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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San Diego Padres

The Nats gear up for a nine-game West Coast trip by hosting the San Diego Padres for three games. Although the Padres were among the worst teams in the league in 2016, they gave the Nats some trouble, winning four of their seven matchups. The Padres finished 68-94 last season, and are projected to do even worse this year. After getting off to a 15-27 start, they are projected to finish 64-98 and are the only team in the MLB with a 0.0% chance of making the playoffs.

The Padres offense has been led by Wil Myers, but that isn’t saying much. Myers has followed up his breakout 2016 campaign with a .294 start in 2017, but he is still almost 100 points behind the Nats’ leader, Ryan Zimmerman.

Rookie center fielder Manuel Margot has also gotten off to a solid start, batting .272 in 36 games out of the leadoff spot. He has good speed and has five stolen bases, but has also been caught stealing five times.

Third baseman Ryan Schimpf, who homered 20 times in 89 games a year ago, has continued to hit the long ball. However, that’s about the extent of his production; his .154 batting average and 48 strikeouts are both worst on the team.

Trevor Cahill has been a pleasant surprise for the Padres, leading the rotation with a 3.27 ERA. The rest of the rotation has not fared as well, with Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, Jered Weaver, and Luis Perdomo all struggling to begin the season.

The Padres have played just about as poorly as they were expected to, and the Nats must take advantage of playing them before a long West Coast trip.

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