The Washington Nationals have been flying up the NL East in recent weeks, as they look to build on an 8-1 record in their previous nine games. It puts them a half game ahead of the Phillies with a record of 45-41. Getting surpassed by the Nationals and slipping to 3rd is a horrible look for Philadelphia. This is a team who paid all of this money to Bryce Harper to make them the clear choice in the NL East. A lot of us seen it coming, though.
Other than Phillies’ fans who were caught up in the hoopla of acquiring a mega-star, there were others suggesting that that was a terrible deal for a guy known to be overrated. Is calling him overrated justified? Considering the price tag that goes along with Bryce, it’s certainly not overreaching to say that much. And I’m not even talking about this season. It took him a while to heat up last season, and having to wait shouldn’t be in the cards for a guy making his money. Rightfully so, he was left out of All-Star festivities this season.
The Nationals are liking what’s happening here. Despite Bryce passing up on them in the offseason, they’re currently ahead of his new team. It would be an added kick to the teeth if the Nats are going to the postseason in October, while he is watching from home. Then again, if that’s the case, I don’t think he would be watching and doing anything to take his mind off baseball. With a healthy Anthony Rendon in the second-half, the Nationals could be a dark horse candidate in the National League. They’ve been undervalued recently, and I think might be getting disrespected again today. Head below for our free Royals vs. Nationals pick.
K.C. Royals vs. Washington Nationals Pick:
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Both of these teams have been on runs recently. But it has been runs in the opposite direction. The Nationals are winners in eight of their previous nine games, while the Royals are 2-8 in their last ten games. KC heads into this weekend in Washington with four losses in a row, with losses against the Blue Jays once and Indians thrice in a sweep. With a record of 29-59, the Royals are only ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League.
Either way, both teams are crummy and likely going to be that way for the foreseeable future. The Royals have the World Series in 2015 to look back on, though. They were also a competitive team for several years after playing like, well, exactly how they are now for a long time. Back to the basement of the major leagues for the Royals.
The Royals will send out Brad Keller to the bump, as he makes his 19th start of 2019. Inconsistent is a good way to describe Keller. He can chew up innings and give good work on the mound. However, there’s also the bad Keller who gets beaten into the ground. In two of his last four starts he didn’t allow a run.
In his other two starts, Keller was drilled for a total of 17 hits and 13 runs. Typically, when he’s good it’s at home, and then when the Royals ask him to pitch on the road things go south. Keller owns an ERA of 4.63 with a 1.42 WHIP and .344 OBA in 105 innings overall, and on the road a 5.08 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. In his last three outings, he’s produced a 9.75 ERA and 2.00 WHIP.
For the Nationals, they’ve seemed to figure out their bullpen woes. As soon as they did that, the wins started to pile up of late. As a collective unit, the Nationals have allowed an average of just 1.5 runs per game. Austin Voth will look to continue that goodwill with a strong performance Friday.
Outside of a brutal game in which he allowed 7 runs to the Mets in his first start of the year, Voth has been pretty good. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a start since then and home has been kind to him. Voth has a 3.00 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in Washington as opposed to a 6.23 ERA and 1.85 WHIP on the road. Ride the hot hand and the Nationals on Friday at home.