Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals Battle Division Foe Philadelphia Phillies

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Apr 14, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

For the series finale on Sunday, the Nationals will start Stephen Strasburg against David Buchanan for the Phillies.

Strasburg has had a rough first few outings. His last outing against the Red Sox on Tuesday was underwhelming. After going 5.1 innings and giving up five runs, the bullpen was unable to deliver his first win and the Nats lost 8-7, giving Stras a no decision. His first start against the Mets wasn’t much better, going 5.1 innings while allowing six runs, but only three of them were earned.

David Buchanan started the year out at triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2014. The Phillies would call him up later in the year to fill out the rotation after Cliff Lee‘s injury. He only has a handful of games under his belt and is 0-2 to start the season this year. In his first start against Boston, Buchanan was only able to go three innings while allowing six earned runs on seven hits. His next outing wasn’t much better as he went 5.2 innings giving up five runs on nine hits in a loss to the Mets.

Advantage: Strasburg

As much as Strasburg doesn’t deserve to be favored in this matchup, it is hard to not go with him against a pitcher like Buchanan. Buchanan still seems like he needs to get his sea legs under him at the major league level and he is a typical fifth starter for a team in full rebuild mode. Strasburg does needs to step it up a bit and keep his head about him during the course of the game. Do not be surprised if this game is closer than the match-up may suggest. The Phillies squeak out a win to avoid the series sweep.

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