Nationals Still in Striking Distance of Braves; Division Odds Improve to +600
The 2019 Washington Nationals really are like a reluctant kid in learn-to-swim classes. They simply maintain potable water.
Every single time you believe that they might be poised to make a go on the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, the Nats shrivel up and allow the opportunity escape them.
The Nationals now sit 6.5 games behind the Braves. Washington is given +600 chances to overtake Atlanta in the NL Divisional odds.
*Opportunities accepted on 08/12/19.
Washington is only five games behind Atlanta in the loss column and still two up on the towering New York Mets.
Just past the midway mark of July, Washington took two of four matches from the Braves in Atlanta. The Nats followed up by winning three of four by the Colorado Rockies. They’d moved to within four games of the Braves.
This, though, is not a team that embraces riches or opportunity.
Since then, Washington has dropped four of five series. That comprised falling twice throughout a three-game home set from the Braves.
They completed a nine-game road trip Sunday with a win over the New York Mets in Citi Field to complete the journey with their heads barely above water. Washington went 5-4 on the trip.
The Nationals are a fair 15-13 since the All-Star Break. They aren’t just charging down the Braves.
The Detroit Tigers will be the American League version of the Nationals not so long ago. Much like Washington, they boasted a sensational starting rotation. Heck, one starter — Max Scherzer — was a part of the two rotations.
Between 2006-14, Detroit made the playoffs five times and played in two World Series, but never came close to winning it all, because the Tigers didn’t bother to put money into a bullpen.
At Friday’s opener of this enormous three-game series from the Mets, Washington nearer Sean Doolittle coughed up a 6-3 lead at the ninth and had been walked 7-6. Prior to Friday, the Mets had dropped 187 consecutive games when three runs in the ninth inning.
Washington possesses an MLB-worst 6.07 bullpen ERA. Even if you should discard the dreadful 22.74 ERA of those deceased Trevor Rosenthal, then the Nats will still have an MLB-bottom 5.63 ERA. Nationals relievers have discounted 22 of 52 rescue opportunities.
Even men who earn their cover covering the national disgrace that resides within DC at the White House recognize the Washington bullpen is still a Nationals disgrace.
Holding the first NL Wild Card spot, the Nationals begin a significant six-game homestand Monday against the Cincinnati Reds. That is accompanied by three games with the Milwaukee Brewers, such as the Reds a team from the Wild Card hunt.
This should be Washington’s focus. The old baseball adage is that you need a week’s worth of games to compensate for a single game in the standings. The Nats have been 6.5 games outside with seven weeks to perform , so their division-winning window is closing quickly.
They have seven games left using Atlanta but would realistically need to go at 5-2 in that stretch to get any chance. The Nationals play with 17 of their last 45 games against Wild Card teams, 19 matches against current play clubs and only 15 against groups using sub-.500 records.
The smartest movement for Washington is forget about the division and lock on locking down the Wild Card.
Let’s have fun and keep it civil.