The Nationals can earn home-field advantage throughout the postseason with a win Wednesday over Philadelphia or a Cincinnati loss in St. Louis.
If the Nats finish with the best record in the NL, they will face the winner of the National League Wild Card game, which will likely feature the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
If the Nationals lose Wednesday against Philadelphia and Cincinnati beats St. Louis the Nationas will finish with the NLs second best record. They will face the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.
In both scenarios, the Nats would begin the NLDS with two games on the road. Games 3, 4, 5 would be played at Nationals Park to close out the best-of-5 series.
The Nationals missed out on a major trade target when news broke this afternoon that the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox.
The report comes from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Washington had been the frontrunner to land Sale as recently as this morning. And as recently as 30 minutes ago, the Nationals vs. Red Sox contest seemed like it could go either way.
But apparently the Nats couldn't match Boston's offer of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech plus two minor leaguers, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Now, the dream rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale won't happen.
The trade for Sale was so close, it could impact other potential deals for the Nationals. The team reportedly explored trading Gio Gonzalez to the Yankees if Sale indeed ended up in Washington.
MORE NATIONALS: Report: Nats exploring trading Gio to Yankees
Here's an interesting report for Nationals fans to keep an eye on: If Washington lands White Sox ace Chris Sale, they may trade left Gio Gonazlez to the Yankees.
From Rich Mancuso of New York Sports Day:
A reliable National League source early this morning at the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings confirmed that the Washington Nationals are close to a deal with the New York Yankees that would send lefthander Gio Gonzalez to the Bronx. In return the Yankees would send the Nationals two minor league prospects and maybe another player.
Mancuso stipulates that the trade agreement, which is not yet official, would be contingent upon the Nationals acquiring Sale.
Gonzalez, 31, is in the last year of his contact with Washington after arriving in 2012 from Oakland. He finished the 2016 season with an 11-11 record, 4.57 ERA and 171 strikeouts.
UPDATE 1:34 p.m.: The Nationals lost on out Sale, who was instead traded to the Red Sox.
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