The Reds return to Great American Ball Park this weekend to take on the last place Washington Nationals. After a somewhat rough road trip that saw the Reds go 4-6, including three straight losses to the Cubs, the Reds will certainly welcome a return home. They last faced Washington in early July, pulling off a rare four game sweep on the road. Check out our preview of the Nationals from prior to that series for an in-depth look into their team.
The Nationals’ offense ranks 22nd in the Majors with a 93 wRC+ this season. Much of their offensive production this season has been provided by third baseman Jeimer Candelario, the lone National dealt away at this year’s trade deadline, and a name all too familiar to Reds fans over the past few days.
Without Candelario, the Nationals are left with outfielders Lane Thomas, Stone Garrett, and Victor Robles as the lone players with an above average wRC+ this season.
The Reds are fortunate to miss the Nationals’ best starting pitchers in MacKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray in this series. Instead, they’ll get left hander Patrick Corbin on Friday and right hander Jake Irvin on Sunday. Saturday’s starter has not yet been announced.
Washington’s bullpen has the second worst ERA in the Majors this year. They’re also worst in FIP and second worst in xFIP, so it’s clear that their true talent level still has them at the bottom of the league. Here are some stats for a few notable Washington RPs, via FanGraphs:
The key takeaway is that the 2023 Washington Nationals are not a good baseball team. They’re one the Reds had been able to handle quite well earlier this season, and there’s nothing that leads us to believe it should be any different this time around. The Reds will look to capitalize on the matchup this weekend to rebound and put themselves in a better position in the division and wild card picture.
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