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Texas Rangers vs Washington Nationals Series Preview: Strikeout-heavy Rangers come to D.C.

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The Washington Nationals play host for the Texas Rangers after winning 13 of their last 17 games.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Rangers (27-32) vs. Nationals (38-21) Series Info:

Game 1: Friday, June 9 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN2/106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Saturday, June 10 at 12:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7)

Game 3: Sunday, June 11 at 4:05 p.m. EST (MASN2/106.7)

Pitching Matchups:

Friday: Andrew Cashner (2-5, 3.39 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (6-2, 3.95)

Saturday: Martin Perez (2-6, 4.64) vs. Gio Gonzalez (5-1, 3.03)

Sunday: TBA vs. Max Scherzer (7-3, 2.35)

What to watch for:

Trea Turner figuring things out at the plate

Entering play May 30, Trea Turner owned a .241/.270/.412 slash line with 37 strikeouts in 40 games this season.

Since then, however, he’s hit a blistering .390 with nine runs scored and 10 stolen bases — all in just nine games.

Dusty Baker has stuck with Turner at the top of the lineup despite his struggles, but the 23-year-old shortstop may finally be rewarding his confidence.

Baker beginning to trust Oliver Perez

Lefty specialist Oliver Perez has had a forgettable two-year tenure with the Nats, owning a 4.82 ERA and 1.414 WHIP with the team since he signed with them ahead of last season.

Yet in his past six appearances, Perez has managed to avoid allowing a run to score, and has given up just one hit in that span.

On Monday, Perez earned his first save of the year, and while he shouldn’t be counted on to finish off games moving forward, Baker has seemed more willing to put him in high-leverage situations.

Another strikeout-heavy club faces Washington

Over the past two weeks, the Nats have faced four teams with lineups that rank within the top eight in strikeout percentage — San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles and Baltimore.

Next up is Texas, which currently sits with the fifth-worst mark in the majors at a 23.8 strikeout percentage.

The Nationals have struck out the fourth most batters in baseball this season, and with Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez taking the mound in this series, plenty of swings and misses are to be expected.

Who to watch out for: Joey Gallo

MLB: New York Mets at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Beltre is day-to-day with an ankle injury and won’t suit up for the first game of the series Friday, leaving the Rangers with not much else to boast offensively.

Despite only hitting .200 on the season, Joey Gallo is tied for second in all of baseball with 17 home runs.

A few Washington starters have been susceptible to the long ball, opening the door for Gallo to add to that total and do some damage.