Texas Rangers vs. Washington Nationals Series Preview

Beginning on Friday, the Washington Nationals will welcome the Texas Rangers for an interleague battle between two teams looking to find some consistency heading into the summer months of the season.

The Washington Nationals are limping into the weekend series, having lost six of their last seven with an offense that his been silenced for the better part of a week.

In contrast, the Rangers have won seven of their last ten to climb back to two games over the .500 mark - currently in the conversation in both the A.L. Wild Card and A.L. West races.


Home: Washington Nationals

Record: (25-27, 14-14 home, 3rd N.L. East)

Away: Texas Rangers

Record: (28-26, 15-13 road, 3rd A.L. West)

Season Series: no games played

Key stat:

As of April 15th, ManGamesLost.com ranked the Texas Rangers first (369 games) and Washington Nationals second (253) in games lost due to injury in 2014.

Nationals outlook:

A mixture of slumps and injuries have plagued the Washington Nationals all year long.

How has a team beset by so much bad luck stayed within striking distance of the A.L. East lead? The bullpen.

The Washington Nationals' relief corps has posted a 2.25 ERA so far this year - good for the best mark in all of Major League Baseball. If the offense can somehow come around to provide a few more runs of a support, the Nationals could be primed for a quick turnaround after an inconsistent first two months.

Rangers outlook:

No manager in Major League Baseball has had to do more lineup and rotation shuffling than Ron Washington - especially in the wake of marquee offseason signing Prince Fielder's season-ending neck injury.

However, Washington has done a fine job of piecing things together as it comes. The Rangers have begun to find ways to scratch runs across by any means necessary, with players such as Shin-Soo Choo playing through their own sets of aches and pains to keep the lineup together as best as possible.

What to watch for:

While we won't get a "stop everything" matchup between Yu Darvish (4-2, 2.35) and Stephen Strasburg (3-4, 3.42) this time around, both aces will take the mound in separate games during this three-game series in D.C.

However, the Nationals' Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.47) could make Sunday's game against Yu Darvish an interesting one in its own right. Roark has shown flashes of dominance during the first third of the season, and could be on the verge of being a top tier arm as the season progresses.

What they are saying about the Nationals:

Matt Williams talks missed opportunities in Marlins loss (Federal Baseball)

What they are saying about the Rangers:

Rangers acquire INF Donald from the Royals (ESPN.com)

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