- - Monday, May 14, 2018

The Nationals begin a two-game series at Nationals Park on Tuesday night against the New York Yankees. Here are three things to look for:

1.The Bryce Harper watch

What kind of attention will the Nationals right fielder get from the New York media and fans?

Harper, as you may have heard, will be a free agent after this season. Some observers have felt the Bronx could be a potential landing spot, especially before the Yankees signed free-agent outfielder Giancarlo Stanton before this season.

Harper grew up as a fan of Yankees legend Mickey Mantle, who wore No. 7. Harper wears No. 34 (three plus four is seven) as a tribute.

2.Nationals on a roll

Can Washington keep up its pace against another very good team?

The Nationals are coming off a four-game sweep in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, who entered the series with the best record in the National League.

Washington has now won four series in a row and has won 13 of its last 15 games. The Nationals are 24-18 and entered Monday 1.5 games back of the first-place Atlanta Braves.

The Yankees are 28-12, tied with the Boston Red Sox for best in the American League, and have won eight of their last 10.

3.Scherzer vs. the Yankees

Can Max Scherzer rise to the occasion once again?

Scherzer is slated to face the Yankees on Wednesday night in the series finale.

The Nationals ace is 4-3 in his career against the Yankees in seven starts with an ERA of 4.04.

He has not faced the Yankees since 2015 and he has not beaten them since 2013, when he was with the Detroit Tigers.

In his last start at home, he fanned 15 batters in just 6.1 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies — something that had never been done. Scherzer has also thrown a no-hitter at Nationals Park and has fanned 20 batters at home.

Scherzer will be opposed by CC Sabathia, who is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.23.

Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 2.22) is slated to pitch Tuesday against Mashiro Tanaka (4-2, 4.66).

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