The Houston Astros (4-5) and Washington Nationals (7-3) are set to begin a four-game National League Series on Monday night inside Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

Houston Astros at Washington Nationals

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Bettors will be hard-pressed to find a more lopsided pitching matchup than this series finale at Nationals Park.

Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

Philadelphia has dropped the two opening games of this series and have produced a 7-20 mark on the road since May 30.  Before this series, the Phillies were an impressive 15-6 in the nation’s capital since the start of the 2008 season.  Closer Brad Lidge blew the save in Saturday’s 7-5 loss and is now 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA and 10 saves in 14 opportunities this season.  “He’s our guy,” Manuel said.  “We’ve been working with him now for two years.”  The club dropped to 12-14 when facing left-handed starters this season (-790) and the total is 11-15 O/U in those contests.  In 2009, the Phillies went 29-16 (.644) in games started by opposing southpaws, which was the best winning percentage among all NL teams.  Philadelphia has now dropped its last five road series, with its last such win coming on June 15-17 in New York (AL).  The club is 32-24 in August the last three years (-200).

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The pressure is squarely placed on the Nationals offense with their young superstar on the hill.

New York Mets at Washington Nationals

New York has won two of its last three games, including a 5-3 victory on Friday night.  The Mets are 25-12 in their last 37 contests dating back to May 22, which is the second-best mark in the majors over that span (Boston).  Overall, the Mets are 17-23 (-410) on the road, but they have won two of three games away from Citi Field.  New York has scored at least one run in the first inning in its last four games, producing a 37-14 mark when scoring first.  The offense has been led by 3B David Wright’s NL-leading 63 RBI, which ranks third in the majors.  The Mets have not dropped a season series to the Nationals/Expos franchise since 2003.

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