Washington Nationals: 2016 NLDS Tale Of The Tape

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Jun 22, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (5) slides into third base to beat a throw to Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) in the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (5) slides into third base to beat a throw to Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) in the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Sep 2, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) scores in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

Right Field: Josh Reddick/Yasiel Puig vs. Bryce Harper

This is the only position where I have two Dodgers as part of one position. At the trade deadline, Los Angeles went out and acquired Josh Reddick from the A’s in the same deal where they got Rich Hill. But, Reddick hasn’t made the impact that most people thought he would when that deal happened.

In 47 games, Reddick hit .258 with two home runs and nine RBI’s. Despite those numbers with Los Angeles, he is still a player to keep an eye on against right-handed pitching (.322, ten home run, 33 RBI’s). Against lefties like Gio Gonzalez, Roberts is likely to go with Yasiel Puig.

Puig hit .263 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI’s in 103 games. His success is better against left-handed pitching (.261, six home runs, 19 RBI’s). Puig may hit lefties well, but keep an eye on this stat. He is 1-for-11 against Gonzalez in his career.

Harper had a down season this year and wasn’t the player that won the NL MVP a year ago. He did return this past weekend from a thumb injury that caused him to miss four games. He went 2-for-11 with a RBI and eight strikeouts in that series against Miami.

Since the All-Star Break, Harper is hitting .226 with five home runs and 34 RBI’s and he hit only one home run in the month of September. He is still taking his walks, but it is concerning to see Harper continue to get fastballs blown by him consistently.

Harper went 5-for-24 with two home runs and four RBI’s this season, but he did strike out nine times. Just like Rendon, Harper had a great NLDS two years ago when he hit three home runs in four games against the Giants. If the Washington Nationals can get that kind of series form Harper, they should advance to the NLCS.

Advantage: The platoon of Reddick and Puig will be something to watch and Puig can change a game either positively or negatively with his defense. I am going to go with Harper in this matchup despite some of the concerns about his thumb and the power struggles he’s had in the second half.

 

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