National League Early Reactions

We’re not quite a quarter of the way through the baseball season, but there’s been plenty to talk about so far. Both World Series teams from 2016 are currently not in first place in their division, everyone is hurt, and dirt bike riding is the new least favorite activity among people in San Francisco. There’s still plenty of games left to be played, but we can learn a lot about teams through the first quarter of games. Let’s see who and what has caught my eye so far.

Also, check out the AL piece here if you missed it.

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Washington Nationals 2017 Team Preview

2016 Recap: 95-67, 1st in the NL East. Lost in the NLDS to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Coming into 2016, the Nats had a new coaching staff led by good ol’ Dusty Baker. Many lampooned the Nats hiring of Baker, but he proved to be the right man for the job. Washington played much better throughout the season and straight up dominated the NL East. Max Scherzer won the Cy Young after going 20-7. Daniel Murphy was runner-up for MVP after having a career year in his first season in DC. The biggest surprise might have been rookie Trea Turner, who finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting after batting .343 and stealing 33 bases in just 73 games. 2015 MVP Bryce Harper had a down year, but was still productive enough to help lead the team to the playoffs. Everything was set up for a big World Series run. Sadly, the Nats are from DC and we can’t have nice things. They couldn’t get over the Divisional Round hump once again and lost to demigod Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. A classic DC playoff failure.

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MLB National League Offseason Review

The calendar has officially turned to 2017 and that means it’s time to start talking some baseball. The NFL has been extra stupid this season with all the bad teams and quarterback injuries affecting the playoffs, meanwhile the Hot Stove reached some pretty high temperatures this winter. We broke down the American League yesterday and are back to do the same with the National League today.

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MLB 2016 Playoff Preview

It’s that time of year again baseball fans. We already know will have a new champion this year as the analytics community rejoices over Ned Yost’s Kansas City Royals not getting a chance to repeat as World Series champions in 2016. The baseball playoffs are always one of the hardest things to predict in sports. Since 2000, the team with the best regular season record (close your eyes Cubs fans) has gone on to win the World Series just twice. We have real parity in the postseason this year. In addition to Kansas City not making it back, we have four new teams playing in Division Series that missed the playoffs last year. Take that NFL. So without further adieu, here are my predictions that I of course feel very confident about today, but will more than likely hate in about 10 days because that’s baseball and that’s why we love it.

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Bryce Harper is Giving DC Hope Again

Washington sports fans are notoriously apathetic, and perhaps rightly so when you look at DC’s last two and a half decades of sports history. No major Washington sports team has won a title since the Redskins in 1991. The Capitals have had one of the most consistent teams in the NHL, but zero Stanley Cup appearances during the Alex Ovechkin era. The Wizards cannot seem to get out of their own way, even when a star like John Wall falls into their lap. The aforementioned Redskins have gone through years of futility since Dan Snyder took over as owner, ruining the career of their once transcendent star Robert Griffin III. Fans have seen their DC teams waste the careers of some of the best athletes in their respective sports, toiling in mediocrity hoping one finally breaks the cycle of let downs. Bryce Harper is here to break the cycle.

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