Great news baseball fans, opening day is only nine days away. The pitching match ups have been announced and will see some of the best in the business face off on opening day. Here is the top two NL matchups to look forward to.
Washington Nationals Vs. New York Mets
Offseason moves for each team: The New York Mets and Washington Nationals have both retooled and have their eyes set on surpassing the Atlanta Braves for the NL East title.
Washington has started the post-Bryce Harper era and has done a great job of replacing him. They have called up their top prospect in Victor Robles to patrol center. The front office fixed their catching problem by signing former National Kurt Suzuki and trading for Yan Gomes from Cleveland. They then signed Brian Dozier to a one year deal to play second base. Washington also added to their position of strength by signing the top pitcher on the marker in Patrick Corbin.
New Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen pulled off a blockbuster trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. He then added former National Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, Justin Wilson and Jeurys Familia.
These two teams have two of top five the best pitching rotations in the game. Opening day will be the first of many matchups of the two rivals as they gear up for an NL East arms race.
Pitching matchup: This matchup will see the two best pitchers in the game face off in Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. deGrom won the NL Cy Young last year while Scherzer finished second. Having these two aces face off on opening day is a dream come true.
Washington hosts a potent offense that will be tested by deGrom. The Nationals hit .160 against him and have struck out 67 times in 184 at-bats.
Scherzer has also dominated the Mets. He has held the Mets to .195 against him with 77 strikeouts in 200 at bats. Scherzer and deGrom rarely give up runs and both teams have top tier closers. Whoever scores first may end up winning the game.
What matchup to be most excited about: Trea Turner Vs. deGrom
Trea Turner is hitting .280 against deGrom with one home run in 25 at bats. deGrom has also been able to dominate Turner at times as he has struck him out 10 times. Turner’s biggest offensive strength comes on the basepaths. If deGrom can continue to strike him out, he will cripple the Nats’ offense.
St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Offseason moves for each team: The Milwaukee Brewers ended the Cubs run atop the NL Central by winning their first division title since 2011. The Brew Crew were one win away from the World Series and responded by re-signing Mike Moustakas. They also added one of the best defensive catchers in the game in Yasmani Grandal.
The St. Louis Cardinals pulled off a blockbuster trade for Paul Goldschmidt and added reliever Andrew Miller. If Miller can stay healthy, he is one of the best relievers in the game. The Cardinals are hoping Jack Flaherty can take the next step and be their new ace.
The Cardinals have taken the next step to battle the Brewers and Cubs for NL Central supremacy. Opening Day will be the first glimpse of what is to come in 2019. This year may see the Cardinals-Brewers rivalry of old.
Pitching matchup: The matchup will see Jhoulus Chacin face off against Miles Mikolas. Last year Chacin was the best pitcher for the Brewers. In 2018 he went 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA and 156 strikeouts. The Cardinals should be excited for this matchup as they hit .275 against Chacin.
The Brewers hit .245 against the Cardinals ace. He has struck them out 21 times in 94 at-bats.
What matchup to be most excited about: Paul Goldschmidt Vs. Chacin
Goldschmidt is hitting .273 against Chacin with one home run and seven RBI in 22 at bats. He has also walked five times and stuck out five times against Chacin. If Chacin can limit Goldschmidt, then it will go a long way to keeping the potent Cardinals offense under control.
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