15 Surprising Nats Stats From The First Third Of The 2015 Season

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1. Bryce Harper’s OPS+ is 216, the highest since Barry Bonds broke baseball in 2004. This is what happens when you go on the hottest 50-plate appearance streak in MLB history.

2. After posting a .200/.255/.326 slash line in 2013-14, Danny Espinosa is the Nats’ second-best hitter this year. His 2015 slash line is .257/.360/.459, all career highs.

3. Max Scherzer is leading MLB in FIP, which is what you want out of your $210 million pitcher. Cherish the thought of him and Jordan Zimmermann taking the ball in Games 1 and 2 (and 5 and 6).

4. Speaking of, ZNN is averaging a personal-worst 5.9 K/9IP, 21 percent below his career average.

5. Gio Gonzalez’s FIP (3.05) is fine. It’s his ERA (4.57) and WHIP (1.51) that are unseemly, but that fielding-independent number is in line with his three-year average since arriving in D.C. (3.09).

6. Stephen Strasburg’s batting average against is .325. (Bryce Harper is batting .326.)

7. Ian Desmond’s on-base percentage is .286. That’s 32 points below his career average. In a contract year, no less.

8. Ryan Zimmerman is on pace for 97 RBI, his most since 2009, despite a .622 OPS, his worst ever. This is what happens when you bat behind Harper and Yunel Escobar.

9. Speaking of, Escober is batting .325. That’s after batting .256 in 1,542 at-bats the past three seasons. An 89-point BABIP increase will do that for you.

10. Wilson Ramos has played in 79 percent of the games. I probably just jinxed the Buffalo.

11. Denard Span has five home runs, his highest total since ’09. He also has only three steals, 28 less than last season.

12. Blake Treinen and Aaron Barrett’s combined ERA is 4.53. They are the two primary right-handed setup men. I miss Tyler Clippard and even Rafael Soriano.

13. Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon have 116 at-bats between them. The former is out until August, the latter came back last week.

14. Matt Williams has lost nine of 12 challenges. Nats opponents are 12 for 12 (via D.C. Sports Bog).

15. If the regular season ended today, the Nats’ season would be over. (They’re second place in the NL East, half a game back, and fourth in the Wild Card, 1.5 back.)

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