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Washington Nationals Season Predictions | 2012 Season Betting Preview

2012 MLB Handicapping: Washington Nationals

The last time the Washington Nationals were .500 was their first year in the league after coming down from Montreal in 2005. That year’s team went 81-81 and last year’s ballclub went 80-81 with everything in-between the two seasons being completely forgettable.

MLB Team Betting Previews – Washington Nationals
Odds to Win the NL East: +800
Odds to Win the National League Pennant: +1100
Odds to Win the World Series: +2000
2012 Projected Win Total: 84

All signs continue to point to even bigger and better things this season, but Washington will need a bit of luck to go along with its boatload of potential in the highly competitive NL East.

This past offseason, the Nationals took a few more steps towards closing the gap in the division with the addition of left-hander Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson to add depth to a starting rotation also has a healthy Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and John Lannan.

If Strasburg can return to form and the rest of the starters perform at or above expectations, the Nationals become an instant wildcard contender this year.

The bullpen should receive a lift as well with the addition of Brad Lidge, who should work well with current closer Drew Storen.

They also have another quality set-up man in Tyler Clippard. Overall, Washington finished last season ranked sixth in the NL in pitching with a respectable ERA of 3.58.

With the recent additions and a healthy Strasburg pitching from Day 1, this number should only get better in 2012.

Another key player returning from injury is third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is set to take his place in the middle of the Nationals’ batting order with Michael Morse and Jayson Werth to form the main source of production for this lineup.


All three will need to step things up as compared to last season when Washington finished ranked 14th in the NL in hitting with a team batting average of .242. It was also ranked near the bottom of the league in hits with 1319 and runs with 624.

The big wildcard heading into the regular season will be if Bryce Harper is deemed ready to take his place in the outfield on a fulltime basis.

The former first-round pick has already wowed them in the minors and appears ready to take his place in the Big Show.

If he plays anywhere near his projected ability, it would help the Nationals take another huge step towards becoming a legitimate contender in the East.

2012 Outlook

There is little doubt that the future looks bright in D.C. as this team continues to move in the right direction with a great mix of veteran leadership to go along with some youthful talent. The projected 84-game win total is ambitious but reachable if the Nationals have a few more things to come together quickly this season.

This team will give chase all season long, but it comes-up just short in the end.

Prediction: 83-81 and fourth in the NL East

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.