Washington Nationals’ All-Stars a testament to the team’s talent in 2016
By Pablo Roa
The Washington Nationals have five players representing them on the National League All-Star squad — a testament to the team’s incredible talent in 2016.
If there’s one thing we know for sure about the 2016 Washington Nationals, it’s that they’re loaded with talent.
They head into the second half with a 54-36 record, which puts them six games ahead of the Mets for first place in the NL East. Their record is tied for the third-best in all of baseball, and their run differential is the second highest in the game.
Of course, this is baseball we’re talking about, so anything can happen. The Nationals could absolutely flounder in the second half (as they did last season) and find a way to miss the playoffs (as they did last season).
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But right now, the Nationals are on fire. They’ve shown that they’re a championship-caliber team, and the fact that they have five players representing them in tonight’s All-Star game just goes to show how special the first half of the season was for this team.
Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer were all a crucial part of the team’s first half success. The Nationals simply wouldn’t be where they are today without those five players.
Harper had an otherworldly start to the season, helping the Nationals get off to quick start and demonstrate that they are, in fact, contenders in 2016. Murphy and Ramos have anchored the lineup all season long, and they hold the first and second highest batting averages in the game, respectively.
Not surprisingly, one of the Nationals’ strengths this season has been the rotation, spearheaded by the ever-dominant Strasburg and Scherzer.
Strasburg, who will not pitch in tonight’s All-Star game, is 12-0 with a 2.62 ERA and has been the true ace of the pitching staff this season. Scherzer, who replaced Strasburg on the active roster for tonight’s Summer Classic, leads all of baseball with 164 strikeouts.
These five players represent everything that has gone right for the Nationals so far this season, and everything that must continue to go right for the team in the second half.
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Tonight, four of these five players could help the National League secure home field advantage in the World Series. But over the next few months, all five players will be tasked with leading the Nationals to their third NL East title in the last five years.