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Washington Nationals vs New York Mets Series Preview: Red-hot Nats host struggling NL East foes

The Washington Nationals just wrapped up a 9-1 road trip and will be playing a New York Mets team that has been hit hard with injuries.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Mets (8-13) vs. Nationals (16-6) Series Info:

Game 1: Friday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN2/106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Saturday, April 29 at 1:05 p.m. EST (MASN2/106.7)

Game 3: Sunday, April 30 at 1:35 p.m. EST (MASN2/106.7)

Pitching Matchups:

Friday: Jacob deGrom (0-1, 2.55 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (3-1, 1.95)

Saturday: Zack Wheeler (1-2, 5.40) vs. Stephen Strasburg (2-0, 2.89)

Sunday: TBA vs. Joe Ross (1-0, 6.17)

What to watch for:

Nats’ offense comes in hot

Entering the series with Colorado Rockies, we discussed whether the Nats had the best lineup in baseball.

Albeit the four-game set was at Coors Field, Washington made quite the statement by scoring 42 runs in the final three contests.

The race for the team lead in RBIs has been as tight as can be so far — Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper are tied at the top with 25, but Ryan Zimmerman isn’t too far behind with 21 of his own.

Creating some separation

The Nats head back to D.C. with the best record in baseball and a four-game lead on the second place Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

New York, meanwhile, sits in last place of the division seven and a half games back of Washington and has lost 10 of its last 11.

The Mets entered the year with the expectation of being the biggest competition to the Nationals in the NL East, but another convincing series win for Washington will put some serious distance between the two clubs in the standings.

Scherzer and Strasburg go back-to-back

For the first time this season, aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg will pitch in consecutive games this series.

The duo has combined to post a 5-1 record with a 2.43 record so far in 2017.

While the competition between Harper, Murphy, Trea Turner, and perhaps even Zimmerman for the MVP conversation is worth keeping an eye on, Scherzer and Strasburg’s race for the Cy young should prove to be just as exciting if both stay healthy.

Who to watch out for: Michael Conforto

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Boston Red Sox Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

24-year-old Michael Conforto has been one of the lone bright spots for the Mets this season.

He raked against Washington in their first series, going 5-11 (.455) with a pair of homers to pace the New York offense.

While he wasn’t guaranteed a spot in the everyday lineup heading into Opening Day, Conforto won’t be going anywhere with the way he’s been swinging the bat so far.