Similar to Anthony Rizzo, Ryan Zimmerman plays a crucial role in the heart of the Nats’ lineup. The face of the franchise enjoyed a phenomenal bounce-back season, and even placed himself in the NL MVP conversation.
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Unfortunately, Zimmerman’s kryptonite happens to be the Cubs. Over the past two seasons, he is just 8-for-56 with 17 strikeouts against Chicago.
Fortunately for the Nats, he is getting hot at the perfect time. He hit .329 with seven homers throughout September, including going 6-for-7 with two home runs and five RBI’s in the final series of the regular season.
If Zimmerman is able to continue his late-season tear, he is capable of putting the team on his back and leading them on a deep postseason run. With Bryce Harper still working back from the injury, Zimmerman becomes even more important.
The Nats have arguably the most complete lineup in the league, and if Zimmerman is able to figure out his struggles against the Cubs, it lengthens the lineup even more. However, if he continues to struggle, the Nats end up with a hole in the heart of the lineup. Because of this, Zimmerman is among the most important players on the Nationals’ roster.
The Nats and Cubs begin the NLDS tomorrow night, and anything can happen in a short series. Because of this, any one player can make an enormous impact. Trea Turner, Jake Arrieta, Matt Albers, Anthony Rizzo, and Ryan Zimmerman are all possible x-factors in what appears to be an entertaining series.