The Washington Nationals hit the All-Star Break 18 games over .500 and six games up on the Mets and Marlins in the NL East, what’s in store for them in the second half?
Through their first 90 games into the 2016 MLB season, the Washington Nationals hold the lowest team ERA in the majors, have hit the most homers in the Senior Circuit, and sport the highest fielding percentage in all of baseball. They were well-represented by five All-Stars in the Midsummer Classic this past week, and closed out the first half with a sweep over the rival New York Mets.
At this point last season, the Nats were 48-39 and two games up on New York in the NL East. Things were looking good for Washington as they kicked off the second half, but clubhouse issues and a lack of consistency derailed their season—leading to a disappointing 83-win campaign. This season, however, the Nationals look like a force to be reckoned with.
While the Nats had higher expectations and a roster that featured former All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond last season, the team has been a much better ballclub in 2016. Their starting rotation has been as good as any team’s in the majors, supported by a reliable bullpen and star-studded lineup.
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The All-Star Game has come and gone, and the Nationals—with their sights set on a World Series appearance—are in a good position heading into the second half. What teams are going to be their biggest obstacle along the way? Here’s a preview of the best teams Washington is going to face over the next month.
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