Dodgers: Playoff picture remains unclear as regular season winds down
Wild Card Game: Washington vs. Chicago/Milwaukee
PROFILE: The Nationals
With perhaps the most potent 1-2 punch in the middle of their order and on the mound in the NL, the Nationals have stormed back in the postseason mix in the second half, making them as scary as any other team in the NL.
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On the mound, the team is led by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, along with free-agent acquisition Patrick Corbin. The trio all have ERAs below 3.50, double-digit wins and over 150 innings, making them one of the most dangerous in all of baseball, and giving them a chance to win against rotations as good as that of the Dodgers.
The bullpen is the weak link though. Only July acquisitions Daniel Hudson and Fernando Rodney have sub-4 ERAs in their time in D.C., as even former-All-Star Sean Doolittle has struggled this season, in part due to injury.
At the plate, Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto both have blossomed into superstars in the absence of Bryce Harper. Rendon is hitting .333 with 32 home runs and 114 RBI and a whopping 41 doubles with 14 more strikeouts than walks. Soto has got 33 home runs and 12 steals to his name with a .295 AVG and 109 RBI.
If the Dodgers, or their opponent in the Wild Card game, can shut their dynamic duo down, the rest of the lineup should not put up much of a fight. Only one other player has 20 or more home runs and only one other player is hitting over .290 as a qualifier.