1. Washington Nationals (13–5, plus-17, LT: 7)
They’ve won seven in a row and own the best record in baseball. Bryce Harper’s crushing at a level that even exceeds his 2015 form, when he did a mean Ted Williams impression for an entire season. Stephen Strasburg is healthy and riding a simplified approach to a terrific start. And they’ve gotten off to this roaring start despite their young star Trea Turner missing a week and a half to the disabled list (he’s now back).
At this point the loaded Nationals have one and only one major Achilles heel: the bullpen. The good news is that the commodity that costs the least to acquire in trades is relief pitching. It might take a few weeks, but GM Mike Rizzo’s going to hit the trade market and reel in at least a couple of top-flight bullpen arms.
After that, this might become the Nationals team with the best chance to finally make that prolonged playoff run. For a team that’s had far too much heartbreak in its 12 seasons in D.C., and a city that hasn’t celebrated a World Series title in 93 years, bring it on.