The LT Profits Group are providing team profiles for every MLB team for the 2016 season that can be referred to when making MLB picks. Today they look at the Washington Nationals.
We are now only about five weeks away from the start of the 2016 MLB season, which kicks off with three games on Sunday, April 3rd followed by the rest of the league starting on Monday, April 4th. And in an effort to assist with your MLB picks, we are here presenting team profiles for all 30 Major League Baseball teams in advance of opening day. Today we profile the Washington Nationals, who finished second in the National League East in 2015 at 83-79.
We begin with a summary of the Washington betting statistics for the 2015 season. Note that these stats are always for regular season games only and that the units won or lost are based on betting one unit every game, with those units and Over/Under records based on the closing lines from Pinnacle.
Washington Nationals 2015 Betting Stats
It is easy to forget that the Nationals were the preseason favorites to win the World Series before last year, so they were obviously major disappointments while not winning the National League East nor even making the playoffs. And the units won/lost reflected just how overrated Washington was, especially on the road where the Nationals burned through 13.25 units.
Now, here is the Nationals’ statistical summary for the 2015 season.
2015 Washington Nationals Team Statistics
|Runs per Game||4.34||10th|
The big hype surrounding the Nationals last year was based on supposedly having the best five-man starting rotation in all of baseball. Now the pitching was not bad, finishing seventh in the majors in team ERA, but it was not nearly as dominant as expected and if not for an MVP season by Bryce Harper offensively, Washington could have very well finished below .500.
2016 Washington Nationals World Series Futures
You knew moves were going to be made after the disappointing 2015 season, but has Washington done enough? Yes, Manager Matt Williams had to go as he seemed over his head since the day he was hired, but is the 66-year-old Dusty Baker the most suitable replacement? And the most notable offensive addition was former Met Daniel Murphy, who simply got hot at the right time and parlayed a sizzling few weeks in the post-season into a big payday.
2016 Washington Nationals Batting Forecast
Harper obviously earned his MVP award last year, when he batted .330 with 42 homers, 99 RBI and finished with a phenomenal 1.109 OPS, helped by having almost as many walks (124) as strikeouts (131). Now, the 2016 ZiPS projections predict Harper to have a 6.9 WAR, the highest WAR projection ever for ZiPS, which first came on the scene 23 years ago!
But while there is no doubt who will stir the Nationals drink again this year, the rest of the lineup remains very ordinary. Anthony Rendon grades out next best in regards to projected WAR at 3.3, and his youth is a definite plus, but the Nats have no other batter projected to reach even a 2.0 WAR. In case you were wondering about the playoff hero Murphy, he grades out as the best of the rest but only at 1.9, suggesting his hot post-season was probably just a mirage.
2016 Washington Nationals Pitching Forecast
The starting rotation again looks great on paper, but will it live up to expectations this time unlike last year? Washington has a pair of co-aces in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Yes, Scherzer will be the true ace again projecting to a 6.2 WAR, but the 4.5 WAR for Strasburg would make him an ace on a lot of staffs. After that, Joe Ross showed great promise as a rookie and should only get better while Tanner Roark seems poised to regain his 2014 form.
The bullpen did lose its former closer with Drew Soren going to the Blue Jays, but the pen remains fairly deep in quality arms such as Shawn Kelley, Oliver Perez and Felipe Rivero, all leading up to the All-Star current closer in Jonathan Papelbon.