Nationals vs Rays Prediction
The Washington Nationals and The Tampa Bay Rays will compete in the first of a two-game series, as both teams sit in second in their respective divisions. The Rays had a day off on Monday and should be well-rested. Washington played a makeup game against the Mets Monday, which they won 8-4. Look for my Nationals vs Rays prediction right here!
Tampa Bay has been one of the most inconsistently good teams in the MLB this year. They recently are coming off of a 4 game winning streak, two apiece versus the Red Sox and Angels. And previously, they were on a 7 game losing streak to the Mariners and the White Sox. The Rays still have the third-best record in the MLB and look to add some wins in Washington.
The Nationals have been steady all year long, with an even record of 38-38. They have played well in their last 10 games with a 7-3 record. The NL East division race is tight, with each of the top 4 teams within 5 games. This is a very important series for the Nationals to potentially pull away into first, with the Mets and Braves going at it this week.
The Washington Nationals Have Played Well All Year, But Are Stuck In The Middle
The NL East is filled with good teams, but nobody has emerged as elite. The Nationals have the potential to be good but need to win the games against lesser opponents like the Marlins. Offensively, Washington has swung the bats great but hasn’t scored the runs as they would like to. Pitching has been above average this year.
Kyle Schwarber has been en fuegoooo! In his past 9 games, he has 4 with multiple home runs. He has been drilling the ball and helped the Nats in this impressive 10-game stretch. His most recent two-dinger performance was the last game against the Mets. Trea Turner and Gerardo Parra both went deep to give the Nationals an 8-4 win.
The Nationals rotation has been great all year, led by Max Scherzer’s brilliance. Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester, and Joe Ross, who will take the mound in this game, have all been solid. Joe Ross comes in with a 4.12 ERA and a 4-7 record. I expect the Nationals to stay hot offensively and help out Ross to get his 5th win.
The Rays Have Bounced Back in the Past Week and Look to Claim First
The Tampa Bay Rays have been great all year and have won 4 of the last 5 games. Their offense has been average in all major categories, with the exception of runs. And runs win games. The Rays have been very clutch and have continued to have big innings with lots of runs to show for.
Last game against the Angels, Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi went deep, but they lost 6-4. Randy Arozarena, Yandy Diaz, and Austin Meadows have all been consistent for the Rays and helped out the pitching stuff with timely hits. Wander Franco has struggled so far, going just 3-22.
Rich Hill is taking the mound for the Rays and has had success. He holds a 3.52 ERA and a 6-2 record. Tampa Bay’s defense this year has helped out the pitching a whole lot this year, as they have a 0.988 fielding percentage. This game should be a fun one, but I think the Nationals take this one 5-2.