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Yankees vs. Nationals Series Preview: Potential World Series preview?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees are the two hottest teams in baseball.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees (28-12) vs. Nationals (24-18) series info:

Game 1: Tuesday, May 15 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN/99.1 Bloomberg)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. EST (MASN/106.7 The Fan)

Pitching matchups:

Tuesday: Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.22)

Wednesday: C.C. Sabathia (2-0, 2.23) vs. Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.69)

What to watch for:

Nats throw two aces into the fire

Thanks to some rotation shuffling, Max Scherzer is joining Gio Gonzalez as a probable pitcher for this two-game series with New York. Scherzer was originally scheduled to start Friday, but an off day Monday allowed manager Davey Martinez to push back Tanner Roark and make room for the reigning Cy Young winner to start on regular rest. The duo has the two lowest FIPs on the team and should prove to be a tall task for this loaded Yankees lineup.

Tony Two Bags could use a boost

Aside from feasting on the lowly San Diego Padres’ pitching staff, Anthony Rendon has struggled since returning from the disabled list. The third baseman is still drawing his walks but had a tough series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .091 in the three games he played against them. With so many injured stars riding the pine, Rendon will be leaned on heavily batting third in the lineup. If he can get going against New York, the Nats will have no problem making waves offensively.

Can New York keep rolling on the road?

It’s no secret New York has scored the most runs in the majors. However, there’s one caveat: They’re a completely different team on the road. New York averages 6.4 runs per game in the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, but that number drops to 4.7 away from home — the second-lowest road scoring average in the American League. That still hasn’t prevented the Bronx Bombers from posting a 10-5 record in away games, but the Nats’ pitching staff might stand a chance at preventing its ERA from ballooning like so many other teams when they face New York.

Series history:

The Nationals lead the all-time series (2005-present) 7-6, splitting the eight games played between the two clubs in RFK/Nationals Park. Washington and New York haven’t played each other since 2015, when the Nats took three of four in the season series.

In their words…

Tyler Norton, Pinstripe Alley

The Yankees may be the hottest team in baseball. The Bombers went 18-3 over their last 21 games. They’re not even firing on all cylinders yet. Several batters are just finding their way now. Over that stretch, the Yankees faced some elite starting pitchers. They overcame Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello and Mike Clevinger. Bring on Max Scherzer!