2020 Washington Nationals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
I am willing to wager that if you stopped 100 men on the street and asked them who is the defending World Series champion in Major League Baseball, that somewhere between 60-70 of them wouldn't be able to tell you.
As I'm sure you put together from the title of this article (or maybe you were in the 30-40 percent of people that just knew), it was the Washington Nationals. Washington posted one of the most unbelievable runs in postseason history, posting a litany of comebacks and upsets en route to the first title in franchise history (dating back to when they were the Montreal Expos).
The championship seemed sudden and out-of-nowhere; after-all, Washington made the playoffs as a wild card team and was nearly eliminated in the one-game playoff. However, it was actually the culmination of an eight-year journey for this franchise, dating back to the will-they-or-won't-they with Stephen Strasburg and the 98-win 2012 team.
So where do the Nationals go from here? They still have a pretty loaded roster, sans postseason hero Anthony Rendon. Washington has an excellent mix of youth and experience. And, yes, they could have a letdown after their arduous journey up the mountaintop. But they could also come into this season playing free and easy and with house money since the pressure if off this group to bring a title to The Capital.
Washington Nationals 2020 Projected Lineup (updated expert MLB picks daily)
1. Victor Robles - OF
2. Adam Eaton - OF
3. Tree Turner - SS
4. Juan Soto - OF
5. Eric Thames - 1B
6. Starlin Castro - 2B
7. Kurt Suzuki - C
8. Carter Kieboom - 3B
When people think of the Nationals, they usually initially think of their dominating starting pitching. But the Nationals were also No. 6 in the Majors in runs scored and team batting average, finishing No. 2 in the National League in both categories.
The Nationals lost Rendon to the Angels. But made a great move to replace his production by signing Eric Thames to play first base. They will also turn to top prospect Carter Kieboom to fill in for Rendon at third base. If the youngster flops, the Nationals also have an excellent bench with veterans Howie Kendrick, Asdrubal Cabrera and Ryan Zimmerman capable of filling in.
Juan Soto is 21 years old and one of the up-and-coming superstars in the game. He was an absolute hero during Washington's postseason surge, and he could be a future MVP.
A healthy Adam Eaton provided dividends last year and would be a big boon to this lineup again this year. Youngsters Victor Robles and Trea Turner took significant strides last year as well. They combined for 36 home runs and 63 steals, showing how their versatility and athleticism can impact the game in a variety of ways.
Washington Nationals 2020 Projected Rotation And Closer
1. Max Scherzer (R)
2. Stephen Strasburg (L)
3. Patrick Corbin (R)
4. Anibal Sanchez (L)
5. Joe Ross (R)
CL. Sean Doolittle
Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are all-time greats and future Hall of Famers. The delayed start and shortened overall length of the season should be a benefit to both as the recover from a grueling postseason stretch. This July, Scherzer will turn 36 and Strasburg 32. They both have a lot of innings on their arms. But neither has shown any signs of slowing down.
Lefty Patrick Corbin is the perfect compliment to Scherzer and Strasburg. He was a revelation last year and one of the best free agent acquisitions in baseball. Corbin has been an All-Star and finished in the Top 10 in Cy Young voting each of the past two years.
Anibal Sanchez's resurgence last year was crucial. He won 11 games and posted a 3.85 ERA in the regular season and Washington needs him to be solid this year in order to stabilize the back end of the rotation. Joe Ross and Austin Voth will likely battle for the No. 5 slot.
Washington's bullpen was a disaster last year. During the regular season, they posted a 5.66 ERA - the worst in baseball. They have a lot of the same faces back this season. And if the team has a weakness, this is a pretty glaring one.
Sean Doolittle was hardly automatic for the Nats last year, yet managed 29 saves and was solid in the postseason. He'll give it another go as the closer this season.
Washington Nationals Odds To Win The World Series
The Nationals were installed as 18-to-1 underdogs to make it back-to-back titles when futures were initially posted in November. They are currently 16-to-1 to win the World Series and 8-to-1 to win the National League pennant. They are tied with the Braves and Mets at 9-to-4 to win the National League East.
Washington Nationals 2020 Predictions
I am basing all of my predictions on my belief in an 81-game season that starts on July 1. I have absolutely no inside information about MLB's plans for the 2020 season. However, for the sake of discussion, 81 games are what I have in mind while writing these previews.
I really think it could break hard one way or another for the Nationals. As I mentioned earlier, they are either going to have a World Series hangover and a season-long letdown after finally getting their championship. Or this team will be playing with house money and will build on last year's epic postseason run.
Their rotation should benefit from a shortened campaign, as that will ease some of the burden on Scherzer and Strasburg. However, if the bullpen doesn't improve in a major, major way, then it is going to be difficult for this group to build off last year's momentum.
Further, the National League East is by far the best division in baseball. That also makes it one of the most difficult to handicap as any one of four teams could realistically win it.
I think the Mets and Braves are a little better right now than the Nationals. I don't see Washington falling off the map or anything, and I still believe they will finish over .500. But I don't see a division title or a repeat championship on the horizon.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports bettor and handicapper for Doc’s Sports and is considered one of the top MLB betting experts in the country. He has posted three consecutive winning MLB seasons and closed the 2019 season on a +$10,000 baseball run for his followers. Robert has beaten the books for six of seven profitable seasons on the diamond and is looking forward to another winning season for his clients. If you would like some help winning more bets in MLB this season the good news is that you can try out Ferringo’s MLB picks for free when you set up your complimentary $60 account here.
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