The Washington Nationals are hot off a series split with the St. Louis Cardinals. If it was against any other team, this would probably be something that would be ignored, but all in all, the Nationals played a very competitive series against the Cardinals, were able to grind out two wins and were in three of the four games. What’s more, those two wins were the first ones against St. Louis since the Nationals’ walk-off Game 4 win in 2012, so this is a significant series no matter what.
Now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come to town, with their own phenom Mike Trout in tow. The Trout and Bryce Harper storyline will no doubt overshadow the series, though there are some other interesting tidbits to watch. Tanner Roark, tonight’s starter, has allowed one earned run in 19.1 career innings, good for a 0.47 ERA. Roark has not won since his season debut, but he is coming off of a start against the Miami Marlins where he allowed three runs over 6.1 innings and struck out five.
The Nationals are a team that for the most part has been in every game they have played. They are grinding out at bats, not quitting and making every team earn every out against them. This is something they need to continue in their series with the Angels, who have some great hitters, but their bullpen and rotation can be inconsistent at times. Of course they have Albert Pujols, who could hit his 499th and 500th home run during the series and owns a .378 career average at Nationals Park. This is a series where the Nationals are going to get ahead early and then pour on or defend late, preferably both. This should be a very exciting series to start the week for Washington.