Ron: Nationals in 5
The loss of Max Scherzer complicates things, but I believe the Nats will beat the Cubs in five tough games.
What impresses me most is how deep this team is in all areas. They can score at will. The pitching is strong enough to survive Scherzer not pitching until Game 3. And, you know how strong the bullpen is the second half of the year.
The Nats know what their mission is and have the tools to pull it off. As long as they take it one game at a time, they will come out as winners.
The Cubs have played a lot of baseball over the last three years and their older starters have a ton of mileage on their arms. Add Jake Arreta having injury issues with a World Series hangover from last year and Chicago is not as strong overall.
Stephen Strasburg has a big assignment in Game 1. But, he has prepared his entire career for that moment. With a Game 5 coming on full rest at home, there is no reason Strasburg can carry the Nats on his back and pitch his way into the NL Championship Series.
This team won 97 for a reason. No one player is above the team. Keep that mentality over the next week and good things will happen.
Expect a good start from Gonzalez in Game 2. He will thrive pitching at home.
For the first time since 1981, and in DC since 1924, the Nats advance bringing championship baseball to the district.