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Scherzer or Strasburg? Mike Rizzo still unsure of NLDS Game 1 starting pitcher

Scherzer or Strasburg? Mike Rizzo still unsure of NLDS Game 1 starting pitcher

The Nationals are two days away from hosting the reigning World Series champs, the Chicago Cubs, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. 

General manager Mike Rizzo has made adjustments all season long to get his team to this spot. One thing he is still unsure of though is who will take the mound on Friday night. 

RELATED: PREVIEWING NATS VS. CUBS

The obvious starter would be the teams ace Max Scherzer, but he is currently dealing with a '"tweaked" hamstring. Scherzer insist he will be pitching in the NLDS but if he can't start Game 1, who will?

"You know, we're not sure yet," Rizzo said on the Sports Junkies Wednesday.

"We haven't made the decision. We certainly haven't made the announcement."

"Max is not only our number one starter, he's probably the number one starter in the league and maybe in baseball. If he's capable of pitching Game 1, he's the Game 1 starter. If we feel it's beneficial for him to get an extra day or two days to rest the hamstring and prepare for Game 2 or Game 3 , we would certainly be open to that."

Having your number one pitcher not feeling 100 percent would send any other team into a frenzy, but luckily for the Nats, their depth at that position is one of the strongest in the league.

"The good thing about our club is that we have two number one pitchers with Stras and Max and we're fortunate to have that option. When you run the hottest pitcher in baseball out there Game 1 and Stephen Strasburg, that's not the worst thing in the world. We'll take that any day of the week."

RELATED: STRASBURG AND DOOLITTLE WIN NL AWARDS

So, will the possible delay of Scherzer's start affect how Mike Rizzo and Dusty Baker set the Nats' lineup? 

"I think going into this, injuries or how people feel, will affect the people that you put on the roster. Your extra players and that type of thing. I think that Max's situation is such that we feel good about where he's at. I don't think it would correlate any other move because of the hamstring."

"But, we still haven't decided on the last one or two players on the roster. It's going to be contingent on how people progress. You know, we're looking at Brian Goodwin in the workouts here to see how he's feelings, how he's moving, how he's running, and some other different guys, you know, on taking the last piece of that roster and see how it will improve us for a short, five-game series." 

The Nationals are set to take on the Cubs at Nats Park Friday at 7:31p.m. on TBS.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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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.