The Washington Nationals travel to Cincinnati today to take on the Cincinnati Reds and they do so after having lost three games in a row. The Nationals are now 18-34 on the season and they have the third worst run differential in the league. The Cincinnati Reds haven’t done much better putting up a 17-32 record overall, but they just won a game from the red-hot Red Sox and they’ve won six of their last 10 games. The Reds were 14-13 in May after a 3-15 April and that is including an 8-5 home record.
Joan Adon is pitching for the Nationals, and he is a very young rookie. He has pitched well in just two of his ten starts this season and both of those starts came at home. He is 0-4 with a 6.87 ERA on the road and he has walking issues. I think the Reds will be able to take advantage of that today. Adon is in the bottom five in the league in ERA for qualified pitchers.
Graham Ashcraft is making just his third career Major League start for the Reds and he pitched very well in both of his first appearances. He allowed just two earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched in his first start but that was on the road against the tough Blue Jays lineup. In his second start, he pitched 6.1 innings without allowing a run, and that was against the tough Giants lineup at home. The Nationals hit righties very well overall, but they have been shutout in each of the past two games.
The Reds are also very capable of getting in a shootout, their bats have been very good at home recently. They are 9-12 at home overall and they have been much better lately. The Reds also have a solid backend of the bullpen. Tony Santillan and Alexis Diaz are both rested and are actually very good for the Reds bullpen. The Nats are solid at the backend of their bullpen as well, but they really don’t have many options other than that. Since May 8, the Reds have the 5 th best record in the league. They are 13-8 overall, and 7-4 at home in that span. The Nats on the other hand are 8-14 since May 8, good for fourth worst in the league. That includes a 2-7 record on the road. I like the Reds at home here.