Series Preview: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves

Jason Heyward and the Braves hope to get back on track against the division leading Washington Nationals.

As Atlanta sits 8.5 games out of the division lead, the Braves get the chance to make up some ground as the Washington Nationals come to Atlanta for a three-game series.

On the season, Washington is 89-54 on the year and have won three in a row and eight of its last ten games.

Offense:

As we near the end of the season, the Nationals rank fourth in the National League in batting average (.262), sixth in on-base average (.323), third in slugging percentage (.428), fourth in wOBA (.324), third in wRC+ (102), and fourth in offensive fWAR (28.2).

Offensively, Jayson Werth has been a monster since coming back healthy. Working mainly out of the lead-off spot lately, he's hitting .306/.399/.457 with a .377 wOBA and 138 wRC+. After a slump, Bryce Harper has come back strong in August and September. Over his last 24 games, he's hitting .319/.374/.648 with seven home runs.

Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .287/.354/.481 with a .355 wOBA and 124 wRC+. Adam LaRoche is doing well also, sporting a line of .269/.341/.503 with a .355 wOBA and 124 wRC+. Ian Desmond also is swinging it well, with a line of .295/.331/.522 to go with a .367 wOBA and 131 wRC+.

Pitching matchups after the jump.

Friday September 14th, 7:35 PM ET


Ross Detwiler

#48 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-5

185

R

L

Mar 06, 1986



Kris Medlen

#54 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

5-10

190

B

R

Oct 07, 1985


Detwiler enters at 9-6 with a 3.23 ERA, 3.83 FIP, and a 4.27 FIP. In his last outing, he allowed three earned runs and seven hits in five innings against the Marlins. He's a ground ball pitcher, with a ground ball rate over 50-percent.

In terms of stuff, Detwiler throws a fastball, sinker, curve, and a change. The sinker is his main offering, throwing it 43 percent of the time at just under 93 miles per hour. The pitch has a 58-percent GB/BIP rate and a 13-percent ground ball rate as a whole.

His curve has a 11-percent whiff rate and a 25.42-percent whiff/swing rate on it, the best of any his offerings.

Saturday September 15th, 4:05 PM ET


Edwin Jackson

#33 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-3

210

R

R

Sep 09, 1983



Tommy Hanson

#48 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-6

220

R

R

Aug 28, 1986


On the year, Jackson is 9-10 with a 3.85 ERA, 3.76 FIP, and 3.79 xFIP. He enters with a 2.87 K/BB rate, 21.3-percent strikeout rate, 7.4-percent walk rate, and a 47-percent ground ball rate. In his last outing, Jackson allowed six runs and nine hits in just 4.2 innings against the Marlins.

Jackson throws hard, as his four-seam averages over over 94 miles per hour and his two-seam averages over 93 miles per hour. He also throws a power slider that averages over 86 miles per hour. He'll also throw a slow curve and a change.

His slider is the most effective off-speed pitch, as he'll throw it 37-percent of the time against right-handed hitters in all counts, and 48-percent of the time with two strikes. He doesn't use it as much against left-hander hitters except for two strike counts, when he throws it 41-percent of the time.

The slider has a 27-percent whiff rate and a huge 50-percent whiff/swing rate.

As expected, Jackson throws his change almost exclusively against left-handed hitters.

Sunday September 16th, 8:05 PM ET


Gio Gonzalez

#47 / Pitcher / Washington Nationals

6-0

205

R

L

Sep 19, 1985



Mike Minor

#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

210

R

L

Dec 26, 1987


Gonzalez enters with a record 19-7 with a 2.93 ERA, 2.84 FIP, and 3.31 xFIP. On the year, he has a 25.6-percent strikeout rate, 9.1-percent walk rate, 2.81 K/BB, and a 47-percent ground ball rate. In his last outing, Gonzalez allowed just three hits and one run while walking five and striking out six in six innings against the Mets.

He throws a four-seam, two-seam, curve, and a change. Both fastballs are thrown hard, with the four-seamer averaging over 94 miles per hour and the two-seam slightly less.

His best ground ball pitch is the two-seamer, while he gets more whiffs on the four-seamer. In terms of his off-speed offerings, both are very good. They each have whiff/swing rates of over 38-percent, and the curve is especially hard to hitters to get into the air.

Gonzalez throws a two-seamer 55-percent of the time first pitch against right-handed hitters. He'll use the curve late in the count against either righties or lefties.

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