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Washington Nationals Series #13 Preview: Yankees Opposition Research

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Two games of interleague baseball at home against the Bronx Bombers. To prepare you for this series, here is a primer on the New York Yankees. Learn their strengths and weaknesses and take your job as armchair manager to new heights.

If a DH comes to a NL ballpark, is he even counted as a baseball player?
If a DH comes to a NL ballpark, is he even counted as a baseball player?
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The only way Alex Rodriguez is going to play these next two games is if he takes the field like a real baseball player. Isn't real baseball fun? The Yankees and the Nationals have the same 22-17 record right now, but the Nats have won 8 of 10 whereas the Yankees have dropped 6 of the last 10.  This is a great chance to show off what the Nats are made of against top of the line competition, even if the Nationals won't be facing the scary part of the Yankees admittedly strong rotation.

Tuesday, 7:05 pm - Gio Gonzalez vs Nathan Eovaldi
Eovaldi has faced the Nats before as a Marlin.  He allowed 4 runs over seven last time out.  Gio allowed 5 runs in another rocky start himself, so there is no telling how things are going to go today.  Gio's peripherals are much stronger than Eovaldi's but his results are quite similar so far in terms of runs allowed.

Wednesday, 7:05 pm - Jordan Zimmermann vs Adam Warren
Warren has been inconsistent through seven starts.  His last start was the first time he finished even six innings and he owns a 4.50 ERA.  The Nats starter for this game has not yet been announced with Fister's spot in the rotation up, but with the off day, Zimm would be pitching on normal rest here.  A.J. Cole is a possibility too, of course, but with another off day on Thursday that would leave Zimm pitching on six days rest.

The Yankees Lineup

The Yankees lineup, like that of the Nats, close to league average offensively.  The defense is a bit questionable, but New York is bringing some nice bats at the top of the lineup.

CF - Jacoby Ellsbury
+ bat (lefty)
++ speed
+ glove

Ellsbury is the Yankees most valuable player and he has done a terrific job at the top of the order.  He is batting .327/.411/.374 and has already stolen 14 bases this year.

LF - Brett Gardner
++ bat (lefty)
average glove
+ speed

Gardner follows up strong with a .303/.380/.450 line and 10 steals on the year.  A formidable start to the lineup.
1B - Mark Teixeira
++ bat (switch)
- glove

Teixeira took a pitch to the toe on Sunday and there is speculation that A-Rod may fill in at 1st for a game or two.  Teixeira is batting .248/.366/576 with 11 HR while A-Rod is batting .250/.351/.563 with 10 HR.  A-Rod normally bats 3rd with Teixeira at cleanup.

C - Brian McCann
- bat
++ glove
McCann is not the offensive threat he was during his days in Atlanta.  He has 4 HR and a .298 OBP this year.

RF - Carlos Beltran
- bat (switch)
-- glove

At 38 years, Beltran is not the guy he once was either.  He is batting a paltry .234/.271/.387.

3B - Chase Headley
-? bat (switch)
-? glove

The former Padre has not adjusted well to New York.  Normally a plus bat and glove, Headley is batting only .236/.285/.386 in the first year of his new contract.
2B - Stephen Drew
-- bat (lefty)
average glove
Drew has bounced back from a horrid 2014 with a .177/.264/.345 line.  Not sure why he's still starting, but it really is an improvement from last year.
SS - Didi Gregorius
-- bat (lefty)
+ glove
Gregorius normally bats 9th with good reason.  His .204/.269/.241 line is not awe-inspiring.  This lineup is somewhat top heavy.



The Yankees Bullpen

The Yankees have a strong bullpen with a 2.62 ERA through 127 innings.

They are led by closer Andrew Miller, who has struck out 29 in 17.1 innings of work for 13 saves.  He has yet to allow a run this year.

The other stalwart of this bullpen is fellow righty Dellin Betances, who has struck out 32 in 21 innings of work and has also not allowed a run so far this year.

Esmil Rogers is the long man.  Chasen Shreve is the lefty who is better vs righties.  David Carpenter and Justin Wilson both have ERAs north of 5.00.

Can They Be Swept?

We're talking two games at home, so it's a great opportunity for consecutive wins.  The Yankees aren't going to go down easy, but we've seen the Nats aren't going to sit on their laurels either.  One does not win 145 games by losing games, and the Nats can't afford to take the Yankees lightly just because they play in an inferior league.

Yes, National League baseball is real baseball.  Time to show the Yankees that reliance on the DH has made them weak. Okay, maybe playing without one of Teixeira/A-Rod can't be blamed entirely on the DH thing, but this is still an excellent opportunity to prove the superiority of the NL.  Led by "DIY" Gio, the Nats should be able to win both games easy.

Never give up!  Never surrender!