Days ago there were rumors the that the Nationals were listening on offers for Bryce Harper. Mike Rizzo came out and said that he believed in this team and that they could make a run. Which was the reason the Nationals didn’t trade Bryce or any other known named guys.
Since the All Star break the Nationals are 7-5
This month they play the Braves four times, the Cubs three times, the Cardinals three times, the Phillies six times. Those 5 series are going to determine if they are in the race come September for the postseason. Yes they have to also win the games they are suppose to win like the rest of the three games against the Reds this weekend, a three game series vs the Marlins and a three game series vs the Mets. It’s been a very disappointing season for the Nationals so far. But they are only five games out in the NL East which is why the ten games against both the Phillies and Braves combined are big for them this month.
The offense has been heating up in the past few games. I mean it’s the Mets but they dropped 25 runs on them in on game. They scored 10 runs last night vs the Reds and 40 runs over the last three combined.
I know we still have the whole month of September but if the Nationals can get to a game within a game or even lead the division by the begining of September, for me they are the favorites to win the division. There is a stretch in that month the tenth through the sixteenth they play the Phillies and Braves in back to back series. That is going to be the money stretch for the Nationals, but as the main point of this blog is, it’s that this month will decide the fate of the Nationals being in the postseason.
The key to the Nationals coming from behind and winning this division?
Ever since Bryce won the home run derby, he has been ripping the cover off the ball and he has found his swing. The last two weeks, which includes 11 games played, Bryce has a .371 batting average with an OPS of 1.056. And to go along with those stats, he has 3 home runs and 13 RBIS. He has raised his average to .230 and is going to tear up the unoffical second half. If Bryce can hit 40 plus home runs, which I think he will and lead the Nationals on a great run this month not only against the Phillies and Braves, but against the other teams, the Nationals will have the highest chances to win the division.
If Bryce can help carry the Nationals to the playoffs I think that helps the Nationals and their chances to keep him. I don’t see the Yankees signing Harper this offseason but I do see either the Nationals or Cubs signing him. The Cubs are one of the favorites because Bryce loves to play their, he and his wife are great friends with Kris Bryant and his wife, so it lines up good for Bryce to go there. But if the home run derby showed anything, it’s that Bryce loves the fans in DC. I’m sure he loves the Nationals organization as well. He’s probably not happy that they can’t get out of the first round in the postseason but he’s not the only one.
This month will play a big factor in not only the Nationals postseason hopes, but in their hopes of keeping Bryce Harper for the foreseeable future. Will Bryce have a MVP second half and be the guy he was in 2015? I think he will and will that be enough to help the Nationals get into the playoffs? We’ll see. But after it’s all said and done and the Nationals either miss the playoffs or make the playoffs what will Bryce do in the offseason?
We’ll see what happens this month.