Washington Nationals: Easy Upcoming Series Present Great Opportunity

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May 13, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) is doused with water after hitting a two run walk-off homer against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) is doused with water after hitting a two run walk-off homer against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Seattle Mariners

The Nats have an off-day following their series in Atlanta, and then play host to the Seattle Mariners. The two haven’t matched up since August of 2014, when the Nats won two of three in Seattle.

So far in 2017, the Mariners have struggled despite having lofty expectations entering the season. PECOTA, which is usually fairly conservative, predicted that the Mariners would win 87 games and make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. They have failed to meet expectations, getting off to an 19-22 start, and now have just a 15.8% chance of making the playoffs.

Jerry Dipoto continued his overhaul of the Mariners’ roster, acquiring Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, Marc Rzepczynski, and Drew Smyly, among others. Some moves have paid off, but others have yet to make an impact.

Segura and Haniger have been excellent for Seattle so far, batting .370 and .342 respectively. However, not all of their moves have gone so well. For example, Smyly hasn’t thrown a single pitch in a Mariners uniform. After a strong showing in the World Baseball Classic, Smyly had to be placed on the 60-day DL with a strained left elbow.

Edwin Diaz was also possibly hurt by the World Baseball Classic. He served as Puerto Rico’s closer, and featured electric stuff, but has not been the same in the regular season. In 16 games, he has a 5.28 ERA and was recently removed from the closer’s role.

The Mariners have been extremely injury-plagued, and many of their stars have spent time on the DL. Haniger, Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and James Paxton are among their players currently on the DL. While most of them will probably return in time for the Nats series, their absence has greatly contributed to the Mariners’ struggles.

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