Washington Nationals Opinions: Three Bold Predictions for the Second Half

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Jun 20, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) celebrates after recording a no hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 6 – 0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals Will Win a Playoff Series

The last three years for Nationals fans have been all sorts of a roller-coaster ride. In 2012, the team made the playoffs for the first time since moving to the nation’s capital before suffering a gut-wrenching defeat. They missed the postseason the following year, and last year saw them return to the postseason only to be sent home in four games by the eventual-champion San Francisco Giants.

But never fear, Nats fans, because this is the year they find a way to get out of the first round!

I know, I know. One playoff series victory doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as a World Series prediction, but I’m not ready to call that shot just yet. The playoffs are a crap shoot; once you’re into a seven game series, anything can happen. Just last season, both of the World Series participants were involved in the one-game playoff. A lot can happen once you get to October.

But I do think the Nationals get past the first round this year, and the key reason behind that is none other than their $215 million man, Max Scherzer.

It’s been more than apparent that the former Cy Young winner has been worth the money to this point. He’s pitched beyond brilliantly, sporting an ERA of 2.11, a FIP of 2.20, and a WHIP of an ultra-low .780. He recorded the second no-hitter in team history after coming within an out of a perfect game (thanks a lot, Jose Tabata). No matter who the Nationals face in the playoffs, Max Scherzer is better than what they got.

It’s this exact reason that I predict the Nationals will break through this year. It’s hard to see any team beating Scherzer twice, which is what would have to happen in a five game series.Prior to this year, the Nationals starter for Game 1 seemed uncertain. This year, they have the guy.

This isn’t to say that the Nationals won’t go farther than the NLCS. For right now, though, I feel more than confident that this group won’t be heading home after the division series, and that means a World Series is within reach.

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