Cardinals face tough opponent as the Nationals come to St. Louis - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cardinals face tough opponent as the Nationals come to St. Louis

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

If the Cardinals are going to gain ground on the first place Cubs this weekend, looks like they've got their work cut out for them.

On Friday, the Cardinals begin a three-game series against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium. The Nationals fly into St. Louis with a three-game losing streak, but they still sport a 14-7 record and they're in first place in the National League East. 

Winning game one may be a chore, as Washington will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound. Strasburg is 3-0 on the young season with a sparkling 2.17 ERA. The Cardinals counter with Mike Leake, who's starting off the 2016 campaign with an 0-2 record and a 5.64 ERA.

Right-hander Joe Ross, who sports an equally impressive 2-0 record with a 0.54 ERA, will start for Washington on Saturday. Jaime Garcia will start for the Cardinals, with Carlos Martinez pitching on Sunday.

St. Louis-area native Max Scherzer is scheduled to pitch for Washington on Sunday.

The Cardinals were in third place in the NL Central as of early Friday, five games behind the division-leading Cubs.  Pittsburgh was in second place, one game ahead of St. Louis.

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