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[BBL] May 15, 2018

MLB Betting Preview: Yankees at Nationals

By Gracenote

New York Yankees at Washington Nationals (+0.5; 8.5)

The Washington Nationals have emerged from their early-season doldrums in a big way and will put their hot streak to the test when they host the powerful New York Yankees in an intriguing two-game interleague matchup beginning Tuesday in the nation's capital. A four-game sweep at the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks gave the Nationals 13 victories in their last 15 games after they opened the year 11-16.

The Yankees have been just as hot, winning 19 of 22, including a 6-2 triumph Sunday afternoon behind left fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. The Nationals have relied a bit more on their outstanding pitching, although first baseman Mark Reynolds shined in his season debut with a pair of homers in Sunday's 6-4 win over the Diamondbacks. Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez has been a stalwart in the rotation for Washington but carries a 1-5 record and a 6.65 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees into the series opener opposite New York's starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66 ERA) vs. Nationals LH Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.22)

Tanaka gave up four runs and a season-high eight hits in 5 1/3 innings against Boston his last time out, also tying a season low with three strikeouts. The 29-year-old has yet to get through seven innings after doing so 13 times in 2017. Tanaka won his only prior start against Washington with seven innings of one-run ball at Yankee Stadium in 2015.

Gonzalez has allowed one run or fewer in five of his eight starts, including three straight - the latest of which saw him strike out a season high-tying eight batters in six innings. The 32-year-old has surrendered one home run in 44 2/3 innings on the season. Stanton is 6-for-31 with no home runs and nine strikeouts against Gonzalez, who is 10-13 with a 4.50 ERA in interleague action.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York is beginning a stretch in which it plays 19 of 25 on the road.

2. Washington RF Bryce Harper was 5-for-18 with a home run and two doubles in the sweep of Arizona after going 0-for-16 with five strikeouts over his previous four contests.
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