Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers Series Preview (5/9/5-11)

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Apr 28, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Apr 28, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Nationals begin a seven game homestand tonight with an Interleague matchup against the Tigers

The Washington Nationals (19-12) just finished up a ten game road trip and went 5-5. However, they come into tonight reeling after losing all four games of their series against the Chicago Cubs.

Yesterday, Bryce Harper reached base seven times without an official at-bat (six walks) and the team went 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position. Plus, in the series, the bullpen gave up ten runs over the course of 12.1. Tonight, the Washington Nationals are back home where they will begin an Interleague series against another struggling team, the Detroit Tigers (14-16).

Brad Ausmus’ team was swept at home in a three game series against the Rangers over the weekend and they have lost six games in a row. They come into tonight’s game seven games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

The Tigers went out and added left fielder Justin Upton to a six-year deal (two-year optout) to a potent lineup. However, Upton is hitting only .235 with two home runs and nine RBI’s and two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera has four home runs and 13 RBI’s through his first 30 games. While Detroit is tied for 18th in baseball in runs scored, keep an eye on third baseman Nick Castellanos, who leads the American League in hitting (.375) and is fourth in RBI’s (24).

On the mound, Detroit’s starters’ ERA have a 4.74 ERA, which is the fourth worst in the American League. No pitcher in their rotation has an ERA under five, except former National Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann, who will pitch Wednesday, has given up five runs in his first six games.

Finally, Detroit made changes to their bullpen when they signed Mark Lowe and traded for Justin Wilson as well as closer Francisco Rodriguez (7-for-8 in saves). However, Detroit’s bullpen has a combined opponents’ batting average of .276, which is the second highest in the AL (Rangers – 2.77).

Before this series gets underway, here is my breakdown of the three pitching matchups:

Next: Tonight's Matchup

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