For only the second time this season, Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg will take the mound after a loss as he faces the division-rival Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon. Washington is a -140 favorite on Bovada’s baseball odds.
Check out Bovada’s Sports Welcome Bonus: Sign up and deposit for your 20% Free Bet Bonus up to $100
Strasburg’s six-start winning streak ended on Monday in a 4-2 defeat to Colorado, his first-ever start at Coors Field. The right-hander suffered the loss despite striking out eight batters, walking only one, and hitting an RBI double. Over the last three seasons, only one of the previous 16 pitchers to put up similar numbers (at least eight strikeouts, no more than one walk, an extra-base hit and an RBI) failed to win.
Strasburg (9-2, 2.60), who leads the NL in strikeouts, allowed three runs and six hits vs. the Rockies. He had not allowed more than two runs in each of his past four starts. Strasburg was trying to become the first Washington-based pitcher to win seven straight starts since Bob Porterfield did it in his final seven starts for the Senators in 1953. The last pitcher from the Nationals franchise to win seven straight starts was Pedro Martinez in 1997 for the Montreal Expos, who moved to Washington.
Strasburg has faced the Braves twice this season. On May 26 in Atlanta, he got the win despite one of his worst starts of the year, allowing four runs, six hits and walking four in five innings. He then faced Atlanta on June 2 in D.C., and had one of his best starts of the year, shutting out the Braves on four hits and striking out nine in seven innings. Strasburg completed seven shutout innings for the first time in his major league career. He opened the game by striking out the first four Braves batters. Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla seems to have Strasburg’s number, however. He is hitting .833 with a homer and five RBIs in six at-bats vs. Strasburg.
Atlanta is set to start lefty Mike Minor (3-6, 6.14). He was rocked for seven in 4.2 innings by Boston his last time out and allowed three more homers – Minor has surrendered a National League-high 18 home runs this season. He opposed Strasburg on May 26, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings just as Strasburg did. Danny Espinosa hit a three-run bomb off Minor in that one.