By Michael Marzzacco
The Nationals continue their road trip as they drive up California to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers in a three game series. The Nats are in first place in the National League East with a 43-27 record while the Dodgers carry 38-33 mark, good for second place in the NL West. The Dodgers currently hold the second NL Wild Card spot.
Tonight’s series opener promises to be electric with nationally televised pitchers duel on ESPN between Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw. Despite the first pitch being at 10:10, as well as the other two ballgames, this game is worth staying up late for as the two best pitchers in the NL go head to head. #LateNightNats anyone?
Strasburg and Kershaw are each 10 game winners, hoping to join the likes of Jake Arrieta of the Cubs and Chris Sale of the White Sox as 11 game winners. Strasburg carries an undefeated record and is the only starting pitcher remaining in the league who hasn’t suffered a loss this season. Kershaw has won eight of his last nine starts and leads the majors with a 1.58 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 4.4 WAR and a 133/7 strikeout to walk ratio. Strasburg carries a 2.90 ERA. While this game will be a treat for fans of both sides and baseball fans everywhere, the hitters on both teams are in for a tough night.
Game two on Tuesday night will feature Tanner Roark (6-4, 3.14 ERA) and Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.64 ERA). Game three will have the matchup of Joe Ross (6-4, 3.13 ERA) and Julio Urias (0-2, 4.50 ERA).
LA is coming off a three out of four series win over the Brewers at home that saw them drop the opener on Thursday before winning the final three games. The Nationals are coming off a four game series split with the Padres in San Diego that saw them win the first two games before dropping the final two. DC looks to take the three game set over the Dodgers before concluding their road trip with a weekend series in Milwaukee.