Washington Nationals: Battle of the Beltway Preview

rshinberg
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles forces out Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning during a baseball game at Nationals Park on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles forces out Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning during a baseball game at Nationals Park on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles renew their annual series this summer, starting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Tuesday.

The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles have faced each other 70 times over the past 13 years.  Games 71 and 72 take place this Tuesday and Wednesday in Baltimore as the two teams set to lock horns once again.

The Orioles lead the all-time series 39-31.  However, the bulk of those wins came when the Orioles were perennial playoff contenders from 2012-2016.

The Nationals beat the Orioles five out of six times last season, shutting them out three times.

Much like last year, the Orioles’ roster pales in comparison to the Nationals’ roster.  The 2018 Orioles won 47 games last season, and the 2019 Orioles are on pace to improve this season! (They’re on pace for 48 wins, just leave this part out if conversing with an Orioles fan).

After trading Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, the Orioles are devoid of any real talent.  It somehow got even worse just a few days ago after the team traded Andrew Cashner to the Boston Red Sox.

The O’s still have two notable players.  However, one of them is their All-Star starting pitcher John Means, whom the Nats are not projected to face in the two-game series.

Their top hitter, Trey Mancini, will be in the lineup.  This season, Mancini is slashing .281/.340/.500 with a 119 wRC+.

Outside of Mancini, there is no other hitter to fear in the Orioles lineup.  And without Cashner and Means in this series, there isn’t a pitcher to keep an eye on, either.

Now let’s talk about the ballpark.  Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a hitter’s haven.  The primary reason is that the small fences, and the close proximity of the right field wall, increase power numbers dramatically.

That right field fence should play right into the hands of Juan Soto and Matt Adams who can feast on right-handed starters Asher Wojciechowski and Aaron Brooks in this series.

Next. Trade for Mychal Givens?. dark

Even if the Nats use a spot-starter on Tuesday, they will be favored to win both games in this series.  With the Phillies facing the Dodgers and Braves facing the Brewers this week, the Nats have a golden opportunity to keep their position in the Wild Card race and decrease the deficit in the division.

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