Nationals 2016 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2016 Washington Nationals predictions? The most underachieving team from 2015 the Washington Nationals will try to rise from the ashes in 2016 armed with a new Manager Dusty Baker, who will attempt to bring calm to a dysfunctional locker room and get the talented Nats back into the spotlight for the “right reasons”.
MLB Nationals Predictions & Handicapping Insight
Injuries also played a big part in Washington’s demise last season. Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth are all back and ready to push the Mets for the best record in the NL East.
Last year at this time the Nationals were favored to win it all. Do they have the team to accomplish that lofty goal in 2016? Let’s take a look.
2016 MLB Team Previews
- Nationals National League East Future Odds: +110
- Nationals National League Pennant Future Odds: +700
- Nationals 2016 World Series Futures Odds: +1800
2B Daniel Murphy, OF Ben Revere
SS Ian Desmond, SP Doug Fister, OF Denard Span, RP Drew Storen, SP Jordan Zimmermann
2016 Nationals Predictions – Projected Lineup:
- Ben Revere CF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Jayson Werth LF
- Danny Espinosa SS
- Wilson Ramos C
Look for the Nationals to have a top 10 Lineup this season both in the field and at the plate. Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper alone makes this team better than most! Assuming he stays healthy Harper is a guy that could tear up the league again and emerge as MVP again in 2016.
The addition of Ben Revere at the top of the lineup was a solid offseason move.
His .300 batting average and 80 combined stolen bases the last couple of seasons should serve to set the table for Anthony Rendon who was superb in 2014 only to suffer through injuries last year, Harper and Ryan Zimmerman who also missed a ton of time last year.
Zimmerman hit .311 in his final 39 games last year – when healthy! We all saw what Daniel Murphy did for the Mets last year – he is a terrific veteran addition to this team.
Rounding out the order are Jason Werth who has battled injuries and some decline the last few seasons, Danny Espinosa who plays a superb shortstop and has batted over .265 the last four years and Wilson Ramos who himself has some serious health question marks.
Assuming that all of the key guys on the National stay healthy there is no reason to think that Washington isn’t in the top third in MLB both offensively and defensively.
2016 Nationals Predictions – Projected Rotation:
- Max Scherzer
- Stephen Strasburg
- Gio Gonzalez
- Tanner Roark
- Joe Ross
Perhaps the biggest story with Washington’s rotation is the fact that stud Jordan Zimmerman, his consistent 15 wins and 200 innings is gone.
That leaves Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg, to carry the load. There is no reason to think that a dropoff for Scherzer is imminent but the health of Strasburg is always a concern.
Both of these guys will have to be All-Stars for Washington to compete this season – you could certainly do worse! Gio Gonzalez, who won 21 games in 2012 seems to be on a serious decline however – he is an OK, not elite #3 in an above-average rotation.
Joe Ross could be the X-factor for the Nats – the youngster impressed in his first season in the Bigs and could become a terrific #4 on the roster.
Washington has a chance to be one of the best rotations in MLB. Health and some overachieving will be necessary but nobody would be shocked to see them become a top five or six staff.
2016 Nationals Predictions – Projected Bullpen:
- RHP Jonathan Papelbon (Closer)
- LHP Felipe Rivero
- RHP Yusmeiro Petit
- LHP Oliver Perez
- RHP Shawn Kelley
- RHP Blake Treinen
- RHP Rafael Martin
The Nats traded former closer Drew Storen to the Blue Jays in the offseason leaving the controversial Jonathan Papelbon as the ninth inning guy. It could go either way for Papelbon whose presence coincided with the Nationals slide last year.
Best guess is that Jonathan rediscovers his form and is effective again. Felipe Rivero, Yusmeiro Petit, Oliver Perez and Shawn Kelley are quality set-up men while Blake Treinen and Rafael Martin provide tremendous depth for the pen.
Washington is blessed with a top end closer in Jonathan Papelbon and some good arms to support the starters. They are certainly in the top half of relief staffs in the Bigs with some serious upside.
Best guess is that they end up being a good, not elite pen.
2016 Washington Nationals Season Predictions:
The Nats find themselves in a much different position than they did last year – they are a bit under the radar as we head into 2016. That may play right into their hands.
They have a ton of talent from Bryce Harper to a terrific 1-2 punch in the starting rotation and they will have the benefit of the terrific Dusty Baker making all of the decisions. The problem is that the Mets loom as a better, deeper and more motivated squad.
If all goes perfectly on the injury front and if the team can simply reach their potential, there is no reason they can’t compete for the NL East crown.
That said I like the Mets a little more – Washington claims a Wild Card spot and bows out early in the MLB playoffs.
What do you think of our 2016 Washington Nationals predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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