Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview (5/26-5/29)

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May 25, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) hits a three-run home run off of Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Adam Warren (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
May 25, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) hits a three-run home run off of Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Adam Warren (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
May 23, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches during the second inning against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Adam Wainwright (4-3, 5.77) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 2.87) – 7:15 p.m, FOX

Last season, Wainwright missed most of the season because of a torn ACL. While Wainwright’s ERA is high to start the season, he has shown some improvement this month (4.50 ERA in May after a 7.16 ERA in April).

The 34-year-old right-hander has not lost one game since April 22 against the Padres. In his last start against the Cubs on Monday, he went six innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out four, and walked three in a no-decision. He has given up three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.

Wainwright is 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) against the Nats in his career, but he has not faced them since 2014 when he threw a complete game, two-hit shutout. Bryce Harper is 6-for-15 (.400) against him with two doubles and two walks.

In his last start against the Mets on Monday, Gio Gonzalez had his worst outing of the season by far. The left-hander went five innings, gave up seven runs on ten hits, struck out seven, and walked none in his first loss since April 27 against the Phillies.

One of the things Gonzalez struggled with in his last start was giving up the long ball. After giving up only three home runs in his first eight starts, Gonzalez gave up three home runs against the Mets and allowed more earned runs than any other start.

Gonzalez didn’t face St. Louis in the last series, but he is 2-1 with a 1.54 ERA in five career starts against them. Yadier Molina is 6-for-15 (.400) against him with three doubles and two RBI’s.

Prediction: The one X-factor going into this game is whether or not Gonzalez will get Jose Lobaton back behind the plate after pitching to Wilson Ramos on Monday. If that is the case, the Washington Nationals will win this game Saturday night in a pitcher’s duel with Wainwright.

Next: Sunday's Matchup

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