Reds vs. Nationals Preview

The Washington Nationals are in town for a three game weekend series.  Last season, the Nats won 98 games, they had the best record in baseball.  The Reds had the second-best record in baseball, after they won 97 games.  So this series will be a match-up of the two best teams in baseball from a year ago.

Most of the “experts” on TV picked the Nationals and Reds to play each other in the National League Championship Series.

This should be a great series, one that could prove who is the top dog in the NL. Yes, I know it’s only April, but still.

Bryce Harper, he’s a great player.  Harper is only 20 years old right now, last year he won the NL Rookie-Of-The-Year Award after hitting .270, 22 home runs, 59 RBI’s, and stealing 18 bases.  But before you hop onto the Bryce Harper bandwagon like the rest of America, think about Todd Frazier’s 2012 statistics.  Frazier was also a rookie in 2012, he played in less games, had a higher batting average, only hit three less home runs, and knocked in more RBI’s.  Frazier didn’t even start half of the time, Scott Rolen did.  But either way, Harper is still a very good player, and he’s off to a hot start.

Let’s talk about the Nationals’ Rotation.  It’s one of the best.  Right now the Nationals are 3-0, thanks in large part to their pitching.  Their ace is Stephen Strasburg, the number two pitcher is Gio Gonzalez, he is followed by Jordan Zimmerman, not be confused with Ryan Zimmerman, their number four starter, who will get the ball in game one is former Diamondbacks and Angels pitcher, Dan Haren, their fifth starter is Ross Detwiler.  All five of their pitchers are very good, it will be interesting to see Haren, Detwiler, and Stasburg in this series face-off against guys like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Todd Frazier, and Shin-Soo Choo.

The Washington bullpen is also very good.  Guys like Tyler Clippard, Zach Duke, and Drew Storen are very good, but the guy that is beyond good is their closer, Rafael Soriano.  Last year, with the Yankees, Soriano recorded an impressive 42 saves, and only blew four saves.  It will be important for the Reds to get runs off of the starters, because it will be a challenge to get anything off of him.

The Nationals are perhaps the best all-around team in baseball, but the Reds are very similar to them if you think about it.  The Reds have better power hitters than the Nationals, no doubt about that, their rotation is probably just as good, if not better, and they have an amazing closer as well, in Aroldis Chapman.  These teams are very comparable, but the best team will win this series.

Game one is today at 7:10, games two and three will start at 1:10, all games will be televised on Fox Sports Ohio.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman Bryce Harper Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto MLB Washington Nationals

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