Washington Nationals Analysis: Second Half Preview

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Jun 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals grounds crew members prepare the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

87 games down, 75 to go. While the All-Star Break is really only the unofficial mark of the halfway point through the season, there is still a lot of baseball still to be played. At the break, the 48-39 Washington Nationals sit atop the National League East, two games up on the second place New York Mets. If the season ended today, Washington would hold the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and would face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.

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Between these final 75 games, the Nats will face 14 opponents across 23 series and one make-up game against the Cincinnati Reds. These opponents have a combined winning percentage of .487, which is pretty deceiving, as seven of these teams sport a record of .500 or better. 37 of these games will be against NL East teams, and 72 of them against opponents in the Senior Circuit.

While a record of nine games over .500 is not much to complain about at this point in the season, many are disappointed with the Nationals season after all the preseason hype. Players, managers, and fans will all point to injuries, noting that only three starters in their fully healthy lineup have been playing every day. Meanwhile, the team still waits for Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jayson Werth to return to the lineup as well as Stephen Strasburg‘s return to the starting rotation.

Heading into the second half of the season, the Nats look to get healthier and take off, consequently running away with their third division title in four years. Standing in their way are six key series that the Nats’ season hinges upon. Take a look and see who they’re going to be up against and each series’ impact on the National League Pennant Race.

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