What to Watch for: 4.29.13

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Washington Nationals (13-12) vs. Atlanta Braves (15-9)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.18) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.48)

Washington hits the road to open a four-game series and seven-game swing tonight in Atlanta. Stephen Strasburg takes this hill against the Braves for the second time this season after allowing just a pair of unearned runs over six innings in his other start.

NATIONALS LINEUP:

1. Span CF

2. Espinosa 2B

3. Harper LF

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Tracy 3B

8. Suzuki C

9. Strasburg RHP

BAGS PACKED

Starting tonight, 22 of the Nationals next 32 games through June 2 will take place on the road. Those 22 road contests not only begin at Turner Field, they end here too, as Washington returns to Atlanta for a three-game set, May 31-June 2. The Nationals are 4-5 thus far on the road in 2013. Last season, Washington posted Major League Baseball’s best road record at 48-33 (.593).

TRENDS FOR 2013

Washington is 11-1 when scoring first, but just 2-11 when their foe draws first blood. When totaling nine or more hits, the Nationals are a perfect 9-0. Washington is plating 5.8 runs per contest in 13 wins, but only 1.4 per contest in 12 losses to date. Despite the lukewarm start offensively, the 2013 Nationals have actually out scored the ‘12 Nationals by 11 runs (93-82) through the initial 25 games of their respective seasons. Washington is 4-1 in one-run games.

WINNING MONTH TO MONTH

The Nationals are 13-12 with two games remaining in April. With a win Monday and/or Tuesday at Turner Field, the Nationals would post a winning month of April. In 2012, Washington played winning baseball every month of the season: Sept./Oct. (18-13), August (19-10), July (17-9), June (15-10), May (15-13) and April (14-8). Dating back even further, including September of 2011, Washington has currently posted seven consecutive winning months.

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