Commentary

Intriguing interleague matchups

Updated: June 16, 2009, 1:41 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | Special to ESPN Insider

Nats no cakewalk for Wang

They might end up with one of the worst records in baseball history, but the Washington Nationals can hit. Only four National League teams have a higher OPS than the Nationals, who score runs on par with the league average. For Chien-Ming Wang's owners, this matchup looks better than his past two against the Rangers and Red Sox, but don't let that fool you into automatically inserting him into your rotation. In the past two starts, Wang's sinker has been an absolutely meaty pitch for hitters; opponents have a .481 batting average against the pitch and have missed only four times in 53 swings against it. Wang has gotten excellent results with his slider, but he won't have success overall if his sinker continues to resemble a beach ball. Wang is too risky for all leagues at this point, even against the Nationals.

Kuroda likely to slide right by A's

Hiroki Kuroda got roughed up in his most recent start in Arlington, Texas, but considering the stadium, you shouldn't be too concerned. The righty has kept his walks to a minimum while striking out his fair share of hitters. Like Wang, his slider has been absolutely dominant this season, as hitters are 1-for-19 in at-bats ending against the pitch this season. He'd be wise to use the pitch frequently against Oakland, a team that bats .184 against the slider. Grab him now if he's available, but he likely won't be after he faces the A's on Wednesday.