Washington Nationals: 5 storylines to watch as Nats conclude huge homestand

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 22: Nolan Arenado
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 22: Nolan Arenado /
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Two elite third basemen

Nolan Arenado won the Gold Glove Award for National League third basemen last season, his fourth in a row, but Anthony Rendon was also named a finalist.

Arenado and Rendon are arguably the top two NL third basemen, and are both five-tool players. The two rank in the top three among all NL third basemen in WAR, hits, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage, total bases, extra base hits, and total pitches seen.

Barring anything unexpected, both Rendon and Arenado should be in the conversations for MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger.

One stat that’s interesting is WAR. As Daniel Murphy pointed out, Fangraphs loves Rendon. According to Fangraphs, Rendon leads the NL in WAR, at 5.0. Arenado’s WAR is still exceptional, but he is far behind Rendon, at 3.7. Arenado receives much more national attention, but stats point to Rendon being the better player.

When the Nats and Rockies played each other back in April, Rendon got the best of Arenado. Throughout the four-game series, Rendon hit .308 and Arenado hit .250.

Throughout their careers, Rendon and Arenado have both performed well when the Nats and Rockies match-up. In 25 games against Colorado, Rendon owns a .305/.339/.390 slash line with nine doubles. In 26 games against Washington, Arenado owns a .313/.346/.596 slash line with six homers and six doubles.

Both players have also played extremely well throughout July. Rendon has hit .406 with five homers, while Arenado has hit .392 with eight homers.

Rendon and Arenado have both been among the best players in the NL this year and should put on quite the show throughout this series.