Major League Baseball
Preview
Washington at Miami
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida

Miami Marlins second baseman Starlin Castro was sluggish at the plate heading into his team's abbreviated two-game set against the Washington Nationals, but that quickly changed in the series opener. After homering to highlight a three-RBI performance in an 8-5 win, Castro looks to provide an encore on Tuesday as the last-place Marlins vie for a sweep of their visiting National League East rivals.

Castro had a two-run double in the fifth inning before capping the scoring in the series opener for Miami (59-91), which has answered a five-game losing skid with back-to-back victories. The 28-year-old Dominican has feasted on the Nationals this season, going 21-for-56 with two homers, six RBIs and 11 runs scored - although he is just 2-for-12 with seven strikeouts against Tuesday's scheduled starter Stephen Strasburg. Anthony Rendon homered to highlight his three-hit performance for Washington (76-75), which fell for just the third time in 10 contests. Rendon has reached base in a team-best 26 consecutive outings, although rookie Juan Soto saw his 21-game streak halted in the series opener.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), FS Florida (Miami)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (8-7, 3.87 ERA) at Marlins RH Sandy Alcantara (2-0, 1.42)

Strasburg has reeled in four straight victories while posting a slim 0.67 ERA in his last four starts against the Marlins. The 30-year-old scattered three hits and struck out eight in five frames of a 5-2 win at Miami on May 27. Strasburg improved to 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in his last four outings overall on Wednesday after allowing one run on five hits while striking out nine over seven innings of a 5-1 triumph at Philadelphia.

Alcantara will make his fourth consecutive start against an NL East foe this season on Tuesday after sandwiching encounters with the New York Mets around a scoreless stint versus Philadelphia. The 23-year-old Dominican permitted two runs on as many hits in a no-decision against the Mets on Thursday. Alcantara will be making his 12th career trip to the mound to face Washington for the first time.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington OF Bryce Harper is 4-for-27 with 13 strikeouts in his last seven games.

2. Miami CF Lewis Brinson is 3-for-8 with two RBIs and two runs scored in his last two contests after going 1-for-17 in his previous five.

3. Nationals SS Trea Turner has scored four runs during his six-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Nationals 4, Marlins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 76-75 L1 37-37 39-38 36-32 18-16 13-16 9-11
Miami 59-91 W2 35-41 24-50 25-44 10-18 15-18 9-11
Last Meeting
Washington Miami
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/17/18 WAS 5 MIA 8 .206 2 .662 .281 1 .822
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington T. Turner .282 20 .808
Miami J. Realmuto .387 24 1.014
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington T. Turner 4 12 18
Miami J. Realmuto 2 12 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 4.63 .271 123
Miami 6.23 .282 100
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington A. Rendon .304 148 .888
Miami S. Castro .281 159 .734
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington B. Harper 34 97 97
Miami J. Realmuto 21 70 71
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 4.03 .252 1310
Miami 4.87 .238 1170