Nationals Still in Striking Distance of Braves; Division Odds Improve to +600

The 2019 Washington Nationals are just like a reluctant kid in learn-to-swim classes. They keep treading water.
Each single time you think they might be poised to make a go about the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, the Nats shrivel up and allow the opportunity escape them.
The Nationals now sit 6.5 games behind the Braves. Washington is awarded +600 odds to overtake Atlanta in the NL Divisional chances.
*Opportunities accepted on 08/12/19.
Washington is only five games behind Atlanta in the reduction column and still two up on the slumping New York Mets.
Just past the midway mark of July, Washington took just two of four games from the Braves in Atlanta. The Nats followed up by winning three of four from the Colorado Rockies. They had moved to within four games of the Braves.
This, however, isn’t a team that embraces riches or opportunity.
Since then, Washington has dropped four of five string. That comprised falling twice throughout a three-game home place against the Braves.
They finished a nine-game road trip Sunday with a win over the New York Mets in Citi Field to conclude the journey with their heads barely above water. Washington went 5-4 on the excursion.
The Nationals are a fair 15-13 because the All-Star Break. They aren’t exactly charging the Braves.
The Detroit Tigers would be the American League version of the Nationals not so long past. Like Washington, they awakened a stunning beginning rotation. Heck, one newcomer — Max Scherzer — was part of both rotations.
Between 2006-14, Detroit made the playoffs five times and played in two World Series, but never came close to winning it all, since the Tigers didn’t bother to invest in a bullpen.
Washington lovers, sound comfortable?
At Friday’s opener of the enormous three-game series against the Mets, Washington closer Sean Doolittle coughed up a 6-3 lead in the ninth and had been walked off 7-6. Prior to Friday, the Mets had lost 187 consecutive games when three runs in the ninth inning.
Washington owns an MLB-worst 6.07 bullpen ERA. Even if you should discard the dreadful 22.74 ERA of the departed Trevor Rosenthal, then the Nats will still own an MLB-bottom 5.63 ERA. Nationals relievers have blown 22 of 52 rescue chances.
Even men who earn their cover covering the national disgrace that resides in DC at the White House recognize the Washington bullpen is still a Nationals disgrace.
Holding the initial NL Wild Card spot, the Nationals begin a significant six-game homestand Monday against the Cincinnati Reds. That is accompanied by three games with the Milwaukee Brewers, such as the Reds a group from the Wild Card hunt.
This should be Washington’s attention. The old baseball adage is that you will need a week’s worth of games to compensate for a single game in the standings. The Nats are 6.5 games outside with seven weeks to play, therefore their division-winning window is closing quickly.
They have seven matches left by Atlanta but would practically must go at least 5-2 because stretch to have any chance. The Nationals play with 17 of their last 45 games against Wild Card teams, 19 games against current play clubs and only 15 against groups with sub-.500 records.
The wisest move for Washington is forget about the division and lock in on locking down the Wild Card.
Let’s have fun and keep it civil.

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