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New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals: Series Preview

As the ship gets closer to sinking, the Bombers take on the fellow-last-place Nats.

2023 Little League Classic: Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Well, back-to-back sweeps is not how you stay in the playoff hunt, but the schedule unrelentingly pushes on. After an 0-for-6 go at the Braves and Red Sox, the Bombers will take on the Nationals as they continue their homestand. Both squads find themselves in the basement of this sport’s Eastern divisions, and shockingly (to someone time-traveling from March), the Nats are only 3.5 games worse than the Yankees headed into this series in the Bronx.

New York will get two of their top arms in the rotation, and so will Washington, in what will likely be a competitive matchup — or at the very least, one with plenty of intrigue since top prospects Everson Pereira and Oswald Peraza will be up. Let’s take a look at how the rotations lineup for this three-game set.

Tuesday: Carlos Rodón vs. Josiah Gray (7:05 pm ET)

The Yankees’ premier lefty will make his seventh start of the season tonight. Rodón is returning from the injured list with a hamstring injury, where he’s been sidelined since his last start on August 6th. That start was probably his worst as a Yankee, where he went 2.2 innings and gave up five earned runs before being removed with hamstring tightness. Overall, the 30-year-old owns a 7.33 ERA across 27 innings this season, and he’ll look to turn things around to end 2023 on a positive note.

Josiah Gray, Washington’s lone All-Star this year, is having a career year in his age-25 season. Based on results, at least, the righty has a 3.96 ERA over 129.2 innings of work, but that comes with the caveat of a much less impressive 4.81 FIP and shakier results in the second half. Gray has increased his walk rate and lowered his strikeout rate compared to his first two seasons in the bigs, but has found some success nonetheless.

Wednesday: Luis Severino vs. MacKenzie Gore (7:05 pm ET)

Much like the Yankees as a whole, Luis Severino will continue pressing on through his struggle-filled 2023. The right-hander owns an ERA teetering on eight, and it has been trending up. Over his last five appearances, that number has been 11.37, with a FIP over eight. It has been tough to watch the 29-year-old struggle so mightily, as these remaining starts will likely mean a lot to his future with the Yankees and in the game writ large.

Gore, once a top-notch pitching prospect out in San Diego, is enjoying a decent 2023 in his first look at a full workload. Over 123.1 innings, the lefty has maintained a 4.38 ERA and 4.48 FIP, while striking out a more-than-serviceable 27 percent of batters. He is coming off of a gem against the Red Sox in his last start, where he shut them out over 6.1 innings, fanning seven while allowing just one hit.

Thursday: TBD vs. Patrick Corbin (1:05 pm ET)

At the time of writing, there is no official starter listed in the series finale for the Yankees, but Gerrit Cole is due up in the rotation. While a spot start or bullpen game can’t be counted out, Cole should continue to work on his Cy Young bid. The righty is coming off of perhaps his worst start of the year, where he gave up six earned runs over four innings to the Red Sox last week.

Patrick Corbin is experiencing a slight rebound compared to his last few seasons in the nation’s capital. The 34-year-old lefty owns a not-so-promising 5.16 FIP to go along with his improved ERA, and is posting a career low strikeout rate. Home runs have still been an issue for him, and the Yankees will look to jump on the oft-struggling southpaw.