Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats vs. Blue Jays (6/1-6/3)

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May 29, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle (65) pitches in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Buehrle (6-4, 4.97) vs. TBA – 7:05 PM ET, MASN

Right out of the gate, the Nationals have not yet named a starter for Wednesday’s game. This spot would normally go to Stephen Strasburg, but he is on the disabled list with a neck injury. Right now, it seems likely that Taylor Jordan ( would take Strasburg’s spot in the rotation, but that remains to be seen.

The one certainty in this game is 36-year-old lefty Mark Buehrle will get the start here for Toronto. Despite the high ERA, Buehrle has six wins, which is tied for third in the American League and he has won three of his last five starts.

He started May off poorly when he gave up eight runs against the Cleveland Indians on May 1, but he has not given up more than four runs in a start in his last five. Another positive on the veteran is that he is giving Toronto length in games. In his last three outings, he has a complete game and has thrown 24.1 combined innings.

Buehrle is 2-0 with a 4.64 ERA in five starts against the Nats, but hasn’t faced them since 2012, when he was on the Marlins. Denard Span, who is out of tonight’s game due to a sore right knee,  is hitting .364 against Buehrle with two home runs and five RBI’s. The other home run by a Nats hitter against Buehrle is Bryce Harper (1-for-8).

As for Jordan, if he does get the start here, I do like how he finished his outing against the Reds on May 29. In relief of Strasburg, he went 4.2 innings, gave up three runs on six hits, struck out two, and walked one. He got his fastball up to 93-94 miles per hour. Cincy did hit the ball hard against him, but most of those swings went for loud outs (13 fly ball outs)

Advantage: If it’s Buehrle vs. Jordan, you have to give the edge to Buehrle based on veteran experience and that he is avoiding the crooked inning in his last few starts. While most of the Blue Jays haven’t faced Jordan in their respective careers, there is one player who has. Russell Martin is 3-for-4 against him. I expect Jordan to handle himself well, but the Blue Jays should avoid the sweep in this one.

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