Toronto Blue Jays face capital foe in Washington Nationals

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May 24, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) scores a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Across the Diamond:  Washington Nationals

Let’s be blunt: the Washington Nationals are not the ideal team to kickstart your season turnaround.  Not only do the Nats boast one of the most talented starting rotations in Major League Baseball, they may also feature the league’s most dangerous hitter.

The young Bryce Harper enters play hitting .325 with 18 home runs and 43 runs batted in, topping Toronto’s own superstar Josh Donaldson in all categories.  He may need to buy a two seats on commercial flights to allow room for his ego, but the man produces.

Thankfully for Toronto, the Nationals lineup is more manageable outside of Harper.  Their .254 team batting average ranks 13th in the league, but with R.A. Dickey and Marco Estrada set to lead off the series, the Jays’ fear will be the home run ball.  In that area, Washington ranks ninth with 55.

Ryan Zimmerman has been producing runs early (33 RBI) but has shuffled his feet to a .228 average.  Old friend Yunel Escobar has shot out of the gates with a .313 average, but the Blue Jays may catch a break in the outfield.  Jayson Werth is currently sidelined with two fractures in his wrist while Denard Span was forced to leave Sunday’s game with a sore knee.  We wish Span a full and speedy recovery, but strongly recommend three games of rest.

Next: Game 1: Dickey seeks competency