Washington Nationals

Nationals vs. Braves: Who Is the Better Team in the National League East?

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with Denard Span #2 after hitting a two RBI home run against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Nationals Park on April 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2013

As the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves set to go head-to-head this Saturday, one question remains on everyone's mind: Who is the better team in the National League East?

The Braves are off to a blistering start with a 9-1 record, and not only are their bats on fire, but their entire pitching staff (with the exception of Julio Teheran and Christian Martinez) is pitching like they already have October in their sights.

However, the 7-3 Nationals may just be the better team. Led by phenoms Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, the Nats have one of the most complete teams on paper. Not only is their lineup stacked with talented bats, but they arguably have the most dominant pitching staffs in all of baseball.

So who will prevail as the season goes on?

This weekend's games should offer a lot of insight as to how these two teams will fare against each other. I think the most interesting thing will be seeing whose bats perform better against each team's pitching staffs.

If I were to pick a clear-cut winner now, I think I would have to go with the Nationals. 

Harper is arguably hitting better than anyone in baseball right now, Denard Span is looking great at the top of the lineup and even Ian Desmond and Jason Werth are starting to heat up and look good. And though Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche aren't off to blazing start as of yet, both guys are way too talented to not rebound and start regularly contributing sooner than later. 

So who will win the National League East this year?

It's way too early to start speculating this early in the season, but one thing is for sure: there's going to be a lot of exciting games between these two teams as the season goes on.

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