There are certain teams in sports that can just out talent their opponent. This is the case in baseball, even if you having amazing talent it may not always get you to the World Series, but in a 162 game season you will pick up more wins than losses. Talent is the best way to describe the Washington Nationals.
In 2005 the franchise of the Montreal Expos was relocated to Washington DC and became the Nationals. While it took some time to build up their team the Nationals have become a dominating force in the National League East. The Nationals have won the east three out of the last six seasons. In 2016 the Nationals finished with 95 wins led by first year manager Dusty Baker. Dusty’s bunch is one of the favorites to win the division again as many stars from last year’s team have returned.
One of the biggest notable names Nationals fans will see in the 2017 campaign is Bryce Harper. Harper had a down year last season with a batting average of .243 which is the lowest in his Major League Career. Harper still had 24 home runs which was 3rd best on the team and was second on the team in RBI’s with 86. Daniel Murphy will once again command the infield, being picked up last season on the free agent market he soared to lead the club in homers (24) and RBI’s (104). The Nats also picked up Adam Eaton over the winter in a trade with the White Sox. Eaton will help Harper in the outfield, last season Eaton batted .286 for the Sox knocking in 59 runs. Also in the outfielder runner up rookie of the year Trea Turner will be in his 2nd full season at the Major League Level. Last year the rookie batted .348 on the season. The team also has some veterans on the teams Ryan Zimmerman will once again patrol the infield for his 13th season with Washington. To back him up another veteran Adam Lind has been picked up as a free agent from Seattle.
On the mound for the Nationals will be led by the 2016 CY Young winner Matt Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg has been bitten by the injury bug that sat him out the month of September in 2016, before that Strasburg posted a 15-4 record. Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez will be back in the rotation, those two combined for 27 wins in the 2016 campaign.
Dusty Baker has been known to manage winning ball clubs. He has managed the Giants, Cubs, Reds and now the Nationals. Baker has 1,766 wins as a manager and 1,571 losses. He is only 21-29 in the post season with one World Series run with the Giants but lost in 7 games to the Angels. This Nationals team is loaded with talent, but do they have enough to get Dusty Baker his first World Series win?