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Game Preview, April 16: Phillies at Nationals

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Ryan Howard is hitting seventh.

*steam blows out of ears*
*steam blows out of ears*
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $125,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Enter now!

Hey, welcome to the fourth series of the season and the very first matchup! With the expectedly bad Phillies going up against the surprisingly miserable Nationals, there's plenty to discuss! Will the Nats get their revenge? Will the Phillies continue to play spoiler to our louder, more bearded younger brother in the division? Is Odubel Herrera trending yet? All of these questions and more will be answered:

NOT TODAY. Shut all that stuff down, because there's news and it's this -- Ryan Howard is batting 7th.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>For the first time in nearly 9 years, Ryan Howard is slotted in the seventh spot of the Phillies lineup: <a href="http://t.co/fyK7dOpfPR">http://t.co/fyK7dOpfPR</a></p>&mdash; Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) <a href="https://twitter.com/ryanlawrence21/status/588791636819374081">April 16, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Not a fantasy! Not an alternate universe! Real live slugger decline in effect!! Bring your hankies folks, cause this one is gonna be a tearjerker!

Probable Pitchers

Cole Hamels -- with an early season ERA of 3.75 despite his fairly crummy first few starts, Hamels has to be feeling pretty good. Not so for his old friend Ryan Howard who is batting seventh in maybe the second or third worst lineup in baseball.

Doug Fister -- The Nats pitcher tonight would know a thing or two about hurt feelings, having bounced around between three teams despite excellent results. But he seems to have caught on with the Nats (trade rumors notwithstanding) and should provide a formidable test for the Phils. Especially for Ryan Howard who is batting seventh in this, a Major League Basball game.

Prediction: After a slow first couple innings, RYAN HOWARD BATS SEVENTH, RENDING REALITY AND SENTENCING THE HUMAN RACE TO BE DEVOURED BY YOG-SOGGOTH, BEAST OF THE DARKNESS.