Washington Nationals: 5 to watch as Braves visit before All-Star Break
By Drew Douglas
The Washington Nationals begin a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves tonight; here are five players to keep an eye on.
The Washington Nationals are coming off of a series win against their division rival, New York Mets. Although the final game was postponed, the series featured lots of excitement, including a Ryan Raburn walk-off and an offensive explosion on the Fourth of July.
The Atlanta Braves, in the middle of a rebuild, have played surprisingly well this year. Coming into this season, they were expected to be among the worst teams in the league. However, they are currently sitting right around .500 and are fourth in the NL Wild Card race, just behind the defending champion Chicago Cubs.
To make their season even more impressive, the Braves were without their star, Freddie Freeman, for a significant period of time. Freeman broke his wrist after being hit by a pitch, an injury similar to Trea Turner‘s.
Now, Freeman has returned and the Braves look to get hot and remain in the Wild Card race for as long as possible. While their postseason chances are slim with the three-headed monster in the NL West, the Braves have been an exciting team to watch and have done a nice job of opening their new stadium.
This is the final series before the All-Star Break, and both teams will be sending their stars to Miami to represent the National League. The Nats will be very well-represented, with three starting position players and five All-Stars total. They also have a couple players in Anthony Rendon and Gio Gonzalez who appear to have a chance to be added to the roster.
Center fielder Ender Inciarte will be representing the Braves in Miami. He was part of the Shelby Miller trade prior to last season, and has been an outstanding addition for Atlanta. He has continued to impress this season, batting .305 in 83 games.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five key players for what should be an entertaining final series before the All-Star break.