The Washington Nationals (35-54) are in for a challenge against Dane Dunning at Nationals Park on Sunday when the impressive right-hander takes the mound for the Texas Rangers (52-38) with the three-game Interleague series tied at 1-1.
The Nationals evened the series 1-1 after winning 8-3 on Saturday. Jake Irvin got the win, allowing two runs on five hits over five innings. Joey Meneses went 2 for 4 with a home run and a double in the win. He had two RBIs. Luis Garcia added a triple and two runs. Josh Jung was 2 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs for the Rangers.
ON THE MOUND
Dunning (8-1, 2.61 ERA) is slated to get the start for Texas. The righty allowed one run over six innings in his last start, a 6-2 home win over the Red Sox on Tuesday. He was credited with the win, giving up six hits while striking out four and walking one.
Dunning is making his first appearance against the Nationals this season. Dunning made one start against the Nationals in 2022, a 2-1 home loss on June 24. He surrendered one run on seven hits over six innings, striking out four and walking one.
For Washington, lefty Patrick Corbin (5-10, 5.13 ERA) will toe the rubber. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Rangers. In his last start on Tuesday, Corbin took the loss at home against the Reds. He threw five innings and gave up six runs on 10 hits, striking out two and walking three in the 8-4 defeat.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Texas has averaged only 4.8 runs a game, down from their season average of 5.9, thanks in part to a worse on-base performance (.333 vs .342). Against lefties like Corbin this season, the Rangers have a .847 OPS, second highest in MLB.
Ezequiel Duran is the team’s most productive hitter against left-handers with a 1.102 OPS in 69 at-bats. Washington is averaging only 4.0 runs per game in the last five, down slightly from 4.1 for the season.
The Nats have a .686 OPS against right-handers in 2023, the fifth lowest in the league. With a .886 OPS over 217 at-bats, Jeimer Candelario has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Texas is 25-20 away from home in 2023, scoring 5.4 runs per game while allowing 3.9 runs. Washington has gone 14-32 at Nationals Park this season, averaging 3.7 runs per game while surrendering 5.5. Texas is 7-3 in the last 10 games at Nationals Park between the teams with an average scoreline of 5.0-4.1.
The Rangers lead the AL West by three games over the Astros. The Nationals are fifth in the NL East, 25 games behind the Braves.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Texas Rangers -1.5 (-125)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.