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Miami Marlins (79-81) at Washington Nationals (94-67)
Sunday, October 02 - 3:05 PM EST
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia
The Washington Nationals accomplished two goals on Saturday: locking up homefield advantage in the first round of the postseason and getting Bryce Harper through two straight games healthy. The Nationals will try to make it through the weekend injury-free when they finish out the regular season by hosting the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Washington earned the second-best record in the National League and will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series, beginning on Friday. Harper missed four games with a thumb injury before returning on Friday, and the Nationals expect All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy (strained glute) to be ready to go by the time the postseason begins. The Marlins' 2-1 loss on Saturday ended any chance the team had to finish the season with a winning record and dropped them to 2-3 since retaking the field after the death of Jose Fernandez. Miami scored three or fewer runs in nine of the last 14 games and is 6-8 in that span.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), MASN 2 (Washington)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Tom Koehler (9-13, 4.15 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Max Scherzer (19-7, 2.82)
Koehler will take his 10th and final stab at reaching double digits in wins after failing to earn a victory in any of his last nine outings. Koehler failed to go six innings in any of his last four starts and lasted 3 2/3 frames while serving up four runs to the New York Mets on Tuesday. Koehler was reached for four runs - three earned - on two hits and three walks over four innings in a loss to Washington on Sept. 21.
Scherzer will take his final postseason tuneup before getting the ball in Game 1 on Friday and has a chance to reach the 20-win plateau for the second time in his career. The Missouri product is 7-0 in his last eight starts and struck out 10 over six innings to earn a win over Arizona on Tuesday. Scherzer went up against Koehler on Sept. 21 and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.
1. Nationals LF Jayson Werth (back tightness) was held out of the lineup on Saturday and is day-to-day.
2. Miami RF Giancarlo Stanton (groin) is not expected to start on Sunday but could appear as a pinch hitter.
3. Washington 2B Trea Turner is 4-for-6 with three stolen bases and a home run in the series.
PREDICTION: Nationals 4, Marlins 1