Chad Kuhl To Open Series Against The Washington Nationals

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

At 7:05 PM tonight, the Pittsburgh Pirates will hand the ball to Chad Kuhl as they begin a 3-game series with the Washington Nationals at PNC Park.

Tonight, the Pittsburgh Pirates will go for their third consecutive victory. At 7:05 PM the Pirates will begin a 3-game series with the Washington Nationals. To start the series, the Pirates will turn to right-handed pitcher Chad Kuhl.

The Nationals enter this series with a National League best 24-13 record. They are led by a high-powered offense that has scored a National League leading 224 runs so far this season. The next closest team, the Brewers, have scored 201.

Bryce Harper (216 wRC+), Ryan Zimmerman (212 wRC+), Jayson Werth (140 wRC+), and Daniel Murphy (134 wRC+) are all off to scorching hot starts. Harper (12) and Zimmerman (13) have combined to hit 25 home runs already this season.

It will be Chad Kuhl’s job to try and slow down the Washington offense. Kuhl has made 7 starts this season and owns a 3.78 FIP and 5.05 xFIP in 31 innings pitched. He is averaging 7.26 K/9, 4.09 BB/9, and has allowed just a pair of home runs.

In his fourth start of the season, Chad Kuhl allowed 9 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks against the Chicago Cubs. This came in just 1 2/3 innings of work. Outside of this start, Kuhl has done a nice job of pitching consistently this season. Kuhl has allowed just 11 earned runs on 28 hits, 10 walks, and a home run in 28 1/3 innings pitched in his other 6 starts.

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to start for the Nationals tonight. In 7 starts this inning he has averaged 8.68 K/9, 2.51 BB/9, 0.58 HR/9, and has allowed just 41 hits in 46 2/3 innings pitched. Strasburg owns a 3.28 ERA, 2.82 FIP, and continues to be one of the best starting pitchers in the National League.

The one weak spot for the Nationals is their bullpen. They currently rank 14th in the National League in bullpen ERA (5.33), 14th in bullpen FIP (4.88), and 14th in home runs allowed (1.72 HR/9).

A struggling Nationals bullpen makes it important for the Pirates to keep games close in this series. If the Bucs can get into the Washington bullpen with the game close, they should have a great shot at picking up a victory or two.

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Game 1 of this 3 game series starts a 6 game homestand for the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 PM.