Washington Nationals Second Half Preview
San Francisco Giants
When: at San Francisco, July 27-31; at Washington, August 5-7
Hitter to Watch: Brandon Belt – 87 G, 364 PA, .302/.407/.521, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 46 R, 0 SB
Pitcher to Watch: Madison Bumgarner – 19 G, 129.2 IP, 10-4 record, 1.94 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 0.964 WHIP, 146 Ks
The San Francisco Giants have surpassed the Cubs for the title of the best team in baseball, and they’ve shown no indication of slowing down anytime soon. They boast the second lowest starters’ ERA (3.48) among teams left on the Nats schedule behind the Mets, guided by the methodical Madison Bumgarner.
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Buster Posey leads the team in home runs (11) and runs scored (52) while remaining one of the most reliable catchers in the game. First baseman Brandon Belt is in the midst of a career year, and manager Bruce Bochy has rewarded him by placing him third in the lineup. Not to be forgotten is shortstop Brandon Crawford (.281 BA, 61 RBI), who is one of the biggest All-Star snubs in the NL.
Next: Nats' All-Stars a Testament to the Team's Talent in 2016
With six games left against the team with the most wins in the sport, no one can call the second half of the Nats’ schedule a cakewalk. They do have 20 games left with the lowly Braves and Phillies, however, and are in a prime position to run away with the division. If they can prove that they cam hang with the best in the business, there’s no telling what this team will be capable of come October.