The Wild Card games have wrapped up, and now we have a definitive landscape to the playoffs. However, one series that had no impact from the Wild Card game will see the National League East champions, Washington Nationals, play the National League West champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, really who have a record of 91-71.
Let us first look at the Washington Nationals. They pretty much had control of the National League East and didn’t have any major competition. If I had to have one person who the Dodgers should watch out for is second baseman Daniel Murphy. After spending seven years in New York with the Mets, Daniel Murphy signed with the Washington Nationals.
He had a huge swing in production this season as he would average roughly 15 home runs a season with the Mets. In his first season with the Nationals, he ended up hitting 25 home runs and became a major threat in the Nationals lineup. Another thing that should be interesting to see with the Nationals is how they handle not having Stephen Strasburg.
It was reported towards the end of the 2016 season that the Nationals will not have the services of the young ace. It shouldn’t affect the Nationals going further because they have enough pitching support that should carry this team. However, manager Dusty Baker already said that he wouldn’t use Max Scherzer on a short rest heading into Game 4. From the Nationals perspective, I can see it being an interesting series as they have the ability to make a run here. The question is the injury aspect as a lot of their players are injury prone.
On the other side, you have the Los Angeles Dodgers, who ended up winning the National League West, but were in competition with the San Francisco Giants. Like I mentioned for the Dodgers to watch out for Daniel Murphy, the Washington Nationals need to watch out for potential Rookie of the Year candidate Corey Segar. In his first full season, he ended up hitting 26 homers and drove in 72 runs. With numbers like that, he would end up having an average of .308 which is great for a rookie.
Overall, I am expecting this to be a great offensive showdown. I think the big key is the bullpen as that is what I figure will be tested greatly in this series. I suspect that the Washington Nationals will take the series and it will end up going the full five games.
Find out how to watch Game 1 of the NLDS below as the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers look to hold the advantage after one game.
Date: Friday, October 7, 2016
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go