Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  Last updated 8/23/13
Over the next three weeks, the Kansas City Royals (64-62) are the only team with a winning record the Washington Nationals (63-64) will face. With a series win this weekend, the Nationals could take that distinction away from them, while also earning themselves a winning record for the first time since July 14. Momentum is in favor of the Nationals to take the series. They have won three straight and are 11-8 in August. Though the Royals came off the All-Star break on a 19-5 tear, they have cooled off considerably. They have lost five straight, and are 11-11 in August. Kansas City’s offense has been unmistakably absent during their last five losses. They have scored just 13 runs, and are batting .205 in that span (39-for-190). The Nationals’ offense has been consistently inconsistent, but over their last three wins they have been on the upswing of that trend, batting a collective .305. If the Nats offense can keep the hits coming, and the pitchers can capitalize on the Royals’ offensive woes, they could come away with their second series win of their road trip in their first ever visit to Kauffman Stadium. The Facts - The Nats have played only three games against the Royals, of which they won two in 2010 at Nationals Park. - The Royals are in third place in the AL Central, 9.5 games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers. In The Zone Bryce Harper (LF) .360 AVG, .515 OBP, .560 SLG, 5 2B (last seven games) Who’s Hot? Billy Butler (DH) .308 AVG, .419 OBP, .423 SLG, 1 HR (last seven games) Eric Hosmer (1B) .296 AVG, .287 OBP, .519 SLG, 2 HR (last seven games) Who’s Not? Alcides Escobar (SS) .083 AVG, .115 OBP, .125 SLG, 7 SO (last seven games) Salvador Perez (C) .231 AVG, .259 OBP, .346 SLG, 3 SO (last seven games) Probable Starters 8/23, Gio Gonzalez (7-6, 3.38 ERA, .227 BAA, 155 SO) vs. Bruce Chen (5-1, 2.20 ERA, .220 BAA, 54 SO) 8/24, Jordan Zimmermann (14-7, 3.37 ERA, .239 BAA, 121 SO) vs. Wade Davis (6-9, 5.43 ERA, .319 BAA, 103 SO) 8/25, Dan Haren (8-11, 4.64 ERA, .267 BAA, 117 SO) vs. Ervin Santana (8-7, 3.13 ERA, .237 BAA, 130 SO) 
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