Washington Nationals: Predicting The Statistics Of Starting Pitchers

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Oct 7, 2016; Washington, DC, USA;(EDITORS NOTE: Time exposure photo) Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning during game one of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 7, 2016; Washington, DC, USA;(EDITORS NOTE: Time exposure photo) Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning during game one of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Predicting the statistics of players is a time honored tradition. What do the computers think the Washington Nationals pitchers will do in 2017?

The hopes of success for the Washington Nationals rest on their starting rotation.

Worth hundreds of millions, the five men taking the hill to start the game set the pace and tempo for what is to follow. Their production sets the table for the offense to follow and what the bullpen can accomplish at the end of the game.

How will they do this year?

We know the pressure is immense to not simply advance in the playoffs but win the World Series. Aside from luck, which you cannot throw into numbers, we can see what the computers say might happen.

Fangraphs—that oasis of sabermetric goodness—has three different projections published on site for every player. From Dan Szymborski’s well-known ZiPS, to the Steamer system created by students from Brooklyn a few years ago mixed, finally, with FanGraph’s own mix.

From these three projections, we can get a look at how any player might perform before the year. Does it mean anything? No. But, it offers a guide for what might happen. Although the number-crunching is accurate enough to be taken seriously, it cannot predict injuries or hot and cold runs.

With that disclaimer, the site still predicts Washington to win 91 games, the National League East by five over the New York Mets and earn the third-best record in the league. Sorry, this time the Nats travel to Los Angeles for the start of the NL Divisional Series opener.

Here is what the computers say the projected starting five will do for numbers this year. Come October, we will either laugh or cry.

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