2021-09-19
Colorado Rockies
Washington Nationals
League : MLB

Washington Nationals vs Colorado Rockies Prediction & Preview



 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

Pitching Matchup

Colorado: Jon Gray (RHP) 8-10, 4.16 ERA

Washington: Paolo Espino (RHP) 4-5, 4.18 ERA

The Colorado Rockies have been struggling this season as they are fourth in the NL West with a 70-78 record. They will be sending their ace Jon Gray to the mound and he is coming off a win over the Atlanta Braves where he went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

The Washington Nationals have been struggling as of late as they are out of playoff contention with a 60-88 record. They will have right-hander Paolo Espino on the mound as he is coming off a losing effort against the Miami Marlins where he went six innings and allowed a run on six hits with three walks (one intentional) and six strikeouts.

 

Rockies Stepping Up

The Colorado Rockies have been an average offensive team this season as they are 13th in the majors with a .731 OPS up to this point. This lineup has shown the ability to score runs as they are scoring 4.61 runs per game this year. Looking at the last 15 days (13 games), the Rockies are scoring five runs per game while having a .243/.309/.459 slashline in that stretch. First baseman C.J. Cron has been hitting extremely well this season as he has an .890 OPS with 27 home runs and 83 RBI. If the Rockies can continue hitting as well as they have been, they will be in a good spot.

 

Jon Gray has been pitching decently well this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the 84th percentile in barrel percentage, 74th percentile in xSLG, 65th percentile in xERA, and 62nd percentile in xBA. His 89.1 MPH exit velocity is the lowest since 2017. He has a four-pitch arsenal (fastball, slider, changeup, curveball) and his slider has been his best pitch as it has a .153 batting average and 88 strikeouts. He faced the Nationals once back in 2019 as he did not factor into the decision as he went four innings and allowed a run on two hits with five walks (one intentional) and four strikeouts.

 

Capital of Offense?

The Washington Nationals have been hitting well this season as they are tied with the Chicago White Sox for fifth with a .754 OPS. This lineup has been patient at the plate as they have 501 total walks (3.39 walks per game) so far. In the month of September, the Nationals have been hitting pretty well as in 17 games they are scoring 4.94 per game with a .797 OPS. Right fielder Juan Soto has been incredible at the plate this season as he has a .987 OPS with 25 home runs and 85 RBI with nine stolen bases in 15 attempts. If Washington can continue to build on this, they can win some extra games down the stretch.

 

 

 

Paolo Espino has been struggling this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the fifth percentile in barrel percentage, eighth percentile in xSLG, 16th percentile in BA, 16th percentile in hard-hit percentage. His 11.7 barrel percentage is the lowest of his career. Espino has four different pitches (fastball, curveball, slider, changeup) and his changeup has a .462 batting average and an .846 slugging percentage. This will be the first time he faces the Rockies in his career so it will be interesting to see how he attacks this lineup.







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