Very shortly the Washington Nationals will take on the L.A Dodgers in game 5 of the 2019 NLDS. Winner advances to the league championship to crown the National League pennant winner. At present time that looks to be against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Stephen Strasburg gets the road start tonight for Washington. His counterpart for L.A is 25 year old Walker Buehler. I thought before the season the World Series champion was either Houston, Boston, or the Yankees. I didn’t think the National League had a prayer. Boston last year’s champion started out lethargic and didn’t start a winning streak until it was too late. That left The Astros and Yankees in my book.
Houston nabs Greinke
As the trading deadline came this summer, The Astros made a power move in trading for 6x allstar and former Cy Young award winner Zach Greinke. The signing of Greinke and the fact the Yankees had a team on the DL, that alone healthy would make the playoffs. This led me to believe that this was Houston’s year again.
Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin
For a while during the summer it didn’t look like Washington had much of a postseason chance. They were flirting between 2nd and 4th place in the N.L East. I said then, when the mets were surging and the Phillies dwindling, that if The Nats made the playoffs they would be the toughest competition for the A.L pennant winner. Going into tonight’s game 5, I still feel strongly about that.
My reasoning being Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin. Everyone knows Matt Scherzer as one of the elite pitchers of the last decade. Strasburg was the most highly touted pitcher to enter the MLB in recent memory. Some say he didn’t live up to the potential many saw of him. I say when healthy you can see the greatness in him. The same ones that speak negatively of Strasburg might be suprised at his stats however. They look very good when healthy. Then you have the big Patrick Corbin, who while not in the league of the previous two is a bonafide strikeout artist. Tallying 238k this season after 246k last year. His ERA was a good 3.25 this season also.
The reasoning behind my believing that Washington is the only National League team to make a series out of the World Series is it’s top three starters. Do they have a good lineup? Yes, the Nats have a good lineup. Is it comparable to New York or Houston. No, it’s just isn’t.
In 2001 Arizona barely had guys other than Luis Gonzalez who could hit the ball out of the infield. There bullpen wasn’t that good and was even worse in the World Series. What they did have to stop the Yankees from getting there 4th title in a row and 5th in 6 years were Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson.
I think they would have a better chance against New York, given Houston’s pitching(if they win tomorrow) but first things first. Stephen Strasburg has to go out tonight and be the pitcher that the experts always said he would be. What are your thoughts?