Nadal took his record against the world No. 26 to 7-0 in emphatic style, never facing a break point in a match lasting an hour and 16 minutes.
"I think I played a very solid match," Nadal said. "I did a lot of things well."
Nadal, a three-time winner of the Indian Wells title, next faces Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic, who ousted 14th-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2.
World number one Novak Djokovic was due up after Nadal on stadium court, continuing his quest for a fourth-round berth after his third-round match against German Philipp Kohlschreiber was halted by rain on Monday night with just one game completed.
The winner of that match will take on France's Gael Monfils, who sped past Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-0, 6-3 on Monday.
Djokovic, who claimed a record seventh Australian Open title in January, is seeking an unprecedented sixth Indian Wells crown.
He currently shares the record of five with Roger Federer, who takes on Stan Wawrinka in the third round in a rematch of the 2017 final won by Federer.
Federer has dominated the rivalry with his friend and countryman 21-3, with all three of Wawrinka's victories coming on clay courts.
"Don't remind me of the stats," Wawrinka quipped after pulling off a marathon three-set victory over Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.
The match with Federer will be another stern test for Wawrinka, a former world number three who is climbing back up the rankings as he continues his return from double knee surgery.
In other early matches, 67th-ranked Hubert Herkacz of Poland upset sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the last 16 of a Masters 1000 event for the first time.
He will play 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the 24th seed who beat 10th seeded Croatian Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2.