Nationals

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Ranking MLB rotations: Nationals near the top of the list

Ranking MLB rotations: Nationals near the top of the list

For The Win, part of USA Today, as part of their preseason rankings released their rotation rankings and had the Nationals second overall. 

Per For The Win:

The offseason trade of prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez cost the Nats some depth, and a prolonged injury to dominant but brittle Stephen Strasburg could send Washington plummeting down this list. The Nats will work to manage Strasburg’s workload between starts this season in an effort to keep him healthy all year. Ace Max Scherzer comes with far fewer question marks: The 32-year-old righty has made at least 30 starts in each of the last eight seasons and is showing no signs of slowing down. Tanner Roark enjoyed a breakout season at age 29 in 2016, Joe Ross is only 23 and maintains big-time talent, and Gio Gonzalez appears at the very least a safe bet to stay healthy and gobble up league-average innings.

Despite not trading for Chris Sale in the off-season, the Nationals still were near the top of the rankings proving just how solid a Scherzer-Strasburg-Roark top of the rotation is. 

Although they did note that it wasn't really that close between the second-place Nationals and the top-ranked Boston Red Sox, who landed the aforementioned Sale, but the Nats were two spots ahead of the New York Mets.

The NL East looked a lot like the win projections that came out earlier this week, the Nats atop the divison followed closely by New York and then everyone else lags behind.

Locally, the Orioles were ranked 24th in the rankings. Despite not making any moves to the rotation, they avoided being even closer to the bottom thanks to the hope that the oft-injured Dylan Bundy may finally be healthy.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: April update

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: April update

Frankly, it’s too early to make major changes to our power rankings. Let this serve as the requisite reminder that the season is only ~10% done, and all reactions right now could be classified as overreactions.

That said, nearly three weeks’ worth of games is all we have to go on right now, and there have already been a few teams to make our preseason rankings look silly.

Some players/teams have no reason to worry (Nationals, Cubs), and some have truly changed our minds (Mets, Orioles). There’s so much baseball left to be played, however, so just like our preseason edition, these newest rankings will also look laughable as early as next month.

It’s always fun to take a snapshot of the current order of teams though, especially when it means we get to move the Yankees down in the rankings.

Without further ado, here’s our mid-April update to the 2018 MLB Power Rankings.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL 2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS