NL East Opponents A Plenty
Out of the 23 April games the Nats played in 2016, only six of them took place against teams not in the NL East. This year, April remains pretty much the same thing as the Nats will play a NL East team 18 times within the first 25 games.
It all starts April 3 when the Washington Nationals start the season at home with a three game series against the Miami Marlins (April 3, 5-6). It should be an emotional Opening Day as Miami will play its first Opening Day since the death of their ace pitcher, Jose Fernandez. Remember Miami’s last series of the 2016 season was in D.C.
Last season, the Nats played six of their first eight games against the Atlanta Braves and won all six. In April 2017, the Nats have one series in Atlanta (April 18-20) at their new ballpark (SunTrust Park). Atlanta has added veteran starters Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and Jaime Garcia to their rotation and should be much better under Brian Snitker than last April.
While the Nats also play six games against the Phillies, the two intra-division series everyone will be excited for is the ones with the New York Mets (April 21-23, April 28-30). The April 23 game at Citi Field is already scheduled to be on Sunday night baseball on ESPN.
Washington went 12-7 against the Mets a season ago and second baseman Daniel Murphy was excellent against his former team. In 19 games, Murphy hit .413 with seven home runs, 21 RBI’s, and had a hit in every game. Of course, this matchup is always fun because of the talent that both starting rotations have.
If you want to win a division, you have to be able to beat up on the teams at the bottom of the division. Washington did that last year, can they do it again this year?