Washington Nationals: 5 To Watch In Philly

Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Washington Nationals start a five-game road trip this weekend with three against the Philadelphia Phillies. Here are five to keep an eye on.

Another successful series has the Washington Nationals flying high at 19-9. With bubble gum, rubber bands and duct tape, the bullpen continues to pace the Nats as they grabbed two of three from the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

With their win Thursday afternoon, Washington finishes a six-game homestand at 3-3. Although not ideal from afar, the Nats salvaged a sweep with an epic beatdown of the New York Mets Sunday followed by a strong performance mid-week.

In a rare symmetrical trip, Washington travels up I-95 for three against the Philadelphia Phillies and two in Baltimore before the Orioles and Phillies return the favor in DC. When the return series ends next Sunday, the Nats and Phillies will have played 12 of their scheduled 19 games this season.

The Phillies start the weekend at 12-15, 6.5 games behind Washington in the National League East. The two teams split their first six, with the home teams winning each series.

Since these teams met, the Nationals offense kicked into high gear. Recording five games where they scored double-digits, Washington is 12-4 since their last meeting. Tied for first after the last game, the red-hot Nats built the largest divisional lead in MLB.

It has not been bad for the Phillies either. Before this tough road trip to Los Angeles and Chicago, the Fightin’s, took seven of eight from the rest of the division. Swept by the Dodgers, along with dropping three of four at Wrigley Field, the Phillies are looking for home cooking.

Although Howie Kendrick and Aaron Nola will miss the series, there are plenty of old friends to keep an eye on this weekend. Friday and Saturday are night affairs while Sunday is the lone day game.

With that in mind, here are five players to watch as the Washington crosses the Delaware.