Washington Nationals: 5 Most Important Road Series Remaining

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ATLANTA, GA - MAY 28: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with Victor Robles #16 at the conclusion of an MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 28: Sean Doolittle #63 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with Victor Robles #16 at the conclusion of an MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals will face stiff competition away from Nats park when play resumes after the four-day All-Star Break.

The Washington Nationals head into the second half of the season with a respectable 47-42 record, a mark that is especially significant when one considers that Nats were 12 games under the .500 mark and seemingly dead in the water.

Winners of 16 of their last 22 games at Nationals Park, the Nats appear to have righted the ship at home. However, if the Nats are to earn a post-season berth in 2019, they’ll have to improve upon their pedestrian 21-22 record so far in games played away from the friendly confines of the Nation’s Capital.

Here’s a look at what appears to be the five biggest road series facing the Nats as they look to be playing October baseball again after the disappointment of missing the playoffs in 2018.

JULY 18-21- Nationals at Atlanta

Right off the bat, the Nats will have a chance to carve into National League East-leading Atlanta’s divisional lead. After playing three games at staggering Philadelphia and a pair at hapless Baltimore, the Nats will travel to Georgia to face their most talented divisional rival. While the Braves feature one of baseball’s best lineups, the good news for Washington is that all four of the Nats’ top starting pitchers should be lined up to take the mound at Sun Trust Field during the series. While a series in mid-July is rarely referred to as a “must-win” set, these games are about as close as one could get to such a designation.

AUGUST 9-11- Nationals at NY Mets

Since the facility opened in 2009, Citi Field in Flushing, New York has been a home away from home for the Nationals. Winners of 63 of their 103 games at the stadium so far, the Nationals have inflicted a great deal of pain on the Mets and their ever-faithful but often overly pessimistic fan base. After being swept in four games heartbreakingly by the Mets in New York in May, the Nats will be looking to even the score when they make their final trip of 2019 to the Big Apple.

AUGUST 23-25- Nationals at Chicago Cubs

The Nationals and Cubs played a hard-fought series in mid-May in D.C. with the Cubbies taking two out of the three contests. In August with the summer winding down, the Nats will look to pay the Cubs back in three games scheduled to be played under the sun at Wrigley Field. With both the Nationals and Cubs in the thick of the National League playoff race, these contests will likely have a playoff atmosphere to them.

SEPTEMBER 5-8- Nationals at Atlanta

Flashback to September 16, 2014, when the Nationals defeated the Braves 3-0 at Turner Field to clinch their second National League Divisional title in three seasons. While this year’s final Nats’ visit to Georgia will likely be too early in September for a division crown to be decided, the four game set will likely go a long way toward determining Washington’s chances of securing the top spot in the NL East for the fifth time. The four-game set begins the most challenging phase of Washington’s remaining schedule, with 13 of 16 games to be played away from home. A good showing against the Braves will get the tough stretch off on the right foot.

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SEPTEMBER 16-18- Nationals at St. Louis

For the Nationals, their annual visits to the Gateway City have been anything but successful. Washington’s 12-31 record in games played at St. Louis reflects the Nats’ tremendous frustrations while playing in the home of the Cards. With this series coming in the season’s final weeks, continued struggles in St. Louis could doom Washington’s chances of getting to the post-season.

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