Shaky Pitching Highlights Game 1
The Washington Nationals head to Southern California on Thursday to kick off a four-game series against the San Diego Padres. While the Padres are struggling at 5-5 in their last 10, the Nationals continue to be one of the worst teams in the MLB.
Washington went 3-7 in its last ten and is now 37.5 games out of first place in the National League East. To put how bad the Nats are into perspective, they trail the fourth-place Marlins by 13.5 games and have no chance of making anything of this season.
Sanchez Searching for First Win
As if things weren’t going bad enough for the 39-80 Nationals, their starter on Thursday has yet to win a game this season. To be fair to Anibal Sanchez, he has only made six starts in 2022. But he’s been objectively awful in those starts with a 7.20 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 30 innings.
Sanchez’s last game might have been his best, but he still allowed three runs in five innings against this same Padres team. Sanchez’s career numbers against the Padres don’t inspire much confidence either. In 63 career at-bats, the current Padres lineup is hitting .317 with a 1.009 OPS against Sanchez.
The Washington Nationals might be able to overcome Sanchez’s struggles, but their offense ranks 26th in runs per game and 28th in isolated power. With the tragic combination of a bad pitcher and an arguably worse offense, the Nationals are in a bad spot on Thursday.
Darvish Having Rough Month
The San Diego Padres rely on their top 10 rotation to do the heavy lifting, and, for most of the year, Yu Darvish has been a big part of their success. However, the veteran righty has been struggling in the second half. After ending July with a 3.24 ERA on the year, Darvish is currently sporting a 4.50 mark in three August starts.
The good news is that two of those games came against top offenses in the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers. The bad news, however, is that Darvish got beat up by this same Nationals team on Saturday to the tune of four runs in six innings. He fanned nine batters along the way, but the Padres lost 4-3.
Traditionally, Darvish pitches very well against this team. In 52 all-time at-bats, the current Nats lineup has a paltry .154 average with four extra-base hits and 14 strikeouts.
Nationals vs Padres Head-to-Head
The Nats and Padres will meet for the fourth time this season on Thursday night in Game 1. The Friars hold a slim 2-1 season series lead over the Nationals, with both wins coming in Washington. San Diego also leads the season series against the spread at 2-1. The last two games between these two NL teams went under the nine-run total.
Nationals vs Padres Game Information
- Game: Nationals (39-80) vs Padres (66-54)
- Location: Petco Park, San Diego
- Day/Time: Thursday, Aug. 18, 9:40 p.m. ET
- Nationals vs Padres Live Stream: MLB.tv
Nationals vs Padres Betting Lines
A. Sanchez -R
|San Diego Padres
Y. Darvish -R
Nationals vs Padres Prediction
We are a bit worried about Darvish’s recent issues, but the Nationals do so much wrong it’s impossible to trust them in most games. Washington enters this series with an awful 41.2% cover rate overall and 38.7% against National League opponents. The Nats are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games and 1-5 ATS in their previous six road games.
Of the two starters, we trust Darvish more to pull it together and get his season back on track. On the other hand, Sanchez has done nothing to inspire confidence that he has the chops to pull out of this tailspin.