Sam: Nationals in 4
The Washington Nationals are stacked. The order has drawn multiple comparisons to the fames Yankees Murderers Row. In the assumed starting lineup there’s four guys, almost five, with 20 plus home runs, four guys with above a .300 average and four guys with an above .900 OPS. Yes, these are the same four but thats as strong a middle of an order as any team has to offer.
All of that is before the bench is even looked at. Adam Lind, Wilmer Difo, Howie Kendrick, and potentially Victor Robles are a couple of players the Nats can use in late game situations. Yes the Cubs have Kris Bryant, but we have Anthony Rendon. They have Anthony Rizzo, but we have Ryan Zimmerman.
On paper, the Nats pitching outclasses the Cubs. I’ll take a one, two, three of Strasburg, Gonzalez, Scherzer any day. Once they come out, the Cubs will be left to face Albers, Kintzler, Madson and Doolittle.
If everyone is on, or at least close, the Nationals are headed to their first playoff series win. I’m calling them to take it in four, not three. There will be a game that falls apart, for whatever reason. There will be a nagging fear that the team is again headed for a first round exit but, they’re simply too good and too ready to lose again.