Washington Nationals: The west coast and Quaker State beckons

rshinberg
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: Max Scherzer
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: Max Scherzer /
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After their Sunday Night Baseball date in L.A., the Nats will travel north to take on the San Francisco Giants.  The Giants are similar to the Dodgers in a few ways.  The Giants sit in fourth place in the N.L. West with a 7-10 record, but this team is incomplete.

Four-time All-Star Madison Bumgarner broke his hand in Spring Training and is not expected to return until June.  This team’s rotation is still good, but it’s not as fearsome without him.  The team ranks 10th in team ERA (3.51) and 9th in batting average against (.231).

The real issue with the Giants is their inability to hit. The team ranks 26th in the MLB in team OPS (.644).  San Francisco had a similar struggle last season, so the team brought in two potent bats to try and rectify it.

The more prominent name of the two is former Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen.  His batting average is .209, which is terrible.  The team also added longtime Tampa Bay Ray Evan Longoria.  His batting average is a more respectable .241.  But it’s safe to say offensive limitations might be a lingering issue for the club.

The key players in this series will be the Giants left-handed bats.  Players like Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and Joe Panik will be crucial.  It’s all about helping out Buster Posey.  We know Posey will get his hits.  But who else will help him?

The Nationals strength this season has been their starting pitching, which includes four right-handers.  If no other player outside of Posey hits, it could be a quick and quiet series in the Bay Area.

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