Friday will be the final time that Washington Nationals fans will be able to see ace Stephen Strasburg in person as the NL Cy Young candidate will make his final home start of the season due to an innings limit. Bet on Marlins-Nationals and every game at WagerWeb.com.
Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh – Cubs LHP Travis Wood (4-11, 4.64) vs. Pirates RHP A.J. Burnett (15-5, 3.63): Wood is looking for his first win since July 6. He’s 0-8 in his last 10 starts, but has not given up more than three earned runs in six of his last seven outings, dating to Aug. 1. … Burnett shrugs off the possibility, but he has to win his last five starts, beginning with this one, to reach 20 for the first time in his career. He comes off his first quality start of the last five, but is winless in last three.
Colorado at Philadelphia – Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (5-4, 5.73) vs. Phillies LHP Cliff Lee (4-7, 3.52): Francis has been allowed to exceed the Rockies-prescribed pitch count of 75 in four of his last five starts. Colorado is 4-1 in those games. This season, Francis has struck out 55 and walked just 18 in 86 1/3 innings. … Lee threw seven scoreless innings Saturday in Atlanta. He has won back-to-back starts for the first time since he won seven straight starts July 30 to Sept. 5, 2011. He has a 1.31 ERA in his past three starts.
Miami at Washington – Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (1-3, 7.33) vs. Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 2.94): Turner was perfect through three in his home debut, but he gave up four runs in the fourth. In five frames, he surrendered five runs on six hits, including two homers. He has 11 strikeouts and has yet to allow a walk in two Marlins starts. … In his first full season back from Tommy John Surgery, Strasburg, 24, has thrown 156 1/3 innings, including six dominant innings on Sunday. He struck out nine batters, allowed no runs, two hits and walked one batter. His final start will come Sept. 12 in New York.
Atlanta at NY Mets – Braves LHP Paul Maholm (11-9, 3.79) vs. Mets LHP Jon Niese (10-8, 3.55): Maholm will attempt to bounce back from his ugly two-inning performance against the Phillies on Sunday. He needed 41 pitches to complete a five-run first inning. He totaled 95 pitches in a shutout against the Mets on Aug. 10. … Five of the nine hits against Niese went for extra bases last time out against the Phillies, putting him on the hook for his eighth loss. Because of the Mets’ modified six-man rotation, Niese will receive seven days of rest between outings.
Houston at Cincinnati – Astros RHP Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.81) vs. Reds RHP Homer Bailey (10-9, 4.09): Harrell has been the Astros’ most consistent starting pitcher this year, accounting for 10 of the team’s 42 wins. He ranks first in the Major Leagues in innings pitched by a rookie with 165 1/3, and second in the NL in strikeouts by a rookie (116). … Bailey is searching for his first win in five outings, despite pitching well enough for a ‘W’ on Saturday. Bailey gave up just three hits, including a solo homer to Houston, striking out nine, but fell victim to poor run support in the no-decision.
Milwaukee at St. Louis – Brewers RHP Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.79) vs. Cardinals RHP Kyle Lohse (14-2, 2.81): Gallardo didn’t have it against the Pirates on Sunday, allowing seven runs in 4 2/3 innings and snapping a run of six consecutive starts in which he worked at least through the seventh. … Lohse battled Saturday without his best command or a sharp defense behind him. Still, his effort wasn’t as bad as his line would suggest. Lohse has been as consistent as anyone on this staff, and he leads the league with an .875 winning percentage.
Arizona at San Diego – Diamondbacks LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-1, 2.60) vs. Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (3-3, 3.44): Skaggs will be making his fourth Major League start. He was acquired from the Angels in a Trade Deadline deal in 2010. The left-hander allowed one run over five innings against the Dodgers in Los Angeles in his last start. … Cashner makes his first start since July 3, the day he suffered a strained right lat muscle that caused him to miss 51 games. He’ll likely go five or so innings or 70 pitches. He started the season in the bullpen, but moved into the rotation in June.
LA Dodgers at San Francisco – Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett (6-12, 5.03) vs. Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (8-14, 5.21): Beckett may not be the pitcher he was a few years ago, but he proved in his last start that he was no throw-in to the blockbuster trade with the Red Sox. He struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings while allowing just one run against Arizona. … Lincecum has been more consistent in the second half and has been effective against the Dodgers this season. He is 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA since the All-Star break, and also has a 2-1 record with a 2.55 ERA in three starts this season vs. the Dodgers.