Mon 23/03/2015 - 05:05 EDT

Washington Nationals 2015 Season Preview

Washington Nationals 2015 Season Preview
There is a lot of buzz surrounding the Washington Nationals and why shouldn't there be. The roster has the makings of champion and barring injuries, the Nationals are the beasts of the National League East and serious World Series contenders.

Futures

Odds To Win Division: -300

Odds To Win NL Pennant: 13/4

Odds To Win World Series: 7/1

Regular Season Win Total: 92.5

Most Significant Offseason Changes

Biggest Additions: 

Max Scherzer, SP

Casey Janssen, RP

Dan Uggla, 2B

Yunel Escobar, SS/2B

Ian Stewart, 3B

Biggest Losses:

Tyler Clippard, RP

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

Ross Detwiler, RP

Adam LaRoche, 1B

Rafael Soriano, RP

They’ll Be Successful If…

From top to bottom, the Nationals have one of, if not the best roster in Major League Baseball. When the Nationals signed Max Scherzer to a whopping $210,000,000 contract (for 7 years, yet paid out over 14), the Nationals showed everyone they are all in for 2015. With two recent first overall draft picks, in Bryce Harper and Steven Strasburg, and the presence of veterans Jason Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, the nationals rosters has a pristine mixture of youth and experience. The rotation is dynamite, with 5 players good enough to helm just about any other rotation in the league. To pair with their dominate pitching rotation, the Nationals have intimidating bullpen. The Nats bullpen finished fourth in ERA in 2014. The signing of Casey Janssen provides the Nationals with another experienced reliever, who should excel in the role of eighth’s inning setup man.     

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

Injury risks will be the biggest challenge for the Nationals. The franchise has not experienced much success in the post-season. With Anthony Rendon and Jason Werth questionable for opening day, and Denard Span expected to miss the first month, the injury bug has already began to strike the Nats. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg have both suffered some sort of injury in their careers, and the risk of another injury is always possible. Even with the depth and breadth of the Nationals’ roster, substantial injuries will keep the Nationals from playing in their franchise’s first World Series. The Nationals lack a history of success in the post-season (including their time as the Montreal Expos). They may have a better roster than the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals, but could find an early exit in the playoffs, as the Giants and Cardinals have proven in the past, experience can trump all.

Fantasy Bargain : Denard Span, CF

Though expected to miss the first month or so, Denard Span offers fantasy owners a quality center fielder, who on a team stacked with so much talent is seemingly being overlooked. Span is the reigning National League leader in hits (with 184), and ranked in the top ten in batting average, runs scored, stolen bases, doubles and triples. If defensive stats matter in your fantasy league, Span lead the NL in putouts as an outfielder. Draft him and put him on your DL to start the season and once he returns to prowl the center field of Nationals Park, you should see a quick return on your investment.

Outlook

It’s World Series or bust for the Nationals in 2015. The roster is oozing with talent, especially in the exhilarating pitching rotation. Barring a rash of injuries or a complete collapse, the Nationals should live up to expectations and deserve to be considered the World Series favourites.   

Prediction: 1st In NL East

Category : Archives

Tag : baseball , mlb , Nationals , washington nationals , Washington Nationals 2015 Season Preview

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