The Washington Nationals will begin their second two game series against the Cleveland Indians in 2016 tonight at Nats Park.
Against the Giants this past weekend, the Washington Nationals (66-45) took two out of three games. It was capped by seven shutout innings from Tanner Roark and a solo home run by Wilson Ramos against Madison Bumgarner. The Nats enter tonight’s game with a 7.5 game lead over the Marlins in the NL East.
Tonight, the Washington Nationals play their second two game series of the season against the Cleveland Indians (62-47). Back on July 26-27, the two teams split a two game series, but the Nats could’ve swept the series if not for a Cleveland comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning of a series opener.
Since that series, Terry Francona’s club has made some changes to their roster, including trading four prospects to the New York Yankees for reliever Andrew Miller. Miller picked up his first save as a member of the Indians last Saturday against the Yankees.
The Indians are 5-5 in their last ten games and they lead the Detroit Tigers by 2.5 games in the AL Central. Their best hitter since the All-Star Break has been first baseman Mike Napoli (.291, ten home runs, 18 RBI’s in 21 games). Plus, keep an eye on rookie center fielder Tyler Naquin (.327, four home runs, 13 RBi’s, .421 on-base percentage since the All-Star Break). Napoli is out of the lineup tonight.
One thing to keep an eye on about the Indians going forward is the health of starting pitcher Danny Salazar. Salazar is currently on the disabled list because of right elbow soreness. Cleveland still has Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco in their rotation, but it would still be a loss if Salazar were to be out for an extended period of time.
Before this series gets underway tonight, check out my pitching matchup breakdown for these two games:
Next: Tonight's Matchup