Washington Nationals: 5 storylines to watch post NL East clincher

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 10: Lane Adams /
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Washington Nationals
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

How much do veterans play?

With 19 games left and the NL East already locked up, the Washington Nationals will finish no worse than the second seed for the postseason. However, thanks to the Dodgers’ tailspin, they are just 3.5 games behind Los Angeles for the number one seed.

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This is going to be the tough part for Dusty Baker in that he is going to try to get his players enough rest to stay fresh for October as well as trying to win as many games as he can to catch the Dodgers.

Now, Los Angeles comes to Nats Park this weekend, so you would figure that the regulars are going to play in all three games of that series since it’s the last series with postseason atmosphere until the actual playoffs. But, how does he manage this series?

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see some starters get a game or two off. Due to the day off on Monday, some of the starters should be in the lineup tonight. One name in particular to keep an eye on is Jayson Werth, who missed the Phillies series due to a shoulder injury.

Once Werth comes back, the Washington Nationals are pretty much at full strength until Bryce Harper makes his return to the lineup, whenever that may be. Harper’s health is critical to this team’s playoff chances, but so is Werth’s. The reason for that is he’s one of the leaders on the team and there isn’t much outfield depth if both Harper and Werth are out in October.

Next: How the NL East was won

Who are your players to watch or what storylines do you think we should watch for in this Braves-Nationals series? Let us know in the comment section below.