Two of the hottest teams in the National League meet Monday, when the Washington Nationals visit the San Francisco Giants for the opener of their four-game series. Washington has won seven of its last nine to move into a three-way tie for first in the NL East with Atlanta and Miami, while San Francisco has captured five straight and stands a season-high 21 games over .500. The Giants have been pleased by the recent play of Gregor Blanco, who is batting .400 (18-for-45) over his last 20 games and collected a season-high three RBIs in Sunday's 6-4 win over the New York Mets.Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon has missed the last two games with a swollen right hand, but he's hoping to return for Monday's series opener. Ian Desmond is batting just .230, but his 13 home runs - including a two-run blast in each of his last two games - rank second behind Troy Tulowitzki (17) among all major-league shortstops. Washington's starting pitchers have recorded 40 strikeouts without a walk over the last five games, and Gio Gonzalez is nearing a return after landing on the disabled list on May 18 with shoulder inflammation.TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (5-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 3.39)Strasburg struck out 11 and held Philadelphia to four runs (two earned) over seven frames last Wednesday, giving him consecutive victories for the first time since posting four straight in August 2012. Tyler Colvin has two home runs in four at-bats against the 25-year-old, who has registered nine straight quality starts. Strasburg is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco, including seven innings of one-run ball on May 21, 2013.Vogelsong has bounced back from a shaky April by going 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and a 27-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last four starts. "I feel like at this point right now, I'm throwing the ball better than I did in 2012," he told MLB.com. "My stuff's better than it was then." Vogelsong, who won a career-high 14 games in 2012, has gone 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA in seven career contests (three starts) against Washington.WALK-OFFS1. San Francisco has lost eight of its last 12 games against the Nationals since 2012.2. Washington manager Matt Williams played for the Giants from 1987-96.3. The Giants have won five straight series and are 7-0-2 in their last nine.PREDICTION: Nationals 6, Giants 3