Harper vs Strickland – Only one loser
Bad blood boiled over a couple of days ago between San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland and Washington Nationals homerun-machine Bryce Harper. Strickland hit Harper with a pitch, after which the recipient charged the mound throwing his helmet accompanied with a couple of punches. Benches cleared, as usual.
After the dust settled and suspensions were handed, there seems to be only one loser in this battle – Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper, who was originally handed a four-game suspension but recent reports tell it’s reduced to three, is by far the most important player for his club. Definitely more so than reliever Hunter Strickland, suspended for six games, is for Giants.
Harper, who is tied first in the whole MLB in runs and fifth in homers, is impossible to replace. In their last remaining game of the series vs Giants, Harper’s possible absence reduces Nationals winning probability by over 5%, from 65.8% to 60.0%.
As the suspension is likely to be only for three games, Nationals might’ve dodged the bullet here. However, it’s not recommended that the best hitter of the team takes a role of the enforcer.
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