The Dodgers aren't the superpower that they seemed to be over the first few weeks, but they are a very solid club. Andre Ethier is a good bat but most of the rest are average, replaceable hitters (Maybe AJ Ellis has found a couple year groove) and the left side of the infield is doing terribly, giving the Dodgers two holes in the lineup, including leadoff. Of course the whole lineup is made 10x better by the Triple Crown threat that is Matt Kemp. It's almost scary to think how impressive his stats could be with some decent hitters in front of him. The guy is leading the league in RBI, but has only driven in 23 guys despite 10 home runs and 31 hits over all. He's almost single handedly given himself his biggest threat to the RBI title by getting on base so much (.513 OBP) that Ethier has inflated RBI numbers. How the Nats pitchers handle that 3/4 will be interesting.
But really the question will be if the Nats can score enough runs to win. That 7 run outburst was the only time in 8 games they've scored more than 4 runs. (only second time they scored more than 3). Kershaw is one of the best arms pitching today and Billingsly can be almost as good when he's on. Capuano is the third pitcher the Nats will face and he's fine, but he's a nice closer for the Nats as he is beatable if they go into that 3rd game needing the win. The pen is solid though their closer has had a rough couple outings against the Braves.
I like the Nats to take that 1 of 3, at least. I just can't see a sweep when the Nats are putting out Strasburg and Gio, pitching as well as he has, in two of the games.
- How long before Clippard goes out with an injury? I'm not saying that in the "ha ha Nats Med staff is terrible" way. I really think most pitchers pitch with minor injuries all the time and they are only seriously looked at when they start to pitch poorly.
- At what point do you start worrying about Danny Espinosa? He has the potential to be that .200 hitter and he's no longer in the unlucky BABIP club - he's just not putting the ball in play.
- On the flip side, Jayson Werth is crushing the ball when he hits it and is striking out a lot less this year than he ever has. Even when he's struggling to get a hit (only .214 over the past week) his ability to take a walk and smash an XBH makes him a good offensive player. This is the Werth the Nats wanted.