Stephen Strasburg got the best of Giancarlo Stanton in their last meeting and will look to shut down the slugger again on Tuesday, when the Washington Nationals visit the Miami Marlins for the middle contest of their three-game series. Stanton, who leads the major leagues with 53 homers, was hitless in four at-bats on Wednesday against Strasburg, who pitched a six-hitter in Washington’s 4-0 win.
Stanton is batting .333 with three homers against Strasburg and launched blast No. 53 in Monday’s 7-2 series-opening defeat. The shot was Stanton’s sixth in 17 games against Washington this season but couldn’t prevent the Marlins from falling six games behind Colorado in the race for the National League’s second wild card. Strasburg has fired 15 scoreless innings over his last two starts and has posted a stellar 1.35 ERA over his last seven outings. Anthony Rendon went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs for the NL East-leading Nationals in the opener after being hitless in eight at-bats over his previous two games.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 2.90 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Odrisamer Despaigne (0-2, 4.13)
Strasburg is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two home starts against Miami this season and 14-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 27 career turns versus the Marlins. But he hasn’t been so stellar when pitching at Marlins Park, going just 4-5 with a 4.76 ERA in nine outings. The 29-year-old Strasburg has fared well on the road this season as he is 7-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 12 starts.
Despaigne is making his fourth start for the Marlins after lasting only four innings in a loss to Philadelphia last time out. The 30-year-old allowed three runs and five hits against the Phillies after giving up one run and three hits over six frames in a no-decision versus San Diego in his previous turn. Despaigne is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA in five career appearances (one start) against the Nationals and has struggled with Adam Lind (3-for-4, three RBIs).
1. The Nationals have beaten the Marlins six straight times and hold an 11-6 advantage in the all-time series.
2. Miami activated LHP Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) from the disabled list and will use him in relief.
3. Washington RF Jayson Werth is hitless in 14 at-bats over his last four contests.
PREDICTION: Nationals 5, Marlins 3