7:05 PM ET, September 13, 2013
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia: Kendrick (10-12, 4.51 ERA)
Washington: Strasburg (7-9, 2.96 ERA)
The Washington Nationals have tried hard to reduce their sizable deficit in the NL wild card race. Tonight the Nationals will continue trying as their send Stephen Strasburg the mound as they meet the Philadelphia Phillies and Kyle Kendrick.
The Nationals (77-69) earned their season-high sixth consecutive victory and completed a four-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 7-2 win Thursday. Ryan Zimmerman hit the first of Washington’s four home runs and pushed them within 5 1/2 games of the Cincinnati Reds for the NL’s final playoff berth.
The Nationals will try to get even closer with a fifth straight home victory versus the Phillies (68-78) and sixth in seven overall matchups.
YouWager experts consider the Nationals have a great chance at earning that win behind Strasburg. The right-hander’s 2-0 with a 0.39 ERA in three starts versus Philadelphia this season, and has totaled 29 strikeouts and three walks in 23 innings.
Strasburg (7-9, 2.96 ERA) gave up four runs over six innings in his latest outing Sunday versus the Miami Marlins but benefited from generous run support in a 6-4 win, his first since pitching a four-hitter against the Phillies on Aug. 11 for his first shutout.
The Nationals pitcher will be facing Kendrick (10-12, 4.51), loser in a career high-tying four consecutive decisions and four straight starts away from the road.
The right-hander is also 1-6 with a 6.08 ERA in his last nine starts but had a solid outing Saturday versus the Atlanta Braves. He gave up three runs and four hits over six innings while matching a career high with eight strikeouts in that 6-5 win.
The Phillies come into this MLB series after earning their five victories in six games, 10-5 over the San Diego Padres on Thursday. Philadelphia’s top four hitters — Cesar Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz — were a combined 9 for 13 with eight RBIs and played a significant role in a six-run first.