Washington Nationals at Reds Series Preview (6/3-6/5)

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May 14, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder Adam Duvall (23) hits an RBI double during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder Adam Duvall (23) hits an RBI double during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
May 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Tanner Roark (4-4, 2.70) vs. Jon Moscot (0-3, 7.13) – 1:10 p.m, MASN2

In each of Roark’s last starts, he has pitched into the seventh innings. Back on May 30 against the Phillies, he went seven innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out four, and walked two to pick up his fourth win of the season.

Against the Phillies, Roark had success inducing groundball outs. His 14 groundball outs were the second most he has had in a start this season (17 against the Marlins on April 18). Over his last 20.2 innings, the right-hander has given up four earned runs and he has given up three earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts.

Roark is 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts against the Reds and has given up four runs in 19 innings. Brandon Phillips is 3-for-6 (.500) against him with a home run and two RBI’s.

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As for Moscot, he was a fourth round pick of the Reds back in 2012 and made his Major League debut in June of last season. In the three starts he made last season, he was 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA.

This season, Moscot has struggled with giving up home runs, especially in his last outing against the Rockies. On May 30, the 24-year-old right-hander went two innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out one, and gave up four home runs in the Reds’ 17-4 loss.

Moscot has given up eight home runs in four outings and has not struck out more than two batters in any start (seven strikeouts in 17.2 innings). The only hitter in the Nats’ lineup to have faced Moscot before is leadoff hitter Ben Revere (1-for-3).

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Prediction: While I don’t usually like to predict sweeps, I think the Washington Nationals are coming into this series with great momentum. If Roark can put together another quality outing and with the way the Nats’ offense has hit home runs lately, Washington gets the win here and finishes off their second sweep of the road trip.

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