Friday night’s pitching matchup between Julio Teheran and Stephen Strasburg should be fun to watch and may perhaps develop into a rivalry between the young, talented hurlers.
For the Braves, Teheran (3-1, 3.67) has arguably been the hottest pitcher in the rotation over the past month. In May, Teheran has gone 2-1 and posted a 2.25 ERA while striking out 15 batters to just four walks in 28 innings. The four walks is the lowest among starters, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks second behind Mike Minor.
This will already be the third time that Teheran gets a look at the Nationals. He didn’t factor into either decision — both Braves wins — and scattered 10 hits but allowed just two earned runs in 5.1 innings in his last outing against the division rival.
The Nationals turn to a talented right-hander themselves in Strasburg (3-5, 2.49), who has looked especially dominant in his last three starts. In those starts, Strasburg recorded two wins and allowed just three earned runs over 23 innings while striking out 20 batters.
Strasburg has been mediocre in his young career against the Braves, posting a 3-4 record and 3.51 ERA. He has also faced the Braves twice this season, picking up the loss in the April 13 meeting. The righty has had his struggles with select Braves hitters, with Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman all hitting .300 or better against him with at least 15 plate appearances. He will have to deal with many of those bats throughout the middle of the order if the Nationals are going to win on Friday.
The weekend series between the Braves and Nationals is a big series for both teams with the Braves looking to keep the Nationals in their rear view mirror, while the Nationals hope to get within striking distance of the division lead.
What better way to start this key series than having Teheran and Strasburg on the hill?