The National League has a National Born Problem
As we get closer to the trading deadline in baseball, let us examine the outlook for the Washington Nationals, who as of games played July 21st, are tied with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the National League. The Washington Nationals currently have the best run differential in the National League, which is usually a good indicator of future success. Currently, there are 8 teams separated by just 4 games for the 5 playoff spots, ridiculously tight considering that the season is almost two-thirds complete so make sure you purchase Washington Nationals tickets fast before the season ends!
According to FanGraphs.com, the Washington Nationals are expected to win the National League East by 4 games over the Atlanta Braves. The 91 wins that FanGraphs projects for the Washington Nationals would make them the top seed in the National League, which would be huge because the Washington Nationals would be able to set their pitching rotation against the Wild Card playoff winner due to the extra time off. It would also be important because the Washington Nationals would have home field advantage for the National League playoffs. As of July 21st, the Washington Nationals are 30-20 at home and just 24-23 on the road.
The Washington Nationals also have a fairly easy remaining schedule, with just 21 of their 65 games left against teams in the National League playoff chase. The National League East division race will likely be decided in the 9 games the Washington Nationals have remaining against the Atlanta Braves. The Washington Nationals have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, but that hasn’t stopped possible trade rumors of them landing another good pitcher like Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies. Currently, the Washington Nationals are second in runs allowed in the National League, behind the San Diego Padres, who play in possibly the best pitcher’s ballpark in all of baseball.
The Washington Nationals line-up is also stacked with quality bats like Ian Desmond, Jayson Werth, Adam Laroche, and the controversial wunderkind Bryce Harper, who just recently returned from an injury a few weeks ago. The Washington Nationals, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, appear to be the best teams in the National League. I would be surprised if the Washington Nationals or the Dodgers did not represent the National League in the World Series. Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers look better on paper, I am going to pick the Washington Nationals to make the World Series. This would be the first time in 90 years Washington D.C. has hosted the Fall Classic, so it would be a humongous event. I do think the Washington Nationals fall short in the World Series to the Oakland Athletics in a dramatic seven game series.