Washington Nationals Analysis: Second Half Preview

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Jul 10, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) throws to the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants

The defending champs were no match for the Nats in their first meeting this season, as Washington avenged their early postseason exit last October with a sweep of the San Francisco Giants (46-43) on July 3-5. A team that has been in the middle of the pack in terms of scoring runs and allowing them, it would be expected that this Giants team would be around .500 at the All-Star Break.

World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner (9-5, 3.33) has picked up right where he left off last postseason, leading the patched up Giants rotation in ERA, WHIP, innings pitched, and strikeouts. Tim Hudson (5-7, 4.68) and Tim Lincecum (7-4, 4.13) both currently sit on the Disabled List, although neither have been performing at the level in which the team hoped when they were healthy.

Buster Posey (.314/.381/.498) plays the centerpiece for the San Francisco offense that has five starters hitting .279 or higher. With Hunter Pence’s (.283/.320/.457) return from the DL, the lineup should receive an automatic boost, even with Nori Aoki (.317/.383/.385) sitting on the shelf because of a fractured fibula

Scheduled to play a four game series August 13th-16th at AT&T Park, the Nationals hope to have a few players returned from injury themselves before they have to face San Francisco again. In fact, Jayson Werth, Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg are all expected to be back on the active roster by that time. While this is a different team from the one they faced in October a season ago, many of the key players on the roster have returned. Sweeping the defending world champions is no small feat, no matter the record they have on the season.

Next: Cardinals

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