Washington Nationals: 5 to watch versus the Milwaukee Brewers

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 22: Bryce Harper
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 22: Bryce Harper /
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After a huge road trip, the Washington Nationals return home to meet the Milwaukee Brewers. Who should you keep an eye on?

The Washington Nationals finally will make the rounds in the National League in 2017 when they host the Central division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

Well, co-leaders as those dreaded Chicago Cubs caught them Sunday night. Never mind those Cubs visit Milwaukee this weekend, the Brewers will focus on their potential NL Divisional Series opponents and not the 800-pound gorilla marching up I-94 ready to knock them out of first.

Yes, this mid-week clash sets up well for the Nats. And that is when trouble happens.

Washington had a day to compose themselves and rest after a successful trip to Cincinnati and Arizona. Although the health of Stephen Strasburg remains a mystery, the Nats stormed into the second half winning seven of eight and forcing the Atlanta Braves as sellers for the upcoming trade deadline frenzy.

Despite injuries, a bullpen crafted straight out of Stephen King’s imagination and the occasional mental lapse, the Nats stand on the verge of back-to-back postseason appearances. In the 49 seasons the franchise has played in Major League Baseball that is a first. Stranger things have happened but, as the rest of the division prepares to retool for the future, Washington readies for now.

The Brewers are a hot mess.

As the Nats launched after the break, Milwaukee has dropped seven of their last ten. Swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game tilt in the Iron City, the Brew Crew split their six games with the lowly Philadelphia Phillies including dropping two in Philly.

Rumors swell the Brewers want Sonny Gray to shore up their pitching. Reality says a sweep could set them three back heading home for the Cubs.

As we await what happens at Nationals Park, here are five to watch over the next three games.