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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Los Angeles Dodgers

After six straight series against non-contending teams, the Nats face the very competitive Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nats will be looking to get revenge after the Dodgers eliminated them in the playoffs last season. Both teams are off to great starts so far.

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The Dodgers have begun the season 23-18. According to FanGraphs, they are projected to finish 96-66 and have a 98.1% chance of making the playoffs. Los Angeles has been led by outstanding play from Nats killer, Justin Turner. In 36 games, he is hitting .359 and has only struck out 19 times.

Another exceptional offensive performer has been Corey Seager, who has been able to avoid a sophomore slump. In 38 games, he is hitting .282 with six homers. Receiving that much offensive production from the shortstop position has been extremely beneficial for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have also enjoyed a typical season from Clayton Kershaw. In eight starts, he has posted a 2.43 ERA, which ranks second in the National League.

Nationals’ off-season target, Kenley Jansen has done a phenomenal job of locking down games for the Dodgers. So far, he is 7-for-7 in save opportunities, and has pitched to a 1.23 ERA.

These six upcoming series are a crucial part of the Nats’ season. They have an easy stretch of the schedule, and they must take advantage of this opportunity by winning as many series as possible. The Mets are currently struggling, so if the Nats can get hot, they can distance themselves and coast into the playoffs.

The Nats relievers can also attempt to work out their issues, which have cost the team quite a few games early in the season. The bullpen must improve if the Nats plan on making a deep playoff run.

Next: Ryan Zimmerman Chasing Triple Crown History

If the Nats are able to take advantage of the easy upcoming series, it could set the tone for the remainder of the season and the postseason. The upcoming series could mean more to the Nats than they appear to.

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