Los Angeles Angels vs. Washington Nationals Preview
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
When: Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 1:05 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FS-W, MASN, MLB Network
Betting on the Los Angeles Angels (61-59)
The Los Angeles Angels’ battle in the AL’s wild card race got much tougher after falling 3-1 on Tuesday to the Washington Nationals in D.C. That defeat snapped Los Angeles’ six-game win streak as the team remains on the bubble for the fifth and final wild card spot.
The Angels, who are currently ranked in the bottom third of the majors when it comes to offensive production, only came up with three hits and a lone run courtesy of second baseman Cliff Pennington’s solo shot out of Nationals Park on Tuesday. They’ll certainly need to produce more than just one run in Wednesday’s series finale, especially with star slugger Albert Pujols expected to take the day off and with Ricky Nolasco (5-12, 5.24 ERA) set to take the mound.
Nolasco gave up five runs in five innings in his most recent start against the Mariners last Friday. The 34-year-old veteran has allowed five or more runs in four of his last seven starts, so the Angels would really be better off counting on their bats to end their short trip to The Capital on a high note.
Betting on the Washington Nationals (71-46)
Not one to be outdone by a sizzling team from the American League, the NL East-leading Washington Nationals showed their more apparent postseason form on Tuesday, picking up their fifth win in six games.
The Nationals, who’ve scored an NL-best 631 runs for the season thus far, needed just two solo homers from Howie Kendrick on offense to back up another fantastic outing from Tuesday’s starting ace, Gio Gonzalez. Kendrick, by the way, has a total of six RBIs over the past couple of days.
Tanner Roark (9-7, 4.74 ERA) will try to replicate Gonzalez’s stellar performance with one of his own to close out the two-game series against the Angels, and he’s in pretty good shape to do just that. The righty out of Illinois has turned things around in the second half of the season, boasting a more respectable 2.97 ERA in five starts since the All-Star Break compared to his 5.27 ERA from the first half.
Should Roark falter on Wednesday, Sean Doolittle will be ready to bail him and his team out once more. Doolittle picked up his ninth save in 10 tries this season during Tuesday’s win, and he’s allowed just four hits and not a single run in seven total innings of work this August. Even better, the Nats have won 14-straight contests whenever their standout lefty sees at least one full inning of action in relief.
The Nationals (-123) complete their two-game sweep of the Angels, 6-2.
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