In 2014, the Washington National had an excellent season. They finished the regular season with a 96-66 record finishing first in the National League East along with having the best record in the NL. Many people thought the National had a serious shot to take home the World Series trophy. Unfortunately, the Nationals got an early exit from the playoffs after losing to the eventual World Series champs, the San Francisco Giants, in the National League Divisional Series 3 games to 1. As a team, the Nationals hit a team average of .263 with scoring 686 runs. For the pitching aspect of the Nationals, their staff had a combined average of a 3.03 ERA which led the MLB. The Nationals hope to reach that next level in 2015 and I believe they can do that
For the start of the 2015 season, the stakes are high for the Washington Nationals. Due to last year’s success, the Nationals were not too active in the offseason. They did make some noise with their signing of former Detroit Tigers stud Max Scherzer to a 7 year, $210 million deal. This move now leaves question marks all over the rotation for the Nationals. Last season they had a great rotation with Stephen Strasburg being the ace followed by Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark. So will the Nationals trade one of these guys or move them into the bullpen to make room for Scherzer? In my opinion, Roark will be added to the bullpen to add some depth because he already has relief experience. With the loss of Adam Laroche at first base, the Nationals will most likely move Ryan Zimmerman over to first base and put Anthony Rendon over at 3rd base. The Nationals still have big bats in Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper along with versatile shortstop Ian Desmond.
PREDICTION: With an improved rotation from last season, the Nationals have what it takes to compete for a title. I believe Stephen Strasburg will have a much improved year from last year and show he is the ace of this team. Scherzer will also be dominant, but not as good as he was on the Tigers because of the transition from the AL to NL. The pitching will be excellent, but the question marks are all over the offense. Harper will have an excellent season hitting 30 plus homers with 100 plus RBIs sitting at a .300 average. Jayson Werth will supply a huge part of the offense at the 3 spot in the order. For the Nationals to be put over the top, a guy like Anthony Rendon or Ryan Zimmerman will have to step up. The Nationals will win the NL East with a 98-64 record and breeze by the Dodgers in the first round. I believe the Nationals will make the NLCS, but lose to the Cardinals in a pitching war between these two teams. The Car
Note: All projections and opinions in this article are my own and are not meant to reflect those of anyone else on this website.
1- Stephen Strasburg
2- Max Scherzer
3- Doug Fister
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
2B Yunel Escobar
Manager Matt Williams will enjoy coaching this group of guys and watching the talent in both pitching and hitting. Bryce Harper will bring spark and life to the offense while Strasburg controls the pitching. This team looks like it is really there to contend for a title, but anything could happen throughout the course of the year. The addition of Max Scherzer will definitely help them get to the next level, but the real question is what will their hitting do. The Phillies and Braves are practically irrelevant now. The Mets are never really a threat, but could they this year? They have Matt Harvey healthy now, but their offense is not very great. The revamped Miami Marlins will provide the biggest threat to the Nationals, but not anything they should worry about.
Baseball is,was, and always will be the greatest game in the world
Jake Wesley is now the only writer for MLB_NL_AL.com all of these articles are ether based on facts and pieces of his opinion.