With one game on the line, which Nats starter do you want?

Over the last three days, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg have allowed a total of two runs in 18 innings pitched.

The Nationals’ trio of aces is at it again.

All three put up incredibly impressive first halves, and all three are coming out of the gates strong after the All-Star break. You could certainly argue this is the best trio of starting pitchers on any team in baseball. In fact, it might be hard to argue against it.

And that got me thinking. If you had one game that you needed to win, which of the three guys at the top of the Nationals’ rotation would you want to get the ball?

While their level of success has been similar this season, these hurlers are fairly different. One’s a lefty, two are righties. One is fierce as all get-out on the mound, one is a total goofball, and one never lets his emotion show.

Strasburg relies on his blazing fastball and heavy changeup as his out-pitch, Gonzalez uses his hard curve and Zimmermann is really effective with a biting slider.

Among National League pitchers with at least 15 starts, Zimmermann, Strasburg and Gonzalez rank third, sixth and 11th in ERA, respectively.

Strasburg leads the NL in strikeouts and Gonzalez is tied for second, just eight Ks behind his good buddy.

Zimmermann has thrown the most innings of the three Nats starters (116 1/3) and has the fewest walks of the bunch. He’s also brought a measure of consistency, having worked at least six innings in all 18 starts this season.

Gonzalez has held opposing hitters to a lowly .195 batting average and has surrendered just four homers this season. Strasburg’s batting average against is .226 and he’s allowed eight homers, while opposing teams are hitting .243 off Zimmermann and have 11 homers against him.

There are plenty of stats used to determine excellence in baseball today. Feel free to refer to any of them or none of them when making your decision. But drop an answer in the comment section below, and let’s see how this shakes out.

If you had your pick of either Strasburg, Gonzalez or Zimmermann to take the hill for one must-win game (and innings limits weren’t an issue), who would be your guy?

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