This time around, O's against Nats needs no hype

When the Orioles and Nationals play, no hype for this series is needed for the first time. The teams have taken care of that and both are playing so well that they've turned this into a big series with the winning.

The Orioles lead the American League East at 25-14. They have the best record in the AL, are 17-7 over the last 24 games and are 11 games over .500 for the first time since June 24, 2005.

The Nationals feature two of the game's best young players in Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg and have been at or near the top of the National League East all year. They got off to a 14-4 start and have the best team ERA in the majors at 2.94.

The Nationals have baseball's third-best home record at 14-6. The Orioles sport baseball's top road record at 13-5.

The Nationals have a plus-14 run differential. The Orioles are at plus-18.

This is all good stuff that has energized the fans of baseball in the mid-Atlantic region and you would expect the stands to be packed and the ratings to be great for the telecasts on MASN this weekend.

For the first time ever, the Orioles and Nationals will meet when both have winning records. And they are not just winning records, but contending records as the season is just about at the quarter-pole.

How will the O's pitchers work to Harper? How will Nats hurlers deal with hot-hitting Adam Jones, who has three homers his last three games, seven in his last 13 and 13 on the year?

The Orioles and Nats split six games last year with each team winning the series, two games to one, at home. The Nats came to Baltimore and embarrassed the Orioles 17-5 on May 20, but the O's took the series' next two games by 8-3 and 2-1 scores.

Since the Nats began playing in D.C. in 2005, the Orioles are 19-17 versus the Nationals and that includes a record of 11-7 over the last three seasons. All-time against the Expos/Nationals franchise, the Orioles have a 25-26 record.

Another Baltimore-Washington series is here. What is your take on the weekend series? Are you going to any of the games? How will the Orioles do this weekend?

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