A Playoff Preview? Nationals Visit Cubs in Battle of First Place Clubs

Washington Nationals (+1.36) at Chicago Cubs (-1.48, 7 O/U )

Right-hander Joe Ross takes the mound tonight for the road team Washington Nationals. He is 3-0 on the year with a 0.79 ERA. Through the first month of the season, Ross has been as good as advertised. On Saturday, he held a hot-hitting Cardinals lineup to one run in six innings, leading the Nationals to a 6-1 victory at Busch Stadium. The Nationals have gone over the total in 33% of his starts.

The Chicago Cubs will send right-hander Kyle Hendricks out as their starter; he has a 2-2 record so far in 2016. Hendricks held the Brewers to two hits over five innings in his last outing, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Manager Joe Maddon admitted there was no reason to pull Hendricks, but he needed to try and score at that point. The Cubs are 2-2 in games started by him, and have gone over 25% of those games. The Washington Nationals are 19-6 on the year, with an over/under record of 9-13-4. Chicago Cubs is 19-6 this year, and 15-8-2 on totals. Forecasts are calling for 50° temperatures. The humidity will be around 66%. There is a 1% chance of precipitation.

Hendricks: 26 years old right-hander, 6’3” 190 pounds.
Throws: fastball (86.7 mph, 76%), change up (17%)

Washington Nationals Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 4.12 (18)
Home Runs: 32 (10)
Batting average: 0.238 (22)
On-base percentage: 0.308 (23)
Slugging percentage: 0.404 (13)
Stolen bases: 13 (19)
Last seven games: 14 (.715 OPS)
Last 14 games: 25 (.661 OPS)
Last 28 games: 14 (.718 OPS)
Versus Righties: 20 (.684 OPS)
Versus lefties: 3 (.824 OPS)
Home: 20 (.667 OPS)
Away: 12 (.749 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 1 (.1112 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 28 (.514 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 24 (.708 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 17 (.715 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 13 (.775 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 13 (.736 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 18 (.681 OPS)
First five innings: 14 (.727 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 9 (.735 OPS)

Ross: 23 years old right-hander, 6’4” 205 pounds.
Throws: fastball (92.5 mph, 56%), slider (32%), change up (12%)

Chicago Cubs Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 6.12 (1)
Home Runs: 28 (14)
Batting average: 0.255 (10)
On-base percentage: 0.362 (2)
Slugging percentage: 0.42 (11)
Stolen bases: 17 (8)
Last seven games: 11 (.751 OPS)
Last 14 games: 1 (.865 OPS)
Last 28 games: 6 (.778 OPS)
Versus Righties: 3 (.800 OPS)
Versus lefties: 13 (.726 OPS)
Home: 18 (.681 OPS)
Away: 2 (.841 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 18 (.749 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 2 (.795 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 9 (.801 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 4 (.803 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 19 (.694 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 3 (.811 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 12 (.728 OPS)
First five innings: 10 (.750 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 5 (.809 OPS)

Brewers Small Underdogs at Cincinnati in Thursday MLB

Milwaukee Brewers (+1.02) at Cincinnati Reds (-1.1, 9 O/U )

Right-hander Alfredo Simon is the scheduled starter for the Cincinnati Reds. He has a 0-4 record in 2016 with a 12.00 ERA. The Reds have to be concerned that the innings-eater they signed during Spring Training has yet to exceed five innings this season. On Saturday in Pittsburgh, Simon needed 98 pitches to get through four, walking four in a 5-1 loss. The Reds are 0-4 in games started by him.

His opponent on the mound will be right-hander Chase Anderson. Anderson has a 5.55 ERA with a 1.89 WHIP, and is 1-3 on the season. After winning his first two starts without allowing an earned run, Anderson has been knocked around in three straight losses. He’s allowed 15 earned runs on 28 hits, including six home runs, in those games. The Brewers are 2-3 in games started by him, and have gone over 100% of those games. . The Milwaukee Brewers are 10-17 on the year, with an over/under record of 17-11-0. Cincinnati is 10-17 this year, and 15-10-2 on totals. Temperatures are expected to be around 61° at game time tonight. Humidity will be at 48%.

Simon: 35 years old right-hander, 6’6” 265 pounds.
Throws: fastball (92.3 mph, 61%), cutter (12%) curve (7%)

Milwaukee Brewers Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 4.46 (11)
Home Runs: 27 (16)
Batting average: 0.243 (17)
On-base percentage: 0.324 (11)
Slugging percentage: 0.403 (14)
Stolen bases: 17 (8)
Last seven games: 4 (.833 OPS)
Last 14 games: 12 (.761 OPS)
Last 28 games: 11 (.732 OPS)
Versus Righties: 11 (.743 OPS)
Versus lefties: 18 (.691 OPS)
Home: 4 (.813 OPS)
Away: 29 (.585 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 5 (.903 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 4 (.749 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 15 (.793 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 6 (.798 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 13 (.775 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 11 (.743 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 15 (.708 OPS)
First five innings: 12 (.729 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 17 (.663 OPS)

Anderson: 28 years old right-hander, 6’1” 200 pounds.
Throws: fastball (90.6 mph, 46%), cutter (13%) curve (17%) change up (24%)

Cincinnati Reds Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 3.7 (22)
Home Runs: 21 (28)
Batting average: 0.231 (27)
On-base percentage: 0.288 (30)
Slugging percentage: 0.372 (27)
Stolen bases: 20 (4)
Last seven games: 28 (.554 OPS)
Last 14 games: 29 (.589 OPS)
Last 28 games: 26 (.663 OPS)
Versus Righties: 25 (.648 OPS)
Versus lefties: 17 (.693 OPS)
Home: 19 (.679 OPS)
Away: 26 (.638 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 22 (.658 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 27 (.518 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 17 (.768 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 20 (.686 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 13 (.775 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 28 (.601 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 6 (.773 OPS)
First five innings: 25 (.641 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 27 (.577 OPS)

Tigers Visit Cleveland in Wednesday MLB Action

Detroit Tigers (+1.75) at Cleveland Indians (-1.91, 7.5 O/U )

Right-hander Corey Kluber is the scheduled starter for the Cleveland Indians. He has a 1-4 record in 2016 with a 4 ERA. Kluber’s now gone 2 straight starts of 7+ innings and 2 or less earned runs. He said he didn’t have his best stuff Friday but still shut down the Phillies besides one fifth inning blip. The Indians are 1-4 in games started by him, and have gone over 50% of those games.

His opponent on the mound will be right-hander Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez has a 2.59 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP, and is 2-1 on the season. Sanchez has held the opposition to two earned runs or fewer in 7 of his last 8 starts dating back to 2015. He has never started a game vs. the Rangers, but he’s still very familiar with them after pitching out of the bullpen in last year’s ALDS. The Blue Jays are 2-3 in games started by him. . The Detroit Tigers are 11-12 on the year, with an over/under record of 17-8-0. Cleveland is 11-12 this year, and 11-10-2 on totals. The game time temperature will be 54°. The humidity will be around 77%. There is a 97% chance of precipitation.

Kluber: 30 years old right-hander, 6’4” 215 pounds.
Throws: fastball (91.5 mph, 60%), cutter (20%) curve (15%) changeup (6%)

Detroit Tigers Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 4.59 (8)
Home Runs: 15 (15)
Batting average: 0.283 (2)
On-base percentage: 0.35 (3)
Slugging percentage: 0.431 (6)
Stolen bases: 14 (6)
Last seven games: 19 (.673 OPS)
Last 14 games: 18 (.689 OPS)
Last 28 games: 4 (.781 OPS)
Versus Righties: 6 (.782 OPS)
Versus lefties: 6 (.777 OPS)
Home: 8 (.761 OPS)
Away: 1 (.813 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 1 (.1008 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 20 (.553 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 1 (.1009 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 3 (.855 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 25 (.552 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 25 (.609 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 4 (.865 OPS)
First five innings: 2 (.823 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 4 (.754 OPS)

Sanchez: 24 years old right-hander, 6’4” 200 pounds.
Throws: fastball (94.6 mph, 73%), cutter (2%) curve (17%) changeup (8%)

Cleveland Indians Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 3.8 (23)
Home Runs: 14 (20)
Batting average: 0.233 (22)
On-base percentage: 0.293 (26)
Slugging percentage: 0.367 (19)
Stolen bases: 7 (21)
Last seven games: 9 (.759 OPS)
Last 14 games: 20 (.664 OPS)
Last 28 games: 21 (.660 OPS)
Versus Righties: 11 (.712 OPS)
Versus lefties: 26 (.583 OPS)
Home: 26 (.590 OPS)
Away: 14 (.694 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 28 (.463 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 14 (.593 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 20 (.692 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 9 (.738 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 25 (.552 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 19 (.649 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 14 (.670 OPS)
First five innings: 22 (.616 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 23 (.599 OPS)

Portland Trailblazers Coach: “We’ve Got to Close It Out”

Portland was in prime position to steal Home Court Advantage in Game 2 of its series against Golden State, but an awful fourth quarter doomed the Blazers. Terry Stotts, head coach of Portand, had this to say at his press conference.

Q. Do you feel like you guys missed a big opportunity in this game?
TERRY STOTTS: Well, yes and no. I mean, we played three really good quarters, and we showed that we can compete with them, and it got away from us in the fourth quarter, obviously. It was disappointing to lose a game that you’re competitive and you’re in a position to be in the fourth quarter. But we’ve got to close it out.

You know, it was an opportunity to get a win on the road, and we’ve got to learn from it and be ready to go get one in Game 3.

Q. What did you see from the Warriors defense in that fourth quarter particularly on Lillard?
TERRY STOTTS: They got more aggressive. They got more aggressive on the pick-and-rolls, both pick-and-rolls with Damian and C.J. Ezeli came in and had an impact on the game at both ends of the court. Because we didn’t get stops, we couldn’t play in transition, and as I said, they got into us not only on pick-and-rolls. But just they’re much more aggressive.

Q. You shuffled the defensive assignments. What was the rationale and if you like what you saw?
TERRY STOTTS: Yeah, I thought we made Thompson work for his shots. I thought Mo did a nice job of staying with them and contesting and trying to make it a little more difficult for them and Gerald when he was on him and even C.J. in the second half. He had 27, but certainly we did a better job on him tonight than we did in Game 1.

Q. How much confidence is still in that locker room? You guys have been in this situation before, down 0-2 and come back.
TERRY STOTTS: I think we have a lot of confidence going back to Moda Center. I think the fans are going to be great. We can get a little momentum on how we played in Game 2. You know, Game 3 is pivotal, obviously.

We did a nice job with the Clippers. We won Game 3, and with a toughness with the home court, and we’re going to need that same approach on Saturday.

Q. Could you talk about the difference between Game 1 and Game 2?
TERRY STOTTS: Obviously, the first quarter is the biggest difference between Game 1 and Game 2. We came out and were very aggressive at both ends of the court. We play with confidence. You know, Game 1 we were out of it and down 20 in the first quarter. So I think the way we came out and played in the first quarter put ourselves in a position to continue that throughout the rest of the game.

Q. This is going to be a longer gap than usual between games, between games 2 and 3. What affect, if any, do you think that will have on your team?
TERRY STOTTS: I think both teams will take tomorrow and rest a little bit. You know, we’ve been going at it for a while, and I think Thursday and Friday will be good for us. We can look for some things and see where we can get better. I’m sure it’s going to be the same for Golden State.

But the rest will certainly do us some good. Golden State’s been resting for a while. So, that going into our home court should be pretty good for us.

Spieth Visits Oakmont, Ready to Return to Golf

The US Open doesn’t get underway until the middle of June, but preparations are already underway. Jordan Spieth, 2015 Open Champion, visited Oakmont Pennsylvania to discuss the 2016 Open course and his outlook yesterday. Spieth says he’s over his Masters meltdown, and is ready to get back to golfing. Spieth hasn’t played since the Masters.

Pete Kowalski: We would like to welcome 2015 U.S. Open Champion Spieth to Oakmont, and Jordan, if I can just ask you the opening question, first time playing the golf course, your impressions?

Spieth: Yeah, it’s lived up and passed the hype it already receives from everybody. What a great test of golf and a very tough but fair test of golf. You can already tell, we had a great experience, played 27 holes, played the back nine yesterday evening and 18 holes this morning. So had a lot of fun with it and it’s going to be a great U.S. Open this year I think.

Kowalski: Now you didn’t have your regular bag carrier with you today. What is the name of your caddie, and what you learned from his input?

Spieth: Yeah, I had Danny who caddies out here and has for a little while, and was very helpful. Same with Jim who hosted us, they were both very helpful in pointing out, you know, different slopes on the greens, different — kind of keep your eye out for short-sided shots and how a lot of these greens, quite a few of them, pitch front to back, which is unusual, I would say, for golf courses now, and it forces you to really — you need to put the ball in the fairway.

I learned a lot. I learned a lot off of just playing a round and a half here. I have different impressions from what I already knew. These bunkers here may as well be bunkers in the U.K. They may as well be pot bunkers. You just kind of have to hit sideways out of them for the most part.

So they are very much hazards and you really don’t need a lot of drivers. I don’t think either of those points were of importance until playing it.

Q. Last year, there was a lot of risk/reward par 4s and this year you had 17, you played it twice, could be the ultimate in risk/reward. What’s your early impression of 17, especially as it would play as the 71st?
Spieth: I think what makes it is the way the green is sloped. You’ve got part of the green that pitches left-to-right on the front, you’ve got part of it that pitches right-to-left on the back and the reason that makes a difference is with the speed and the firmness of the greens during the U.S. Open, if you’re on the wrong side of that, it turns — and you go for it, you may miss it by ten feet, but all of a sudden you’re really struggling to try and make par.

I think that if you hit the right shot, you hit a 3-wood or driver off the tee and you hit it on the right line and you pull off the shot, you’re going to have a good look at birdie.

It’s one of the great par 4s, one of the great short par 4s in the world. It’s tough for me to tell, so it seems like it will play that way. It was a great par 4 when we played it. It was soft and the rough wasn’t up as high as it will be on the left side. But you could tell, it’s going to be dicey trying to make decisions there depending on where you are and where you stand.

Q. Is this your first time in the Pittsburgh area, and if not what connections do you have to the region?
Spieth: I was here playing in the Sunnehanna Amateur. I think it might have been in 2009 or 2010. It’s the only time I’ve been anywhere around Pittsburgh. That’s my only connection really. But got a lot of family, both my parents are from the Lehigh Valley area. So it’s a long ways away from here and quite a bit different, I understand that, but a lot of Pennsylvania connection in my family. Most of my family still lives in Pennsylvania.

Q. You mentioned about the bunkers. I was going to ask you what stood out to you that was different than maybe any idea you had from your simulator?
Spieth: I think they talk about how many trees have been taken out since, what, 1970, within the last I think 20 years, it’s been something like 5,000 taken out, or more. It throws off your depth.

It’s very difficult to understand, you get to a couple tee boxes, you think you can hit driver. All of the sudden, your ball has landed. You think it’s on the right side of the fairway, but it’s flown either 25 yards further or 25 yards shorter than you thought. That’s something that is nice having now played the golf course and understanding, not only going off the yardage book but visually gaining knowledge.

But the bunkers are hazards out here; not just the Church Pews, all of them. The Church Pews actually potentially could play as easier ones compared to some of the others depending on where you go on them. But it’s mainly just a chunked sand wedge out and play the hole in with a stroke penalty.

It’s like playing in the U.K. It will be interesting to see the firmness of the fairways. I think that if the fairways firm up a little but not too much and the greens are really firm, it will be a fantastic U.S. Open.

If the fairways get too firm, it could potentially be scary and could be almost too challenging to hold them in certain cases. But the USGA does a great job of walking that line between, you know, finding even to a couple under without not being rewarded for hitting good shots. And certainly at Oakmont, they know what they are doing here.

Q. Do you have any recollection of the last U.S. Open here at Oakmont? And what would it mean to join the list of great champions here that includes Hogan and Nicklaus, among others?
Spieth: I remember watching Angel just put on a clinic ball-striking. He can do that. I’ve played with Angel, actually in a U.S. Open. I played with him at Olympic Club for three rounds. I remember a little of it. I don’t remember a whole lot honestly.

But yeah, the history here, when you walk in and see the front half of the U.S. Open trophies in there and who has won it, Hogan and Nicklaus, and Sarazen going back, Angel obviously won a Masters, as well.

This is a golf course that I was telling Danny as we were walking in, he asked my impressions of it. I said the best player will come out on top this week. You will have no crazy circumstance or bounces or this or that. You have to golf your ball around this place, and the person who is in full control of their entire game will win this U.S. Open.

Q. Is the mental preparation different for this tournament than any other just because the score is going to be higher, no matter what?
Spieth: Yeah, quite a bit. Especially on this course, a lot of these holes, you can hit 4-iron off the tee and then hit 8-iron into the green, and chances are you’re in the fairway off the tee.

That way you’re going to get a pretty good shot at holding the green and having a birdie chance. But you always can look ahead and see that 15- to 20-yard area that you can fit a 3-wood or driver into and hit wedge, and you just have to have that patience.

It’s going to be a challenge. Especially if you fall behind early, you’re going to want to try and make up shots here, and in any U.S. Open, you can’t try and make up shots. You’ve just got to let the golf course come to you.

There are still enough birdie chances that you don’t have to take advantage of every short hole here. You have the par 5s. You have some holes where you can hit 3-iron, like No. 2, you can hit 3-iron, wedge or gap wedge into that hole.

Even No. 10, if it gets firm, you can hit 3-iron, wedge. You’re going to have — if you are hitting your long irons well off the tee, you’re going to have a good six to eight birdie opportunities, and that’s really — if you can do that in a U.S. Open, in any round on any golf course, you’re at an advantage to the field.

So mentally, you’ve got to realize that, and not only do you have to realize it; then you have to act on it. It’s tough. Chambers Bay was a bit different because it’s a lot of drivers, and it’s wider fairways. And sure, you can get into a lot of trouble there, but out here, you’re going to have to curve the ball into these fairways to hold it in the right places and you’ve got to take your medicine a lot more.

Q. Have to ask you about what you remember about playing at Sunnehanna and if at that time you envisioned yourself being here as the defending U.S. Open Champion?
Spieth: I certainly wouldn’t of at that time. I think I was maybe 16 playing in the Sunnehanna. At that point I was looking forward to getting to college before I did anything else (chuckling).

I know that Oakmont is in the rotation and I know that if you win a U.S. Open at Oakmont, you can go ahead and say that you’ve conquered the hardest test in all of golf, because this is arguably the hardest course in America day-to-day. Normally the hardest U.S. Open, at least what history shows. That would obviously be a tremendous honor. Any time you win the U.S. Open, you’ve won the hardest test in golf that year, but this is potentially the hardest test in all of golf.

I didn’t envision it then. My memory is there. It was a really fun tournament. I had great hosts. I think everybody kind of went on their own, traveled on their own to Sunnehanna and just kind of stayed in private housing. We all would hang out at night. It was a great time. I think it’s held in, I want to say June, as well. So similar time frame to the U.S. Open up here.

Q. You talked about having a wedge in your hand on five, six holes, and yet you say how hard it is. No winning score is under par here. Doesn’t that seem strange, you can have so many wedges in your hand in a U.S. Open?
Spieth: Not necessarily, when you look at holes like No. 9 being a par 4, and No. 1 starting out. You’ve got plenty of — having five or six wedges, we’re used to having even more than that.

So even though it’s a shorter golf course by yardage, it doesn’t play short. But you do have those wedges and on those holes, I’m not going to say it’s challenging with a wedge, because we’re professionals, with a wedge, we should be able to carve it into any kind of position from the fairway.

But there’s just so many other tough holes that par is going to be a fantastic score. I’d sign for even par right now for 72 holes in June. Obviously given the history, but also having played it.

Q. You told a funny story yesterday about being in the supermarket shortly after the Masters and two women coming up to you and asking you of you were okay and if you were going to be all right, and it was funny. Do you get a sense the public at large is pulling for you after the Masters coming into the Open?
Spieth: I’m not sure. Hard for me to tell. I haven’t played since. I’ll get to PLAYERS and kind of — you don’t search to try and feel what the crowd is giving you. You just hopefully, it’s the same as normal. We’ve had great support in the past. I could start to feel that energy from the crowd even during that round after the 12th hole. We went on and still had a chance to win, when it was pretty easy to give up at that time.

We never take the easy route. The crowd realized that. They were still behind us and still believed we could win. So started to feel it there. So hopefully have that kind of support here. If you’re playing well, people seem to be pretty excited about it, so that’s first and foremost.

Q. You said 3-irons, 4-irons off the tees. Where do you see possible drivers?
Spieth: Trying to go through the course in my head right now, it’s tough. There’s a couple really long par 4s on the front nine. All the par 5s, you can’t hit driver. When the tee is up on 12, it’s potentially a 3-wood, or when it’s not this makeshift tee that apparently we are going to be playing at 700 yards. When you’re at the normal tee up there, it could be 3-wood, just because there’s no room on the right side.

But yeah, there’s maybe two or three par 4s a side and the par 5s are drivers. Again, it just all depends on how it plays. If it rains, the rough is going to be thicker but the fairways are going to be softer, and it will play I think somewhat like Merion, if that’s the case.

But I think the hope for everybody is that this plays like Oakmont and that means this fescue dying out, being a golden brown, being firm fairways and firm and fast greens, so weather permitting, even those holes I’m saying, these six or seven, it may only be a couple drivers for some of the guys. 18 is a driver. Don’t hit it way right like I just did.

Q. Can you reiterate what you talked about yesterday, and how you got over the Masters experience to get ready now for another major tournament?
Spieth: It was 80 percent, 75 percent you have to do it yourself; and then 25 percent relying on my team, family, friends. And then mentors, messages I get from mentors, pretty much saying, hey, you’ve been in contention six out of the last eight majors, won a couple of them. Something like that; the wrong miss at the wrong time is bound to happen at some point. Whether you still win that major not.

I had the same exact miss at the U.S. Open last year. On 17 I made double-bogey and kind of squeaked it out at the end, but that was potentially the same kind of experience as the Masters. You’re going to be on the good end and bad end.

If you’re in it enough, you’re going to be on the good end and bad end of those situations, so keep putting ourselves in contention, and when we’re on the good end again, I’ll be able to enjoy it even more having experienced the other side of it

Cards Small Dogs to Scherzer, Nationals in Sunday MLB

Washington Nationals (-1.08) at St. Louis Cardinals (+1, 7 O/U )

Right-hander Max Scherzer, 2-1 with a 4.35 earned run average in 2015, will be the starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals in their road matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals. Scherzer has a 2-1 record this season and a 4.35 ERA through five starts. He allowed three runs in six innings against the Phillies his last time out, striking out seven and allowing seven hits. The Nationals are 3-2 in games started by him, and have gone over 67% of those games.

Right-hander Carlos Martinez will take the mound for the home team. Martinez is coming off one of the best starts of his career. He held the D-backs to three hits while throwing eight shutout innings for the second time in his career. Martinez has finished at least seven innings in three straight starts. The Cardinals have gone over the total in 100% of his starts. . The Washington Nationals are 12-11 on the year, with an over/under record of 8-12-2. St Louis is 12-11 this year, and 15-8-0 on totals. Temperatures are expected to be around 70° at game time tonight. Humidity will be at 54%.

Martinez: 25 years old right-hander, 6’0” 185 pounds.
Throws: fastball (94.3 mph, 60%), slider (21%), curve (5%) change up (15%)

Washington Nationals Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 3.71 (26)
Home Runs: 15 (15)
Batting average: 0.222 (26)
On-base percentage: 0.295 (24)
Slugging percentage: 0.363 (21)
Stolen bases: 3 (32)
Last seven games: 25 (.610 OPS)
Last 14 games: 16 (.702 OPS)
Last 28 games: 22 (.657 OPS)
Versus Righties: 24 (.631 OPS)
Versus lefties: 4 (.797 OPS)
Home: 20 (.644 OPS)
Away: 17 (.676 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 3 (.932 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 22 (.526 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 16 (.724 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 27 (.556 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 25 (.552 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 15 (.668 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 19 (.646 OPS)
First five innings: 14 (.704 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 25 (.518 OPS)

Scherzer: 32 years old right-hander, 6’3” 215 pounds.
Throws: fastball (93.8 mph, 56%), slider (21%), curve (9%) change up (13%)

St. Louis Cardinals Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 3.87 (22)
Home Runs: 11 (25)
Batting average: 0.261 (8)
On-base percentage: 0.32 (14)
Slugging percentage: 0.389 (12)
Stolen bases: 9 (15)
Last seven games: 12 (.728 OPS)
Last 14 games: 8 (.742 OPS)
Last 28 games: 12 (.709 OPS)
Versus Righties: 9 (.715 OPS)
Versus lefties: 19 (.681 OPS)
Home: 15 (.693 OPS)
Away: 10 (.719 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 6 (.818 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 6 (.657 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 11 (.767 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 22 (.612 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 25 (.552 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 10 (.722 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 13 (.696 OPS)
First five innings: 17 (.680 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 9 (.702 OPS)