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Phillies open three-game set in Washington hoping to bury Nationals

Max Scherzer will square off with Aaron Nola in the final game of the Phillies-Nationals series. (Arturo Pardavila III/Wikimedia Commons)

The Philadelphia Phillies Phillies three-game set with the Washington Nationals will give them an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

At this stage of the year, any three-game series is important for a team like the Phillies, who are in the thick of both the National League East and National League Wild Card races. But after the Nationals traded Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams Tuesday, this series seemingly gives the Phillies a chance to make the National League East a two-team race and push a Wild Card contender out of the picture.

On the mound for the Nationals in this series, we will see Tanner Roark, Stephen Strasburg and Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer. The Phillies will counter with Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin and another Cy Young Award candidate in Aaron Nola. The highlight of the series, of course, will be a matchup between Scherzer and Nola in the series finale, as both are competing for the National League Cy Young Award and potentially even the MVP.

In many ways, this will be a symbolic series. The Phillies clinched three of their five National League East titles between 2007 and 2011 against the Nationals organization. In between 2011 and 2018, the Nationals have had quite a bit of team success. But as the Phillies return into the picture of contention, this series offers them a chance to help close the book on the 2018 Nationals.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Vince Velasquez (8-9, 4.13 ERA, 3.70 FIP) vs. Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.13 ERA, 4.11 FIP)

Game 2: Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.70 ERA, 3.77 FIP) vs. Stephen Strasburg (6-7, 3.90 ERA, 3.50 FIP)

Game 3: Aaron Nola (14-3, 2.24 ERA, 2.73 FIP) vs. Max Scherzer (16-5, 2.11 ERA, 2.59 FIP)

Where to Watch/Listen

Game 1

TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game 2

TV: MLB Network

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game 3

TV: MLB Network

Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Series Notes

  • Aaron Nola is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his two starts against the Nationals this season.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera has a .385 batting average in 39 games against the Nationals this season.
  • Since the All Star Break. Bryce Harper is batting .350 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs.
  • In his last seven starts, Max Scherzer is 5-0 with a 1.53 ERA. He, along with Jacob deGrom, could very well stand in the way of Nola winning the National League Cy Young Award and/or MVP.

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