Game 19 lineups: Nats vs. Astros

The Nationals return home from a 5-4 West Coast road trip for a celebratory weekend as the organization relives the magical 2019 World Series run for the championship’s five-year anniversary. And it is no coincidence the team they are hosting during this celebration is the team they defeated in seven games to win the World Series: the Houston Astros.

To kick off the weekend, the Nats will send to the mound one of the young pitchers they hope will help lead them to their next championship, MacKenzie Gore. The 25-year-old left-hander is off to a great start to the season and has been the Nats’ best starter to date. He leads the rotation with a 2-0 record, 2.81 ERA and 23 strikeouts over his first three starts. And although his 16 innings don’t quite qualify him for league leader boards just yet, his 12.94 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate would currently rank third among qualified major league pitchers.

After having strong outings against the Pirates, Phillies and Athletics, Gore will test his stuff against a dangerous Astros lineup that ranks in the top three in the majors in home runs, average and OPS.

Justin Verlander makes his long-awaited season debut for the Astros tonight. The three-time Cy Young Award winner started the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder and made two minor league rehab starts before rejoining the big league club. The 41-year-old right-hander is expected to be on some sort of pitch limit, so it will be in the Nats’ best interest to work good at-bats.

And just for the record, since it is World Series reunion weekend: Verlander went 0-2 and allowed seven runs over 11 innings for a 5.73 ERA in two World Series home starts against the Nats five years ago.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 6:45 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, DC 87.7 (Spanish),
Weather: Cloudy, 65 degrees, wind 9 mph out to left field

CF Jacob Young
SS CJ Abrams
DH Jesse Winker
RF Lane Thomas
2B Luis García Jr.
1B Joey Meneses
LF Eddie Rosario
C Riley Adams
3B Ildemaro Vargas

LHP MacKenzie Gore

2B Jose Altuve
DH Yordan Alvarez
3B Alex Bregman
RF Kyle Tucker
C Yainer Diaz
SS Jeremy Peña
LF Chas McCormick
1B José Abreu
CF Mauricio Dubóm

RHP Justin Verlander

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