The Nationals don't need the help with a 6.5 game lead in the NL East with just about a month remaining, but seven home games against a pair of fifth-place teams won't hurt as Washington prepares to host Chicago and Miami starting with an afternoon game on Labor Day against the Cubs.
Ross Detwiler (8-6, 3.32) takes the mound Monday for a Nats team that has won four out of five. Detwiler has alternated wins and losses in his last seven decisions, but his actual performances have been pretty consistent.
Meanwhile, the Cubs went a miserable 8-21 in August and have opened up September with a pair of losses. They haven't sniffed playoff contention for some time, and although Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.03) hasn't been bad, he's been a hard-luck loser in a lot of his outings due to some anemic offense by his teammates.