Five Things that Must go Right for the Nationals to Make the Playoffs in 2016

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

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Stephen Strasburg continues to dominate.

Last year was a tale of two halves for the former top pick. Strasburg dealt with minor, nagging injuries before the All-Star break, resulting in a 5.16 ERA across 13 starts. Everything finally clicked for Strasburg in August and September. Spanning 10 starts and 66.1 innings, the tall right-hander pitched to a 1.90 ERA with 12.5 K/9 and a ridiculous 11.5 K/BB.

Strasburg’s 10 second-half starts were Kershaw-esque. These were the type of starts that were supposed to make every fifth day “Strasmas” in the nation’s capital. The 2016 season is a pivotal one for Strasburg and the Nationals. He showed a level of dominance late last year not seen to this point of his career. Staying healthy and pitching well in 2016 will make Strasburg a ton of money entering free agency. It may also be enough to push the Nationals back into the playoffs — a win-win for everyone.

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