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Nationals hang in top 10 of Forbes' most valuable MLB franchises

Nationals hang in top 10 of Forbes' most valuable MLB franchises

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

The season is just weeks underway and the Washington Nationals are priming for a long year, and one that the team is hoping could end in a World Series run. 

On Tuesday, Forbes magazine released their annual rankings of the value of every Major League Baseball team. As NL East division winners for three of the past five years, the Nationals have fallen to 10th place, one spot lower than a season ago. 

Forbes has marked the team with a 23 percent total increase in value, from $1.3 billion last year to now $1.6 billion. According to Forbes' analysis, the largest contributor to the team's value is their market which brings in $634 million. This marks the Nationals largest increase in value since the 2014 to 2015 seasons, when the team jumped by 45 percent after finishing with the National League's best record. 

Passing the Nationals, is their NL East rival, the Philadelphia Phillies who skyrocketed with a 34 percent value increase to ninth place. Total value of the Phillies is $1.65 billion. Across the NL East, the New York Mets come in at sixth ($2 billion), the Atlanta Braves at 12th ($1.5 billion), and the Marlins at 25th ($940 million). 

MORE NATS: Washington makes score respectable but fall in the ninth to the Phillies

Up the beltway, the Baltimore Orioles have fallen to 19th in the league, dropping two spots from last season. The team was passed by the Pittsburgh Pirates (17th) and the team that knocked the Orioles out of the playoffs last season, the Toronto Blue Jays (16th). Overall, the Orioles increased in value by 15 percent from 2015 when the team vaulted up the list. 

However, Baltimore is one of five teams in MLB that is the red when it comes to operating value (-$2.1 million). Forbes notes that a large factor affecting the team's value is their dispute with MASN that is currently being overtaken by the Nationals. The only division rival that they top is the Tampa Bay Rays who are last in all of MLB with $825 million.

Top 5 Most Valuable Teams:

1. New York Yankees ($3.7 billion)

2. Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.75 billion)

3. Boston Red Sox ($2.7 billion)

4. Chicago Cubs ($2.675 billion)

5. San Francisco Giants ($2.65 billion)

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.