Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats vs. Phillies (5/22-5/24)

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May 20, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman XXXX (6) at bat in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Winners of five straight, 17 of their last 21, and seven straight series, the Washington Nationals (24-17) are the hottest team in baseball. Fresh off a two-game sweep at home over the New York Yankees (22-19), the Philadelphia Phillies (18-24) are in town, as Washington looks to keep rolling against their division foe. The Nats lead the season series 4-3, outscoring the Phils 26-20.

So far this season, he Nationals own the best scoring offense in the National League. With 205 runs scored, the Nats are averaging five runs a game. Leading the way is early-MVP candidate Bryce Harper (.333/.472/.732), who has hit 10 home runs in the month of May and is in the top 5 in all of baseball in nearly every major offensive category, including walks, batting average, runs scored, RBIs, slugging percentage, home runs, and on-base percentage. He has played every game for Washington thus far, and as long as he remains healthy, should continue producing.

Not to be forgotten is catcher Wilson Ramos (.302/.323/.397), who has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games, or Yunel Escobar (.326/.384/.396), who has filled in the No. 3 spot in the lineup well while Jayson Werth sits on the Disabled List. The biggest surprise of the season has been fill-in second baseman Danny Espinosa (.269/.368/.472), who has seemingly rediscovered his stroke and resurrected his career as a switch hitter.

The Phillies, on the other hand, rank dead last in the majors, scoring 3.2 runs per game. With Chase Utley (.169/.250/.292) struggling mightily, Philadelphia has been forced to ride on the talents of Freddy Galvis (.319/.380/.368) and Odubel Herrera (.262/.295/.369). Ryan Howard (.257/.307/.521) is still hitting for power, but has amassed 41 strikeouts and only 8 walks.

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