Washington Nationals: Five X-Factors For The 2017 Season

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Here are five X-Factors that could determine how the Washington Nationals finish in 2017

One week from today, the Washington Nationals will begin the season against the Miami Marlins at Nats Park. The Nats will look to repeat as National League East champions and do something they’ve never done before, win a round in the postseason.

By now, everyone knows the talent that the Nats have heading into this season. They have the 2015 NL MVP (Bryce Harper), the runner up to the award a season ago (Daniel Murphy), and the reigning NL Cy Young award winner (Max Scherzer).

While those three players have to have big seasons for the Nats to achieve their goal, there always seems to be one or two players that end up being surprises. Those players end up overachieving and end up playing a pivotal role that no one could have predicted

For example, nobody would’ve thought last year that Murphy would’ve hit 25 home runs, finish second in the batting title race, or even getting as close to winning the MVP award as he did. Also, at age 37, Jayson Werth hit more than 20 home runs in a season for the first time since 2013.

With that being said, I am going to give five possible X-factors that could be the difference to the Washington Nationals accomplishing their goals during the 2017 season. First, let’s start with one of the bullpen options since the bullpen is probably the team’s biggest question mark heading into the year.