Washington Nationals Second Half Preview
By Matt Weyrich
Los Angeles Dodgers
When: at Washington, July 19-21
Hitter to Watch: Corey Seager – 90 G, 389 PA, .297/.357/.521, 17 HR, 42 RBI, 60 R, 1 SB
Pitcher to Watch: Clayton Kershaw – 16 G, 121.0 IP, 11-2 record, 1.79 ERA, 1.70 FIP, 0.727 WHIP, 145 Ks
The Dodgers may not be the same team that won 92 games last season, but Dave Roberts’ club is still stacked with plenty of young talent that can propel them to the postseason for the fourth straight year. The rotation has faced an unreal string of injuries, but Los Angeles has remained resilient. Several players are looking to be returning soon, and this team could be on the cusp of a big second half.
Corey Seager has already locked up the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and he could challenge for MVP if he continues hitting at this pace. Kenley Jansen was named to his first All-Star team after recording 27 saves to go with a sparkling 1.16 ERA in the first half. Clayton Kershaw’s ridiculous 16.1 K/BB ratio is the stuff of video game numbers, and he should be returning from the Disabled List just in time to face the Nats.
Los Angeles swept Washington at Dodger Stadium in late June, outscoring the Nats 11-6 in the three-game set. While those losses came in the midst of a seven game losing streak for the Nationals, the team outplayed them. This time, however, the Nats will be looking to avenge those losses as they look to keep distance between themselves and the Mets in the division.
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