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Thursday Night MLB Preview: Washington Nationals Vs. Colorado Rockies
Max Scherzer (11-9, 2.73 ERA) vs. Yohan Flande (2-1, 4.19 ERA)
Max Scherzer: At the beginning of July, Scherzer was a heavy favourite to win the NL CY Young award, but over the last month and a half, things have not been going well for All-Star. Since the beginning of July, Scherzer has gone 2-4 (over 9 starts) and seen his ERA grow by nearly a full point, his strikeout rate decline and his walk rate increase. There is a good chance Scherzer gets back into the win column, but his numbers improving in other categories is not overly likely.
Yohan Flande: Through 12 games in 2015 (4 Starts), Flande has actually been better at home, with an ERA of 3.98 in Denver, compared to 4.42 across all other Major League stadiums. The sample size is small though, as he has only pitched 38.2 innings this year, but it’s a positive sign to see for a team with little to nothing to play for in 2015. Flande has faced the Nationals three times in his career and so far he has not been able to slow them down. In 15.1 innings pitched (over 3 starts), Flande has an ERA of 5.87 and given up 3 home runs. The Nationals are desperately trying to get back in the playoff hunt and will feast upon Flande this Thursday night in Colorado.
The Collapse of a Juggernaut
When the season started, the Nationals entered as the odds-on favourite to win the World Series. Now the Washington Nationals are struggling to keep pace in the division race against the Mets and are even further back in the NL Wild Card race. What has happened to the Nationals? A string of injuries has decimated the Nationals roster and even after many of the players returned, they have struggled to play. A few players who have remained healthy, have begun to falter in the second half of the season, specifically starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Doug Fister. It has been a shame for a passionate Nationals fan base and outfielder Bryce Harper’s MVP calibre season will likely get lost in all of the disappointment.
There Must be Something in the Air
A lot of people are familiar with the fact the light air in Colorado allows for the ball to travel further and for a helluva a lot of runs to be scored, but how much does it impact the Rockies themselves. In 59 road games in 2015, the Rockies have scored 205 runs – an average of 3.48. In 58 home games (excluding Thursday nights results), the Rockies have scored 320 runs, averaging 5.52, more than a full 2 runs per game. The inflated offensive statistics do not just conclude there. The OPS of Rockies on the road is .671, a number low enough to rank dead last in the MLB. Their home OPS is a staggering .843, over .070 better than the top ranked MLB team in 2015. The Rockies and their opponent are usually are a smart betting option to produce a smorgasbord of runs in any game played at Coors Field.
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