are 7-1 in their last 8 home games
- Nationals are 6-1 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
Scherzer has been sensational in the early going and has gone 6-0 in his last seven starts while piling up the strikeouts. Sabathia has pitched well this season but he’s not going deep into games, which can put pressure on a bullpen that, while talented, is prone to giving up the free pass a little more often than Aaron Boone would like. In this one, it comes down to the arms on the mound and that gives the edge to Washington. Scherzer breaks the triple digit mark for strikeouts on the year as the Nationals earn a tough win here.
Pick: Washington Nationals -165
The pitching matchup here is going to get the lion’s share of the attention and rightfully so. Sabathia has been good despite his advanced age and his injury problems this season: he’s already spent time on the disabled list. He’s coming off his worst start of the year so how he bounces back will be important. Scherzer leads the NL in wins and strikeouts, along with WHIP, hits allowed per nine innings (5.4) and strikeouts per nine innings (14) this season. With all the talent in the respective lineups, it will be interesting to see how they fare against the guys on the hill in this one. It’s funny to see Sabathia make his first career start at Nationals Park, considering he has been around long enough to have pitched against the franchise in their old park: he faced the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium back in 2002.
The under is 4-1 in the Yankees’ last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning record, 4-1 in their last five on the road, 4-1 in their last 5 interleague road games vs. a right-handed starter and 10-3-2 in Sabathia’s last 15 road starts vs. a team with a winning record. Washington has seen the under go 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a left-handed starter, 8-0 in their last eight interleague home games, 10-1 in their last 11 interleague contests and 10-1 in the second game of their last 11 series. Look for this one to be a well-pitched contest that keeps the score under the total.