By Michael Marzzacco
Friday June 23: Luis Castillo (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (8-2, 3.28 ERA) 7:05 p.m. MASN
Saturday June 24: Homer Bailey (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Joe Ross (3-3, 5.98 ERA) 4:05 p.m. MASN 2
Sunday June 25: Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.20 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (6-4, 4.88 ERA) 1:35 p.m MASN
The Nationals and Reds face off for the first time this season at Nationals Park this weekend. Don’t forget about tonight’s epic Game of Thrones night! The Nats and Reds will meet seven times this season, three at home and four in Cincinnati. They’ll meet in Cincinnati to begin the second half of the season after the All Star break from July 14-17.
On Friday night Luis Castillo will make his major league debut for the Reds. The 24-year old righty was 4-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 14 starts with AA Pensacola. He’ll have to face a tough Nationals lineup that seems to find the scoresheet on a nightly basis. The Nats have completed their first 72 games of the season without their offense suffering a shutout. The Nationals are the only team in the National League that hasn’t posted a zero on the scoreboard. On the American League side, neither the Twins nor the Yankees have posted a goose egg.
On Saturday, Homer Bailey will make his season debut for the Reds. He will go up against Joe Ross. Ross has only faced the Reds once in his career, back on July 2, 2016. He hopes to have a much better outing as he allowed four runs on 10 hits through 5.1 innings, striking out two. On Sunday’s series finale, Tanner Roark will look to end his three game slide.
The Nationals are 43-29 in first place in the NL East, nine games ahead of the Braves. They’re coming off a 4-3 road trip and a tough Marlins series that saw them drop two out of three. Even a no-hitter opportunity was lost. The Reds are in fifth place in the NL Central with a 30-41 record. The Reds lead the series history between the ballclubs with a 42-37 record. Since 2012, the Nats are 17-16 against Cincinnati.