The Washington Nationals will capture an important home win against their National League rivals, the Atlanta Braves, on Wednesday. The reason: Look for Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to outduel the Braves’ Kris Medlen.
Zimmermann is coming off a stellar performance against the Milwaukee Brewers in which he threw six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. The other key here is his home track record. Admittedly, he’s coming off of two rocky outings at Nationals Park, but overall this season he’s 9-2 with a robust 2.83 ERA there. Zimmermann should also come into this game with swagger as Atlanta hitters have mustered just a .178 batting average in 81 career plate appearances against the pitcher.
As for Atlanta’s Medlen, he is a pitcher who requires tremendous command with his pitches to succeed and it appears that magic isn’t quite as strong this season as it was last year when he had breakout success. In three second half starts in 2013, he has a 5.19 ERA. Being away from home doesn’t help either. On the road he’s 4-5 with a 4.43 ERA. Look for Washington to prevail and take them at 1.72.
The New York Mets’ Matt Harvey probably won’t throw too many more games (as the young pitcher will be limited in the number of innings he throws this year in order to protect his electric arm). So before he gets shut down, use this opportunity to take a proposition on his success in a match up against the Colorado Rockies.
Harvey has had a tremendous season this year – his first full campaign in the Major Leagues. He’s 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA and leads the National League in strikeouts with 172. While the Mets’ front office is worrying about the strain of a long season on his 24-year-old arm, Harvey hasn’t shown any deterioration in performance as the year has dragged on.
Since the All Star break he’s gone 1-1 with a 1.31 ERA. Throwing at Citi Field is also an advantage for Harvey who boasts a 2.03 ERA in 12 home starts. As for his history against the Rockies, it’s brief but impressive. In one start versus Colorado last year, Harvey went six innings, allowing just one run and three hits. Generally speaking, the Rockies are a dismal road team. Their winning percentage away from Denver is around .375, which is horrid.
They won’t get too much of a bounce from their starter, Chad Bettis. This will be just Bettis’ second Big League start. In his debut, he gave up five runs in five innings. Before that opportunity, he’d never pitched about the Double-A minor league level, which is two rungs below the Majors.
Nationals to beat the Braves at 1.72.
Mets to beat the Rockies at 1.57.