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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Oakland Athletics

The Nats finish up their easy stretch with three games in Oakland. The Athletics have struggled in 2017, getting off to a 16-22 start. According to FanGraphs, they are projected to finish at 77-85 and currently have a 7.7% chance of making the playoffs.

The Nats and A’s haven’t played each other since 2014, a series that did not go well for the Nats as they were swept at home.

To show how long it’s been since the two played each other, only two of the six pitchers of record from the 2014 series are still with the same team. The first game’s pitchers of record were Tommy Milone (now with the Mets) and Doug Fister (currently a free agent). The second game’s pitchers of record were Sean Doolittle (still with the A’s) and Drew Storen (now with the Reds). Finally, the third game’s pitchers of record were Scott Kazmir (now with the Dodgers) and Gio Gonzalez (still with the Nats).

The Athletics series will be an interesting one to watch for Nats fans. The Nats and A’s have been frequent trade partners, and the A’s have several players who could potentially help the Nats. If the Nats are still having bullpen issues, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson are two trade candidates that the Nats could be interested in.

Sonny Gray is another A’s player who has had his name floated in trade discussions in the past. If Jacob Turner doesn’t work out as the fifth starter and Joe Ross continues to struggle in AAA, the Nats could look to trade for Gray. The A’s will not be competitive this year, so they could be looking to sell at the trade deadline, and Mike Rizzo and Billy Beane always seem to be able to work out a deal.

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