Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nationals-Yankees (6/9-6/10)

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Jun 6, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann (34) hits a two run home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY

June has not been a good month for the Washington Nationals (30-27) so far. They have lost both series this month and eight of their last ten games overall. This past weekend, the Nats lost three of their four games against the Chicago Cubs. While the club has had some injuries to the rotation, the problem for the Nationals has been on offense.

Over the last seven games, the team has scored 18 runs, which is the lowest of any team in the National League. Even though Anthony Rendon is back in the lineup, the Nats will look for others in the lineup to stay consistent and help Bryce Harper, who will play his first career series in the Bronx. That task will not be easy as they head to Yankee Stadium to take on a team that has won six straight games.

Even though the Nationals beat the Yankees in both games at Nats Park last month, this is a different Yankees squad. Even without Jacoby Ellsbury, New York has been able to drive in runs via the long ball. They have hit 74 home runs, which is second in the American League. This month, the Yankees have hit 11 home runs and scored 37 runs (most in the American League). New York (32-25) is 1.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.

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The two guys who have been the big surprises for New York this season are first baseman Mark Teixeira and designated hitter Alex Rodriguez. Teixeira has hit 17 home runs this season and leads the AL in RBI’s with 45. As for A-Rod, he will be in the lineup for these two games (was a pinch-hitter at Nats Park). Rodriguez has drawn 29 walks this season and has hit 11 home runs.

Another Yankee player that is on fire at the plate is former Braves catcher Brian McCann. McCann is hitting .255 with nine home runs and 35 RBI’s, but has four home runs over his last ten games and is coming off a month of May in which he drove in 21 runs.

New York does have issues in their middle reliever after designating David Carpenter for assignment last week. They only have one right-hander outside of Dellin Betances for the middle innings (Esmil Rogers). That being said, Betances and closer Andrew Miller (17 runs) continue to be one of the dominant late inning combinations in the game.

With Masahiro Tanaka back in the rotation, the Yankees have a good 1-2 combo in Tanaka and Michael Pineda (7-2, 3.33). Even though CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi have been question marks this season, one name to watch is Adam Warren. The reliever turned starter has given up two runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.

Let’s take a look at the two pitching matchups that will take place at Yankee Stadium this week:

Next: Tonight's Matchup