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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Make no mistake, the success of the Milwaukee Brewers is no accident. A young and exciting team, the strength shown this year will pay off in the future.

When the Brewers fleeced the Boston Red Sox for Travis Shaw, they found a hungry third baseman ready to play every day. The “Mayor of Ding-Dong City” outlasted his Boston replacement Pablo Sandoval and the injured Tyler Thornburg. (Author’s thoughts redacted.)

Matched with Eric Thames in the middle of the lineup, Shaw is enjoying a career year. With the chance to play every day, he is flourishing. Already with 22 home runs, he has 70 RBI over 88 games. A slash line of .294/.361/.567 gives him an OPS of .928 and adjusts to 136. How did he not make the All-Star team?

Shaw is a good defender. Baseball Reference lists his defensive Wins Above Replacement at 0.4. Anything on the positive side is great.

As long as he contributes at the same level, the Brewers will contend this year in the NL Central. With their lead gone, watch how Shaw performs. If he can heat up, the Brewers can with this series and head home still in first place.