Photo credit: afagen on FlickrOne of the hottest MLB games of 2010 took place on June 8th when Stephen Strasburg made his first Major League start with the Washington Nationals. Possibly one of the most hyped players of all time, Strasburg’s start drove Nationals tickets prices up over 100% above the season average.

All seemed to be going well for Strasburg, who broke a league record for the most strikeouts in a pitcher’s first three starts. In late July Strasburg was placed on the disabled list with a injured shoulder. He returned to fanfare in late August and pitched three solid games, until things went horribly wrong on August 21st. Strasburg was moved to the DL once again, but it wasn’t until August 27th that the Nationals officially announced that he had torn his ulnar collateral ligament, a severe injury that would require surgery.

After significant rehabilitation Strasburg returned to baseball on August 7, 2011 pitching for the Nationals’ minor league team. Earlier this week it was announced that he will make his Major League comeback on September 6th when the Nationals face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park. News of the pitcher’s return has already set Nationals tickets on an upward climb, with tickets up 90% next week.

The graph below shows the average price of Nationals Dodgers tickets next week, as well plotting the movement in ticket prices by day for the past two weeks. We’ll continue to track Nationals tickets prices and demand leading up to Strasburg’s return, so check back here for updates.

Do you think Strasburg’s return will help turn around the Washington Nationals dismal record, or has the injury caused him to lose his pitch? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SeatGeek.