Previewing 2019 National League Wild Card Game: Washington Nationals Vs Milwaukee Brewers

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It is finally the Major League Baseball postseason and it is always very exciting to watch October baseball. What’s enthralling is the matchups in the Wild Card Games as they are all evenly matched. Tonight’s game is the National League Wild Card Game as we see one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Washington Nationals, and the hottest squad in the last few weeks, the Milwaukee Brewers face off tonight. It’s almost like an immovable object going against an unstoppable force. It will be interesting to see what happens between the two in this game.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals started the season 19-31 and there were talks that manager Davey Martinez should be fired. Then, the team miraculously pulled off an awesome run to the playoffs going 74-38 to finish the season at 93-69 and a postseason berth. The Nationals have a strong blend of veteran presence and young talent as on offense they are lead by Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, and Kurt Suzuki, while such great young players like Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Victor Robles fill out the rest of the lineup. Washington also has such great starting pitching as they will send out a dominant and tenacious starting pitcher in Max Scherzer as he makes it tough on any team to face him. Problem with the team is that their bullpen is atrocious. Luckily in the Wild Card Game they have some starting pitchers in their bullpen in hopes of shutting down the opposing offense as Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, and Anibal Sanchez all will be available, but they have long time veteran Fernando Rodney, flamethrower Hunter Strickland, and reliable closer in Sean Doolittle in there too. The Nationals finished the season with an eight game win streak and outscoring their opponents in that run by 30 runs. They are in a good position and they are feeling confident.

Nationals lineup

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Adam Eaton RF
  3. Anthony Rendon 3B
  4. Juan Soto LF
  5. Howie Kendrick 1B
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera 2B
  7. Kurt Suzuki C
  8. Victor Robles CF
  9. Max Scherzer P

Milwaukee Brewers

If you think the Nationals are hot, then the Brewers are hotter than hot. The Brewers have won 18 of their last 20 games to end the season and clinch a playoff spot. They lost their best hitter in Christian Yelich for the season with a fractured knee which many saw as a dagger to their playoff chances, but Milwaukee managed to rally and are experiencing postseason baseball for the second straight season. They’ve got some serious fire power on offense in Mike Moustakas, Eric Thames, Ryan Braun, and Yasmani Grandal along with aging, but relentless veteran Lorenzo Cain and youngster Keston Hiura. The Brewers will be sending out Brandon Woodruff who has been very reliable this season. The bullpen is filthy as they will have arms like Brent Suter, Alex Claudio, Drew Pomeranz, Freddy Peralta in there as well as the nasty Josh Hader, it will be tough for the Nationals’ bats if it comes down to a battle of bullpens.

Brewers lineup

  1. Trent Grisham RF
  2. Yasmani Grandal C
  3. Mike Moustakas 3B
  4. Keston Hiura 2B
  5. Ryan Braun LF
  6. Eric Thames 1B
  7. Lorenzo Cain CF
  8. Orlando Arcia SS
  9. Brandon Woodruff P

Notes: Woodruff went 6.0 innings allowing one run on four hits in one outing against the Nationals on May 8 while earning the win. Scherzer had a no decision on May 6 against the Brewers as he went six innings allowing one earned run and struck out 10. The Brewers won the season series 4-2.

Predictions

James Rowe: Nationals. It’s a home game and with how talented the Nationals are, they win this game. It’s clear Davey Martinez doesn’t trust his bullpen enough, but getting those three other starters in there should help make him relax a bit. I do think it will be a close game, but the Nationals just have the edge here.

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