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Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals Series Preview: Nats play host for final home series

The Washington Nationals will play in front of their home crowd for the final time in 2018 when the Miami Marlins come to town for a mid-week series.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins (62-93) vs. Nationals (78-78) series info:

Game 1: Monday, Sept. 24 at 7:05 p.m. ET (MASN2/106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7:05 p.m. ET (MASN2/106.7)

Game 3: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 4:05 p.m. ET (MASN/106.7)

Pitching matchups:

Monday: Sandy Alcantara (2-1, 2.35 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (9-7, 3.83)

Tuesday: Jeff Brigham (0-3, 5.84) vs. Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.57)

Wednesday: Wei-Yin Chen (6-11, 4.66) vs. Tanner Roark (9-15, 4.34)

What to watch for:

On-base streaks

Anthony Rendon has been on a tear over the last several weeks, extending his career-best on-base streak to 31 games Sunday afternoon. Not to be outdone was Trea Turner, who reached base in his 23rd straight contest with a first-inning single in the same game.

Turner and Rendon have been slated at second and fourth in the lineup, respectively, for the majority of their streaks. While the lineup lacks the depth it had before the August fire sale, the left side of the infield has been a spark at the top of the order.

Strasburg makes final starts of 2018

Max Scherzer is expected to take the mound in Game 162 to add onto his Cy Young case, and Stephen Strasburg will reportedly get one more in after tonight before the end of a season that he’ll likely want to put behind him as quickly as possible.

After finishing third in NL Cy Young voting a year ago, Strasburg has posted career worsts in ERA (3.83), WHIP (1.183) and HR/9 (1.2) while being limited to just 120 innings due to injury. Strasburg will look to close out his season on a high note against an exploitable Miami lineup before potentially facing the Rockies in Coors Field.

What could’ve been

It’s been a banner year for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who will set career bests in homers (21), RBIs (73), runs (73), walks (38) and OPS (.846). The former Nats’ trade target never did end up leaving South Beach, and the Marlins have expressed interest in signing him to a long-term deal.

On the other side, Marlins’ trade target Victor Robles has been the Nats’ primary leadoff man over the past week. An elbow injury kept him out of action for most of the season, but he has shown flashes of being the five-tool player Washington hopes he can be.

Series history:

The Marlins lead the all-time series (2005-present) by a slim margin of 128-126 but have dropped 10 of the 16 games played between the two clubs this season. Washington is 4-3 against Miami in games played at Nationals Park this season.