What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

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Getcha popcorn ready. Nationals pitching prospect Lucas Giolito will make his major league debut on Tuesday night at home against the Mets in a 7:05 PM EDT start, opposing Matt Harvey.

Giolito, the consensus #1 prospect in baseball, has spent the season with Double-A Harrisburg. The 21-year-old is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA and a 72/34 K/BB ratio in 71 innings spanning 14 starts. It’s his fifth season in professional baseball after the Nationals selected him in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2012 draft.

What can you expect to see from Giolito? He throws a fastball that sits in the mid- to high-90’s, occasionally touching 100 MPH. He complements that with a 12-to-6 curve and a change-up. The change-up is a solid step down in quality compared to his curve, but it’s worth having in the arsenal so hitters can’t cheat to catch up to his fastball.

The Nationals are relying on Giolito in an important series. The Nationals beat the Mets 11-4 on Monday night and the Marlins were off, so the Nationals lead the Fish by 3.5 games and the Mets by four games. The Nats and Mets play two more games in this series, then meet for four more in early July. They won’t meet up again until early September when they’ll round out the schedule with six final matchups. For the Mets, this series is a good opportunity to make up some ground. For the Nationals, they could start to pull away from the pack with a sweep, which could be aided by a solid debut by Giolito on Tuesday night.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels) @ New York Yankees (CC Sabathia), 7:05 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Chris Archer), 7:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Cincinnati Reds (John Lamb), 7:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Adam Conley) @ Detroit Tigers (Mike Pelfrey), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Julio Urias) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson), 8:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson) @ Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana), 8:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @ Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura), 8:15 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler), 8:40 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Jerad Eickhoff) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Greinke), 9:40 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Scott Feldman) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tim Lincecum), 10:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ San Diego Padres (Erik Johnson), 10:10 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Jon Niese) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 10:10 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ San Francisco Giants (Albert Suarez), 10:15 PM EDT