Matthew Manouli | Thu 23/11/2017 - 03:20 EST

Washington Nationals MLB Futures 2018 Opening Lines

Washington Nationals MLB Futures 2018 Opening Lines

A Lackluster 2017

The Washington Nationals' 2017 was pretty similar to their 2016. Unfortunately for them, that meant a great regular season, but a quick exit in the postseason. They came into the season having lost a lot of their free agents, and failed to acquire most of the players they were eyeing, including names like Chris Sale, Andrew McCutchen, and Kenley Janson. Any of these would have made a huge difference in the Nationals' season. During the season, after some prominent bullpen issues arose, Washington acquired Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madsen to turn themselves into serious contenders. 

And it worked.

The Nationals won 97 games and ended the season with a 20 game lead in the NL East. It didn't mean much in the playoffs though, even with home field, as the defending champion Cubs defeated Washington in five games, clinching the series in the nation's capital.

Will Dave Martinez Make The Difference in 2018?

The Nats are definitely one team that will be looking different going into the new season. Having not gotten past the NLDS since 1981, the cogs have already started moving in order to make those clutch plays in the postseason that could mean the difference between going home or winning it all. Case in point, their last NLDS, where they lost to the Cubs in Game 5 by a single run.

Starting at the top, Dusty Baker's contract was not renewed as manager, and Dave Martinez, former Cubs' bench coach, was signed on in his stead on a three year deal. He has played for the Nats back when they were the Expos, and was part of the World Series winning Cubs team in 2016, so seems to be a good fit. In terms of players, starting pitcher Edwin Jackson is going into free agency, along with relievers Matt Albers, Joe Blanton, Brandon Kintzler, and Oliver Perez.

Jayson Werth, Jose Lobaton, Alejandro De Aza, and Howie Kendrick are among others who are entering free agency. While their starting lineup can survive with how good Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are, they are losing a lot of the depth that they relied on heavily last season.

They have potential outfielder prospects they can use to obtain more infield presence, or bolster their starting pitching rotation which steeply drops off after their aces, especially with a hole where Jackson used to be. Whatever they choose to do, their change in management should make a big difference.

Will They Win Their Division?

After seeing how the Nats dominated the National League East Division last season, it would be hard to think of them not coming out on top of the division again, but it would be foolish to think the same result would repeat itself. Winning by 20 games is in itself a tough feat, and the Marlins and Mets could put up more of a fight than they did last season. Like with the Cubs last season however, look for the division to be highly contested up until the end, when the Nats should eventually take it. 

StandingsWashington Nationals

Odds to Win the MLB World Series

The odds opened at +1000 for the Nationals to win the World Series. As with the Indians, the Nats have not proven themselves enough to merit a more favored price than the Yankees, who were a game away from the World Series. As of now, the Nats are still depleted and need to make some moves before the season starts.

MLB Futures - 2018 World Series Opening Lines

Our Prediction

It would be best to lay off the Nationals at this price of +1000 right now. They are surely going to make some trades to keep themselves in contention, but they don't have all the pieces yet to finally go deep in the playoffs. A 20 game lead in the division, but first round postseason exit is no way to play. There's no reason to take a team that hasn't proven themselves at such a bad price when there are other options. Nationals Park does get to host the All Star Game, but that'll be the only pomp of their season.

Category : MLB

More articles...
MLB - 04/01/19
Montreal Expos Prop Bets: Will Expos Return to MLB By 2022? 
As the 50th anniversary of the Montreal Expos nears, rumors intensify for the return of The ‘Spos to La Belle Province. The first Canadian team in the MLB lost their franchise when the league allowed the team to move to Washington - but baseball never went out of style in Montreal, with exhibition games constantly selling out at the crumbling Olympic Stadium. Stephen Bronfman, son of former Expos owner Charles, remains cautiously optimistic for a new era of Montreal Expos baseball.
MLB - 03/10/18
Baseball Wildcards Games 
The Oakland Athletics travel to the Big Apple, to face the New York Yankees in a story of David vs. Goliath franchises. Oakland is the first team in 30 years to make the postseason with the lowest payroll in baseball. Can they continue their run of excellence this season with a win over the Bronx Bombers? Plus a recap of all the craziness that transpired in Tuesday night’s NL Wild Card game.
MLB - 27/09/18
MLB Umpire stats: handicapping men behind home plate 
There is so much that goes into betting on baseball. The starting pitching, injuries, the ballpark and even the man behind the plate calling the game. 
MLB - 21/09/18
Handicapping MLB Starting Pitchers For Baseball Betting 
Major League Baseball revolves around pitching, more so when the playoffs roll around in October. Contenders with big bats and slick fielders will only go as far as their pitching staff allows. As such, handicapping starting pitchers reveals the odds that a team will win an individual ballgame. Baseball clubs with the best starting pitchers have a much greater chance of winning pennants and World Series rings.