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Washington Nationals vs Tampa Bay Rays: Grapefruit League GameThread

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Stephen Strasburg makes his 2020 Grapefruit League debut this afternoon as the Nationals take on the Rays. 1:05 PM EST in WPB, on MASN.

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Houston Astros Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg is set to take the mound for the first time this Spring when the Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays meet up in Grapefruit League action in West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches this afternoon, in a 1:05 PM EST matchup that’s available on a TV or computer near you via MASN (or MLB.tv).

Strasburg, 31, hasn’t pitched in competitive action since he took the mound in Game 6 of the World Series this past October, bolstering his case for the World Series MVP award in what ended up being an 8 13-inning outing against the Houston Astros in which he allowed a total of five hits and two earned runs.

Strasburg finished the postseason (5-0) with a 1.98 ERA, four walks, 47 Ks, and a stingy .221/.239/.368 line against in six games, five starts, and 36 1⁄3 IP for the 2019 champions, then opted out of the final four years and $100M left on his contract to test free agency, before returning to Washington on a 7-year/$245M that should guarantee that he is in a Nationals uniform for the rest of his career.

In the regular season last year, the Nationals’ ‘09 No. 1 overall pick went (18-6) with a 3.32 ERA, a 3.25 FIP, 56 walks, 251 Ks, and a .210/.271/.349 line against in 33 starts and 209 IP.

His 11th major league campaign gets started in earnest this afternoon, when he takes the mound in the Nationals’ Spring home for what will likely be an inning or two of work if all goes as planned.

Take a late lunch, skip school*, listen surreptitiously while you’re pretending to do your work, or find another way to follow along as Strasburg goes up against the Rays...

HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME:

[ed. note - “ * = Stay in school kids. But seriously, wear a winter hat pulled down over your Airpods and no one will know you’re listening. If you get caught, tell them FBB said it’s fine.”]