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Patrick Corbin as a difference-maker; keys to the wild card; a model for picking a world series winner
FanGraphs | Devan Fink: The Nationals likely do not make it to the Wild Card game without Patrick Corbin. He added about 1% in championship odds already, and now the Nats have a chance to prove it in the NLDS against the Dodgers to make that number even higher.
The Ringer | Michael Baumann: The main narratives that would be important in the NL Wild Card game actually did matter, as Max Scherzer’s healthiness/effectiveness came into play, and the Brewers’ patchwork of bullpen arms proved critical in how the game ended, with Josh Hader (and the defense) falling apart at a critical time. The young star in Juan Soto also mattered, delivering the key, crushing blow.
The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): If one could derive a formula to build the best playoff team, it’d likely consist of home runs, few strikeouts, recently increased velocities and exit velocities, and a lot of good relievers. Those teams right now are the Rays, Dodgers, Astros, and—no surprise—the Nationals.