Three observations ...

• As controversial as he has been in recent years, Alex Rodriguez deserves credit for being able to take a year off and come back at age 39 to do the damage he’s done.

• Dallas Keuchel is the man, but that beard is hideous.

• Now the Nationals are looking like the team everyone feared at the beginning of the season.

... and two predictions

• The Yankees will be in first place in the AL East by the All-Star break.

• Bryce Harper will finish with 45 home runs and not win the NL home run crown.

La Velle E. Neal III