Both pitchers look to round out the month of August with their fourth respective win in five tries. Hand is 3-1 and has gone at least six innings in every start this month. Meanwhile, Strasburg is 3-1 and hasn't given up more than two runs in any appearance in August.
Hand is coming off possibly his best start of the season -- maybe even his career. He went eight-plus innings and gave up only two runs in a dominant win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A victory on Sunday would help Hand add to his already career-best in wins (4).
Strasburg, sitting at 87 innings pitched on the year, hopes to turn in a solid start for a Washington team in the midst of a division-title and Wild Card race.
|MIAMI MARLINS||WASHINGTON NATIONALS|
|Dee Gordon - 2B||Jayson Werth - LF|
|Ichiro Suzuki - RF||Anthony Rendon - 3B|
|Martin Prado - 3B||Bryce Harper - RF|
|Justin Bour - 1B||Ryan Zimmerman - 1B|
|Derek Dietrich - LF||Ian Desmond - SS|
|Marcell Ozuna - CF||Wilson Ramos - C|
|Adeiny Hechavarria - SS||Danny Espinosa - 2B|
|Jeff Mathis - C||Michael Taylor - CF|
|Brad Hand - LHP||Stephen Strasburg - RHP|
In a small sample size, lefty Justin Bour has had a bit of success against Sunday's starter. Bour is 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a pair of walks in five plate appearances against Strasburg this season. Ichiro Suzuki is 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored against the big righty.
On the other side, Hand is facing a team that likes to hit lefties. Ryan Zimmerman, hitting clean-up, is 6-for-8 with four doubles and three runs scored against the lefty since 2011. Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon have had some success against Hand, as well. Harper is 3-for-10 with a triple, home run and four RBIs versus Hand, while Rendon is 5-for-11 with two doubles, three RBIs and a pair of runs scored.
- The Nationals currently hold just a 1.5-game lead above the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card race. With the Mets' recent surge, the Nats are beginning to fall behind in the NL East.
- Miami has actually had a decent amount of success against the Nationals this season. The Fish are 6-5 against their division rival.
- The 27-year-old Strasburg has more starts against the Marlins (21) than any other opponent since debuting in the big leagues back in 2010.
- If Miami is going to win, it will need to get to Strasburg early. Make him throw a lot of pitches in inning one through three.
Bold Prediction: Marlins beat Nationals 5-4.