Washington Nationals Series Preview: Not getting any easier with Los Angeles Dodgers in town

Clearly, the Washington Nationals have been saving all of their runs from the primary two video games of the collection towards the Milwaukee Brewers to be able to use them within the finale.

After Saturday’s recreation, Vanilla Ice carried out for a rambunctious remaining crowd at American Household Area, and his hit tune described the Nats’ bats by means of the primary two video games of the collection the place they mixed for only one run, which got here on a solo homer from Lane Thomas.

In fact, a collection loss was in all probability the perfect the Nationals might’ve fairly anticipated from this collection towards the Nationwide League Central leaders.

Of their subsequent collection, nonetheless, many would take a collection loss towards the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers are again to their typical type of being the perfect staff within the NL, sitting fairly atop the NL West with a 27-13 file, trailing solely the New York Yankees for the perfect data within the majors.

Bear in mind our final collection preview after we checked out how the Brewers had the eighth-best OPS and ERA within the main leagues? Effectively, the Dodgers take that to the acute, main the majors in OPS and ERA. So, they’re virtually just about the entire staff thus far within the season.

Right here’s the lowdown from Nationals Park forward of the three-game collection…

The schedule

  • Sport One: Monday, Could twenty third, 7:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2 and MLB Community (out-of-market solely), Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Two: Tuesday, Could twenty fourth, 7:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN 2, Radio: 106.7 The Fan
  • Sport Three: Wednesday, Could twenty fifth, 4:05 pm EDT. TV: MASN, Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Possible Pitchers

  • Sport One: Joan Adon (1-7, 6.38 ERA) vs Tyler Anderson (4-0, 4.04 ERA)
  • Sport Two: Josiah Grey (4-3, 4.36 ERA) vs Walker Buehler (5-1, 2.89 ERA)
  • Sport Three: Erick Fedde (2-3, 4.08 ERA) vs Julio Urías (3-3, 2.63 ERA)

Who’s scorching?

Keibert Ruiz: He appeared on this part not that way back, nonetheless, the younger backstop has continued to step up all sides of his recreation for the Nationals.

Within the month of Could, Ruiz is slashing .353/.459/.510 with a house run and 4 doubles. Contributing to that has been his glorious plate self-discipline, which has been a lot better in that span as he’s drawn 9 walks in comparison with simply 5 strikeouts.

Supervisor Dave Martinez has additionally been singing Ruiz’s praises defensively behind the plate and his game-calling. The younger backstop continues to ascertain himself as a cornerstone for this staff’s future, and this month’s efficiency solely solidifies that standing.

Mookie Betts: After a sluggish begin to the season, Mookie Betts is beginning to really feel like Mookie Betts once more for the Dodgers. You realize, that kind that took him to 2 American League MVP awards not too way back.

Thus far in Could, Betts is slashing a dominant .313/.371/.663 on the plate with a team-leading seven residence runs in that span, and 17 RBIs, second on the staff behind Justin Turner’s 18. Of all the celebs on the staff, Betts is the one to be cautious of on this collection.

Who’s not?

Josh Bell: Don’t panic simply but, however Bell lastly seems to be slowing down a bit on the plate.

In his final 13 video games, the primary baseman is slashing simply .176/.232/.176 with no extra-base hits whereas putting out seven instances and strolling simply two, a large step backwards from earlier this season when he was strolling greater than he struck out.

This hunch has led to him dropping again within the order, initially to fourth behind Nelson Cruz, however within the collection finale towards the Brewers he hit fifth as Ruiz was bumped as much as second. With a number of stress on the center of the order, the Nats are going to wish Bell to show issues round quickly.

Chris Taylor: There have been reviews that the Nationals had an curiosity in Taylor this offseason, however ultimately, he selected to return to LA the place he turned his profession round. And recently, Taylor has been trending within the mistaken course for the Dodgers.

Within the month of Could, Taylor is slashing a hard .190/.292/.333 with three doubles and two residence runs. Whereas the facility makes the road extra bearable, what’s regarding for Taylor is the whopping 29 strikeouts in 19 video games, in comparison with simply 8 walks in that span.

He’s nonetheless the staff’s main left fielder for now, however the Dodgers aren’t precisely in need of expertise if issues proceed to move this fashion for Taylor on the plate.

From the opposing dugout

Try a few of the high Dodgers storylines from our associates at True Blue LA…

Yet one more factor to observe

Scoring only one run within the first two video games in Milwaukee, the Nationals blended issues up within the collection finale with their lineup to try to get their offense going once more.

The recent-hitting Keibert Ruiz, who we talked about earlier on this preview, was bumped up from the sixth spot within the order on Saturday to the second spot on Sunday. Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Bell slid down to 3rd, fourth, and fifth within the order, respectively.

So, what was behind Nationals supervisor Dave Martinez’s resolution to change up the lineup?

“Keibert is swinging the bat effectively,” Martinez defined. “However the largest factor is he’s accepting his walks a bit bit higher, his on-base proportion is up there in concerning the .360s, so get another person up there to attempt to get on for Juan [Soto]. I imply, that was the largest factor, type of prolong our lineup a bit bit extra, and see what occurs.

“If he can get on base, César [Hernàndez] and him can get on base, then you’ve our massive three guys perhaps can do one thing, so… however Keibert is swinging the bat effectively so I wished to get him up on the high.”

As was the preliminary motive behind Soto beginning out because the staff’s two-hitter, this has usually been the spot within the order for the offense’s finest hitter — with the purpose being to mix getting as many at-bats as attainable and balancing sufficient RBI alternatives for that hitter.

Ruiz leads the Nationals in on-base proportion and OPS in Could and may fill that position effectively. So whereas Soto slumps a bit, a minimum of by his extremely excessive requirements, the backstop is smart to hit there and has earned that spot with how he’s carried out.

Given Martinez’s reasoning for having Soto second within the first place, the top purpose would determine to be getting him again in kind and again as much as that spot within the order.

Nonetheless, a minimum of for now and given the success the staff had with that batting order on Sunday, Ruiz figures to get a minimum of one other smattering of possibilities to hit second within the order, which can additionally take some stress off of Soto on the plate till he rebounds.

Sequence Preview Trivia

Final collection’ trivia query: Simply earlier than Max Scherzer tossed his first profession no-hitter, the right-hander had a dominant begin in Milwaukee towards the Brewers. What number of Brewers did he strike out that day?

Reply: 16 batters

Right here’s the trivia query for this collection, once more, centered on a notable recreation on the ballpark the Nationals will likely be visiting for the upcoming collection…

The final time the Dodgers visited Nationals Park, the Nats have been within the midst of an harm disaster within the infield, which led to Alex Avila taking part in second base within the collection opener. However within the second recreation of the collection, who began at shortstop for Washington, taking part in his solely recreation for the Nationals earlier than he was DFA’d to make room for Alcides Escobar the subsequent day?