Washington Nationals: Predictions For Dodgers-Nats NLDS

rickinator555
Jul 21, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Andrew Toles (60) beats the throw to Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) at third base during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 21, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Andrew Toles (60) beats the throw to Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) at third base during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 8
Next
Washington Nationals
Sep 19, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during a MLB game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been known for a while that the Dodgers and Nationals would be squaring off in the first round of the postseason. Neither team was going to catch the Cubs, and neither team was going to get caught in the last week or two of the regular season.

This feels wrong and unnatural after the regular season, but the Dodgers actually have a huge advantage in the health department. The rotation is healthy, position players are healthy and the bullpen is mostly healthy. Trayce Thompson would be nice to have, but Andrew Toles has taken his spot very nicely. Adam Liberatore is hurt, but his performance didn’t exactly make him an obvious choice for the Dodgers’ bullpen.

On the other hand, Stephen Strasburg and Wilson Ramos are hurt while Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy will be playing at less than 100 percent. At full strength this would be an incredible matchup that probably goes five games and leaves us all with heart attacks, but depending on what Harper and Murphy can provide, this series seems to favor the Dodgers pretty heavily.

The Dodgers didn’t exactly end the season strong, losing five of their six post-clinch games. Most of those losses were due to guys that aren’t on the playoff roster, but that stretch insured that the Dodgers would open up on the road. They were much better at home than on the road this year, but I don’t think that’ll matter too much in this series. Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill can pitch anywhere, and I like the idea of Kenta Maeda and possibly Julio Urias starting at home rather than on the road.

In no way do I trust this series. Max Scherzer is my Cy Young pick and can cancel out Kershaw. Tanner Roark was low key phenomenal this year and could definitely match Hill. Gio Gonzalez was struggled, but he’s a human that throws with his left hand so he’ll probably throw seven shutout frames against the Dodgers. Harper and Murphy might not be 100 percent, but they’ll still scare me every time they’re at the plate. Trea Turner would have a ROY case in a world without Corey Seager. In a five-game bubble, anything could happen.

However, this year the Dodgers have an extremely solid bullpen. That’s been their demise in recent postseasons, but they have a nice mix with some high strikeout arms that will protect virtually any lead they get. That being said, if I have to make a prediction, I’ll take the Dodgers in four.

Up next is District On Deck staff writer Matt Holleran, who talks about the importance of Bryce Harper

facebooktwitterreddit