While Miami's lineup certainly has plenty of pop, the Nationals' pitching staff has been keeping teams in the yard at an historic rate this season -- and staff ace Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound.
Team-wise, the Nationals have allowed a franchise-record-low two home runs through their first 15 games. That total is the lowest since the 1997 Braves also allowed just two home runs in that same span, and no team since 1945 (Tigers and Senators) has allowed less than two through 15 contests.
As for Strasburg, he'll be looking to build off a 2-0 start in which he's posted a 1.42 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 19 innings. Not to mention, Strasburg hasn't allowed a home run in any of his last nine outings dating back to 2010, which is tied for the sixth-longest streak by a Nationals starter in club history.
"I thought he threw the ball well," manager Davey Johnson said after Strasburg's last outing, against Cincinnati. "In his previous start, I took him farther than I wanted him to. It probably took a little bit out of him when he threw [over 100 pitches] the second time out. But he was going along pretty good."
Marlins starters, meanwhile, have been on a pretty solid stretch of their own, something they hope Anibal Sanchez will continue on Saturday. Carlos Zambrano allowed just one earned run over seven innings Friday night, marking the eighth straight game in which Miami's starter allowed three or fewer runs.
"Carlos pitched very well," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said Friday. "He threw the ball outstanding. We're very excited about him, the way he throws the ball. Today he [was] just facing one [Ross Detwiler] who threw the ball better than him. --I love the way he throws. He did everything he could to win the game."
Sanchez is 7-0 in 17 career starts against the Nationals, with a 2.06 ERA over 104 2/3 innings pitched.
Marlins: Infante won't start this weekend
Guillen said second baseman Omar Infante won't return to the starting lineup this weekend, as the infielder had originally hoped.
Infante has been out of the lineup since Wednesday after tweaking his previously strained left groin on Tuesday night. Though Guillen didn't rule out the possibility of Infante entering a game this weekend, the plan is to have him back next Tuesday when they began a series with the Mets in New York.
"He might be available, just in case we need him to play, [if] we need a pinch-hitter or something," Guillen said before Friday's game. "Don't want him to miss more time. We've got a Monday off; hopefully in New York [on Tuesday], he's back in the lineup."
Nationals: Tracy to make first start
Infielder Chad Tracy will make his first start of the season in Saturday's game, spelling Adam LaRoche at first base.
Tracy recorded hits in two of his first three at-bats this season, but is hitless in his seven at-bats since to drop his average to .200 (2-for-10).
Healthy Nationals players are hitting just .200 with two home runs in 180 career at-bats against Sanchez.
Sanchez has struck out Jayson Werth 18 times in his career, double the amount of any other Major League hitter. Likewise, Werth's 18 whiffs against Sanchez are his most against any pitcher. Werth is 4-for-27 in his career against Sanchez.
Dating back to 1999, the Nationals franchise has won just one of the last 13 season series with the Marlins (2007). Since the Nats went 10-8 in '07, the Marlins have posted a 50-21 record against the Nats while winning four straight season series.