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Nationals quickly closing in the top seed in the National League

Nationals quickly closing in the top seed in the National League

Don’t look now, but the once far off, no hope in catching them, Los Angeles Dodgers are within striking range of the Washington Nationals.

On August 25, the Nationals were an astounding 14.5 games behind the Dodgers for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage for the National League playoffs. Today, September 12, the Nationals are merely 3.5 games behind.


Losers of 11 straight and 16 of their last 17 games, the Dodgers have completely fallen apart. In those 17 games, they have been outscored 99-43. Los Angeles’ starting pitching, which was supposed to take them straight to a World Series title cannot put together a good string of innings.

The newly acquired Yu Darvish has struggled with 13 earned runs in his last three starts, equating to a 9.48 ERA during the losing stretch. The supporting cast has not been much better and the offense is nearly non-existent.

The only saving grace for the Dodgers is Clayton Kershaw who just got back from the disabled list on September 1. He only has started two games since being back, winning one, and holding a 3.72 ERA with 14 strikeouts across those two starts.

During that same stretch of 17 games, the Nationals are 12-5. Since August 25, the team has gotten healthier, activating Trea Turner, Jayson Werth, and Max Scherzer back into the line-up.  Earlier this week, Washington solidified their slot in the playoffs by claiming the East Division title for the fourth time in six years.

For the first time since mid-July, the starting rotation of Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark is fully intact.

All a great sign for the Nationals especially while the squad is waiting for the face of their franchise, Bryce Harper, to heal his left knee on the disabled list.

This weekend the Dodgers visit Nationals Park for a three-game series that will be a huge factor in the push for the post-season. Not only are the Nationals now threatening for the top seed in the National League, the Dodgers have yet to lock up a playoff spot. Although the Arizona Diamondbacks are nine games back, but are the second hottest team in the majors going 13-3 since the Dodgers started stumbling.

If the Nationals get past Los Angeles, it might not only be for seeding in the playoffs. It may lead way to a battle for the top record in the MLB and guaranteed home-filed throughout the World Series. 


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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.