Washington Nationals: Top Predictions For 2017

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /


It is safe to say Stephen Strasburg enters the first year of his new seven-year contract with a major chip on his shoulder.

After a flexor mass strain sidelined him before the playoffs, questions over his durability and why the Nats sunk so much into his extension have left the ace itching to prove everyone wrong. Before his first injury last year, he was 13-0 and looking the best in his career.

Expect that Strasburg to take the National League by storm in 2017. He will pitch with a massive chip on his shoulder and give Scherzer and the bullpen some relief.

This will be the year he passes 200 innings and post a high-two ERA. As with Matt Harvey with the New York Mets, Strasburg goes into the 2017 campaign understanding his legacy is on the line. He will get it done.

Daniel Murphy will contend for a batting title and Bryce Harper regains his confidence at the plate, but the resurgence of Strasburg as a dominant pitcher becomes the story.

Along with Trea Turner and Scherzer, those six players represent the Nats down in Miami for the All-Star Game, although Strasburg will not pitch in the actual game.