Look at the MLB NL Wild Card standings right now, and try not to laugh.
That's right – if the MLB season ended today, the Nationals would represent the National League Wild Card. While the majority of the season has yet to be played, this is somewhat surprising and very funny. Here are six reasons why the Nationals could win the Wild Card. Turn on your sarcastic font.
1. Eric Bruntlett's beard is lurking in Triple A. The Nationals have the luck of the beard on their side. Remember, Bruntlett's beard led the Phillies to a 2008 World Series Championship, a 2009 NL Pennant, and converted an unassisted triple play to beat the Mets last year. And now, even though the beard is in AAA, its leading the Nationals to a 20-15 record and their first above-.500 season ever. Fear the beard NL. I know I would be afraid.
2. The Nationals play in "Natstown". Does any other team in the MLB have a town named after them? Hell no. Score one for the Nationals.
3. The Nationals have the best closer in the majors in Matt Capps. His 14 for 14 in save opportunities and 0.93 ERA is no joke. I firmly believe that his 5.80 ERA last year was a fluke, and that he was just too good for the Pirates. Anyone who said that the Pirates let him walk is a fool; why would they let an All-Star caliber closer like Capps walk?
4. "I hate the Phillies, and I don't want to see them celebrating.
They've been beating us up all year." These are the words of the great Scott Olsen, the crafty young lefthander in a stacked Nationals rotation. They have a desire to knock off the best, a quality that the Nationals and most playoff-bound teams possess. In addition, nothing is more frightening than a playoff 1-2-3 punch of Scott Olsen, Livan Hernandez, and John Lannan.
5. According to ESPN 2010 MLB attendance figures, the Nationals sell out 46.5% of their stadium for home games (approx. 19,500 fans). This makes Nationals Park an intimidating place to play and really gives Washington a home field advantage. I'm terrified just thinking about it. How could the Nationals not win the wild card with such support?
6. Tyler "The Sweaty Yeti" Walker. Enough said.
With all of these things on Washington's side, I fully expect to see them in the playoffs in October. While the Phillies will beat them to win the NL pennant, it will be a hard fought battle after looking at the reasons above.