Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 8/10/12

Not only do the Washington Nationals (69-43) comfortably posses the best record in baseball, they also have the best road record of MLB teams (37-21), which they will try to add on to this weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-55).

In the past, the Nationals and the Diamondbacks have been pretty evenly matched, splitting their wins in contests between the two teams just about 50-50. This year, though, the Diamondbacks have continued their even keel record throughout all their play with a 57-55 record and a third place ranking in the NL West, while the Nationals have broken away from the pack.

Winning eight of their last ten games, the Nationals have dominated in August. Coming off a four game sweep of the Houston Astros, which pushed the second place Atlanta Braves to 4.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East, the Nats are going to be eager to continue their winning ways.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have been merely staying afloat, losing their most recent series against the Philadelphia Phillies and splitting a four game series against the Pirates, putting them 4-for-8 so far in August.

The Nationals won two of three against the D-backs in May and are 11-12 at Chase Field.

Hot Hitters

The Diamondbacks are an aggressive offensive team, with all of their hitting stats in the top half of team rankings. Their team slash line is an impressive .263/.331/.426, but, unlike in years past or even at the start of this season, the Nationals have put together an impressive slash line of their own (.256/.319/.413) to contend with teams like the D-backs. Their recent offensive production has pushed all the Nationals main hitting stats into the top half of the rankings, and on their current streak those numbers only stand to get better.

A good offensive performance during this series will show that the Nats can hang with hot hitting teams, like the Diamondbacks, that they are sure to face in postseason play.

Player Profiles

- Trevor Cahill pitched the D-backs only win to the Nationals this year, going 7.1 innings and only allowing one earned run on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Cahill will take the hill against the Nationals again this series, facing off against Stephen Strasburg in the series opener.

- Michael Morse wasn’t the only major leaguer to hit two homers in one game on Thursday night – Arizona’s Jason Kubel went 2-for-5 on Thursday with two home runs, batting in four of six of the D-backs runs. The breakout performance could put an end to Kubel’s recent cold-streak. He is batting .156 (7-for-45) in his last 12 games.

- The Nationals missed seeing Chris Johnson in Houston because he was traded to the Diamondbacks shortly before they arrived there; however, to Nats pitchers chagrin they will see him and his hot bat this weekend. In 10 games since the trade, he has homered in half of them, and he is batting .342.

- Current Diamondbacks are only batting .130 off Ross Detwiler in 23 at bats.

Who’s hot?

Paul Goldschmidt (1B) .421 AVG, .419 OBP, .737 SLG, 3 HR, 10 RBI (last 10 games)

Chris Johnson (3B) .342 AVG, .375 OBP, .763 SLG, 5 HR, 16 RBI (last 10 games)

Miguel Montero (C) .267 AVG, .421 OBP, .533 SLG, 2 HR, 8 RBI (last 10 games)

J.J. Putz (CL) 0.00 ERA, .121 BAA, 14 SO, 6/6 SV/SVO, 10 IP (last 10 games)

Who’s not?

Stephen Drew (SS) .222 AVG, .349 OBP, .472 SLG, 3 SO (last 10 games)

Mike Zagurski (RP) 4.05 ERA, .300 BAA, .450 SLG, 6.2 IP (last 10 games)

Probable Starters

Stephen Strasburg (12-5, 2.97 ERA) vs. Trevor Cahill  (9-9, 3.76 ERA)

Edwin Jackson (6-7, 3.56 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (12-7, 2.85 ERA)

Ross Detwiler (6-4, 2.99 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (3-4, 3.53 ERA)

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker