The Dodgers will face either the Nationals or the Brewers in the NLDS and both, despite losing their divisions, are still playoff teams and should be feared.
The Nationals (93-69), actually finished with a better record than the St. Louis Cardinals, who won the NL Central with 91 wins. They feature three aces in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin, to go along with two of the best hitters in the game in MVP-candidate Anthony Rendon and second-year star Juan Soto, first against the Brewers and then potentially against the Dodgers.
Washington was one of the hottest teams in baseball in the second half. On June 29, the Nationals were 41-41, a perfectly adequate .500, which meant their playoff hopes were limited. The team was in such a bad spot that rumors abounded surrounding the possibility of trading their superstar thirdbaseman Rendon. From that point on, the team went 52-28 to secure the top Wild Card spot (for context, the Dodgers have won 50 games since June 29 themselves).
In this article, I’ll be focusing on the Nationals. More specifically, I’ll be leaving out the historical context, analysis of their overall season, and any other deeper analysis and instead be honing in on how they match up with the Dodgers. I will look into how the Nationals’ hitters match up with pitchers the Dodgers have, both directly and indirectly, and also how the Dodgers’ hitters match up with the Nationals’ pitching.