We don't have to think about the playoffs, (spoiler : the Nats are in) so how about some fun stuff to keep track of regarding the Nats?
Can Span hit .300?
Barring a complete collapse, at age 30 Span will have his best year of the 10's. Such things happen especially in easy pennant years. (I'm looking at you Daniel Nava, Mike Carp, Jarrod Saltalamacchia... basically Boston 2013) Right now Span is hitting .300 (actually .300036) so he has to hit .299 or better the rest of the year to do it. That's a little high for Span historically.
A prolonged super hot streak this year (.447 for 23 games) elevated his stats but really the Span you've seen for the other 120 games is the "real" Span. He's can get hot, but not THAT hot (.340 in past 11 games) and he can get cold (.226 for the 15 games beyond those 11) It's a back and forth that gets you to a .275/.280 average.
We're in the home stretch so timing of these streaks is going to matter more than anything.
My bet : No. Falls just short in the .295 range.
Will Rendon lead the league in runs scored?
Rendon bats 2nd, but his OBP isn't special and the hitters behind him are good but not great. How is he leading the league in runs scored? OK that has a lot to with PAs (he has a lot) and the situational hitting of the guys behind him (Werth - great, LaRoche - pretty good) but why not Span who has a better OBP and hits in front of Rendon? A little bit of it is Rendon's HRs where he knocks himself in, but the rest of it is just fluky. Rendon has 18 homers. In theory Span should have been on base for 6 or 7, but he was only on base for 5. Werth has homered with Rendon on base 6 times, but Span only 3.
Anyway - Rendon leads the league a couple runs ahead of Hunter Pence. Pence is the only competition as 3rd place is 10 runs behind Hunter.
My bet : Yes. Nats are better at scoring than Giants. Giants are either in SF, LA, or SD for all but 3 of their remaining games.
Will Desmond lead the league in strikeouts?
We've dealt with Ian's issues before, but suffice to say he's striking out a lot. Still it's MLB in 2014. Everyone strikes out a lot. Ian's 171 is only good enough for #2. Marlon Byrd is #1 at 172 and both Stanton and Howard are within 3 of Ian. It's anyone's game.
My bet : No. Nats will give Ian some rest down the stretch cutting his ABs enough that either Byrd or Howard will pull away.
Will Strasburg lead the league in strikeouts?
The reverse of Desmond because K's here are good! Strasburg is currently 2Ks ahead of Cueto and 5 ahead of Kershaw. Kershaw strikes out very very slightly more guys per inning than Strasburg, while Cueto has pitched more innings .Normally you'd have to go Kershaw - he also pitching a lot of innings per start and he'd be well ahead if not for missing those first few weeks, but it's not an even race from here on out. Strasburg pitches tonight, Cueto tomorrow, Kershaw not again until Sunday. Barring some moving around to ward off the charging Giants, Clayton should get one less start than the other two.
My bet: Yes. Strasburg is the only guarantee for getting four starts (Cueto should get #4 on the final day but who knows if the Reds will bother putting him out there for a meaningless game and him up around 240 IP).