The Washington Nationals take on the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend at Nationals Park as both teams jockey for Wild Card positioning.
The Washington Nationals schedule isn’t getting any easier. They are currently in the middle of a National League Central onslaught, which will pit the home team against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend.
After making the NLCS last season with a 96-67 regular-season record (and let me preempt the trolls by confirming, yes, that record adds up to 163 games. The Brewers beat the Cubs in a tiebreak Game 163 to win the NL Central last season).
The team has come back down to Earth, however. Their .521 win percentage this season (63-58 record) pales in comparison to their .587 win percentage last season. But one player that is still surging is their superstar outfielder Christian Yelich.
In September and October of the 2018 regular season, Yelich went on a historic tear of demolishing baseballs. Yelich slashed .370/.508/.804 with ten home runs and 34 RBI’s in 27 games. This month allowed him to run away with the NL MVP award.
Yelich might be kept in check tonight, the first game of the series, as he won’t have the platoon advantage against Patrick Corbin.
Corbin pitched well in his last outing, holding the New York Mets to two earned runs over six innings while punching out eight and walking one. While his numbers aren’t as good as his All-Star year in 2018, his 3.7 WAR ranks in the top 15 among pitchers in the MLB.
While both teams battle for positioning in the wild card race, the one wild card in this series is the availability of Max Scherzer. Scherzer has made only two starts since the beginning of June with a back injury. After a simulated game this week, Scherzer is reportedly ready to pitch in the MLB again, not needing a rehab start.
With an off day yesterday, all of the Nats readily available starters are good to go, so there isn’t a reason to rush Scherzer back. However, if he does make his return (most likely on Sunday), it could turn the tide of this series.