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Wire Taps: Nationals begin 2018 season today; Max Scherzer is ready; Zim finishes great sit-out...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the rain clears and the Nats and Reds play their season opener this afternoon.

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

In a couple of hours, the Nationals will begin their most consequential season in franchise history.

It alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll starts....


Boswell: A healthy Ryan Zimmerman sat out the exhibition season, and it surely didn’t go unnoticed
For Zimmerman—a player for whom 1000 trips down to first base might not be problematic, but the 1001st could re-aggravate one of his many injuries—controlling his gameplay made sense, and Dave Martinez let him do it.

Max Scherzer, healthy and locked in for Opening Day, makes it clear: ‘I’m ready’
Scherzer's ring finger was on again, off again to start the year last season. Heading into October, it was his hamstring. This year, he's healthy, and he's fired up, ready to go.

ESPN, CBS, SI, everyone in between thinks the Nats will make the playoffs
SI has them in the World Series. About half of ESPN does, as does more than half of CBS' experts. FiveThirtyEight gives them 73% odds to make it to October, and is about fifty-fifty on a trip to the World Series. We'll see you the morning after NLDS Game 5, everyone.

The Athletic — Sarris: Ten bold predictions for the coming season
Annoyingly, his tenth prediction re-affirms what SI has already cursed the Washington fanbase with: the burden of being chosen to win it all. (I'm done with jinxes this year. No more. NO MORE.)

The Athletic — Gammons: Foolish predictions on Opening Day
Peter Gammons, like everyone else in baseball, thinks the Nats will be present in October.

Nationals Sign Carlos Torres
Torres will join the Nats on a minor-league deal after hovering around a 4.00 ERA for the last nine-odd seasons.

ESPN Insider: Predicting the 2018 win-loss record of all 30 MLB teams
Luckily for you, the NL East is inside the free preview section.

2018 Season Preview: 10 biggest questions
Not too much has changed, other than the manager and the sense of urgency to win a playoff series. Still.

Fifty years ago, Nats’ Opening Day was postponed after assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Senators rescheduled their home opener back four days after the death of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, concerned both with paying respects and keeping the environment peaceful.

Good news, Nationals fans: Rookie managers have historically done well in D.C.
Matt Williams had a good debut season with Washington, as did everyone from Clark Griffith to Ted Williams.

Today’s Game: Nationals vs. Reds — 4:10 PM (ET)
Probable Pitchers: Max Scherzer vs. Homer Bailey
How to Tune In: MASN, WJFK/106.7, MLB.TV (Out of market)