Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in Cubs’ visit to D.C.

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Jun 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (28) talks with Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) during a challenge of Zobrist's tag of Werth at second base in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Werth was ruled out on the challenge, and the Nationals won 5-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (28) talks with Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) during a challenge of Zobrist's tag of Werth at second base in the fifth inning at Nationals Park. Werth was ruled out on the challenge, and the Nationals won 5-4 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Daniel Murphy

Since signing with the Nats after the 2015 season, Daniel Murphy has been among the best hitters in the league. He finished second in NL MVP voting last season, and has picked up right where he left off this year. In 69 games, Murphy has hit .342 with 13 homers.

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Over the last 30 games, Murphy has been one of the hottest hitters in the league, leading the NL with a .386 batting average. He has done an outstanding job in the heart of this potent Nats lineup and has been complemented well by Harper, Zimmerman, and Rendon.

Murphy is one of the most dangerous hitters in the league and enjoys quite a bit of success against most teams, but has raked against the Cubs throughout his career. In 45 regular season games, he has hit .302 with five homers. He has also specifically fared well against the Cubs probable starters for this series. He has hit .286 against Butler, Arrieta, Lackey, and Lester combined.

Despite putting up remarkable numbers against the Cubs in the regular season, Murphy has done most of his damage in the postseason. In the 2015 NLCS between the Mets and Cubs, Murphy hit .529 and homered in every game. He almost single-handedly led the Mets to the World Series and ended the Cubs’ season.

If Murphy is able to continue to crush the Cubs, the Nats should be in a good position to win the series.

Next: Michael Taylor our player of the week

The Nationals have built a huge lead in the NL East, while the Cubs are fighting to stay above .500 and overtake the Brewers atop the NL Central. Bryce Harper, Jake Arrieta, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rizzo, and Daniel Murphy should all be players to watch during what looks to be an entertaining four-game series between two of the National League’s top teams.

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