National League East Predictions
I don’t believe I’m the only one who feels a little strange saying that the Washington Nationals will win the NL East, but they are the best team in this division. That’s evident in their +58 run differential at the break, 24 higher than Atlanta’s.
Their pitching has been superior to anyone’s in the league, giving up 16 fewer earned runs (268) than the next lowest team (LAD, 284). Even if Stephen Strasburg is shut down in September, I still think they have enough pitching to keep Atlanta from catching them.
The Braves are the biggest threat to Washington; New York will slowly fade out of the race. Maybe there’s a chance the Mets grab the final wildcard spot, but I don’t think so.
The question is, do the Nats have enough offensive firepower to hold off the Braves? Short answer, yes. Bryce Harper will continue to get better and compliment the likes of Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche in the line-up. Adam Zimmerman needs to keep it rolling in the 2nd half, and everyone will forget about that slow start.
Playoff baseball will be back in our nation’s capital for the first time since 1933, when the Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) made a trip to the World Series. National fans hope if they make it to October, their fate will be different. Washington fell to the New York Giants in five games.
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