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Washington Nationals vs San Diego Padres Series Preview: The tale of two rotations

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The Washington Nationals play the San Diego Padres with both teams trending in very different directions.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Padres (18-31) vs. Nationals (28-18) Series Info:

Game 1: Friday, May 26 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Saturday, May 27 at 4:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7)

Game 3: Sunday, May 28 at 1:35 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7)

Pitching Matchups:

Friday: Luis Perdomo (0-1, 5.79 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (4-3, 3.02)

Saturday: Clayton Richard (3-5, 4.31) vs. Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28)

Sunday: Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.74) vs. Joe Ross (2-0, 5.32)

What to watch for:

Nationals starters beginning to heat up

The Nats’ rotation currently ranks eighth in baseball with an ERA of 3.86 — yes, we still include Jeremy Guthrie’s disaster because it did indeed happen — but has seen up-and-down performances from several of its key starters.

Over the last turn of the rotation, however, the group went 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 10.6 K/9 all while averaging nearly six and two-thirds innings per start.

San Diego, meanwhile, ranks in the bottom third of the league in starter’s ERA (4.97), batting average against (.271) and quality starts (19) while the pitching staff as a whole has given up at least nine runs in three of its past six games.

Koda Glover, closer

Nationals manager Dusty Baker announced over the weekend that rookie Koda Glover would be taking over the closer’s role after bouncing around with a couple different arms over the past month.

Glover boasts a 2.57 ERA with three saves and a 7.1 K/9 in 14 innings pitched on the year, having spent some time on the disabled list with a hip impingement.

With no one stepping up to handle the ninth so far and rumors swirling on the trade front, the time is now for Glover to prove whether or not he can handle getting the last three outs.

What’s going on with Wil Myers?

Wil Myers, the Padres’ $80 million man, who signed a six-year extension over the offseason, got off to a blistering start to the tune of a .310/.325/.593 slash line with seven homers and 20 RBIs in the month of April.

Since the calendar has turned, however, Myers is hitting just .215 including a .095 mark over the last week.

There aren’t too many bright spots up and down San Diego’s lineup, making his recent slide all the more glaring.

Who to watch out for: Hunter Renfroe

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 44 overall prospect, right fielder Hunter Renfroe got off to a slow start to the 2017 season with a .217 April batting average.

Despite his early struggles, Renfroe has exploded for eight hits in his past four games, including a homer and four doubles.

The 25-year-old former first-round pick is known to strike out a lot but has plenty of upside as a potential power hitter — if he stays hot, the Nats should be wary of pitching to him when there are plenty other below-average hitters behind him.