The Washington Nationals are gearing up for a National League East race against two emerging contenders, and they are stockpiling arms for the bullpen as they duke it out with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
Kelvin Herrera was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for prospects, and he becomes another vital cog in a formidable in a relief crew that also includes Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler, all of who have made at least one All-Star appearance in their careers.
In effect, they beat a lot of other teams to the punch, getting a deal done well in advance of the trading deadline. Going into Tuesday’s action, the Nats were tied for second place with the Phillies, 3.5 games behind the Braves.
And on Tuesday, it’s the start of a series against the Baltimore Orioles, a geographic rival and the last-place team in the AL East, with a starting time of 7:05 PM ET at Nationals Park. In the baseball betting odds posted at BetAnySports, the Nats are -188 favorites, with a total of nine runs (Over -120, Under +100).
Washington needs help, as Kintzler is on the DL, joining starters Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson there. With a shortage of healthy arms in the rotation, Jefry Rodriguez makes his first major league start. And he’ll likely need plenty of bullpen support. Herrera, a two-time All-Star, has been in good form, with a 1.05 ERA and 0.82 WHIP for the Royals this season.
A lot of eyes will continue to be on Juan Soto, the 19-year-old sensation who played only eight games above Single A before coming to the nation’s capital, who now has six homers and a .325 average.
More on tonight’s game, from the folks at STATS Inc.