Chris Lacey’s Prediction
Record: 90+ Wins
Result: Advance to NLCS
My prediction for the Washington Nationals during the 2017 season is the team will have a solid season on the diamond. The Nats have a roster that’s good enough to win another National League East division title.
The starting rotation was a major strength for the club last year, and I expect much of the same in the upcoming campaign.
The health of Stephen Strasburg will play a significant role on what type of success they experience. Strasburg is a difference maker for them on the staff and receiving 30 or more starts from him should allow them to make a return trip back to the postseason.
As for the offense, the lineup for the Nationals could be another source of strength for the club. They acquired outfielder Adam Eaton in the offseason and coupled with a full season from Trea Turner, it will cause nightmares for opposing pitchers.
The dynamic duo has plenty of speed to burn, and they can set the table for other players in the lineup.
Daniel Murphy had a superb first season in the nation’s capital, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues tearing the cover off the baseball in 2017.
Bryce Harper had a sub-par performance last year for the Nats, and I think he’ll revert to his MVP form from 2015. Harper has the skills to carry the offense for a couple of months and him beginning the regular season on a tear is very possible.
The only question mark going into the season is how the bullpen will hold up?
They named Blake Treinen as their closer, and he could be the answer to shut the door in the ninth.
Treinen threw the ball extremely well for them in 70-plus games last year. It will be interesting to see how long of a leash manager Dusty Baker will give Treinen if he blows a couple of save opportunities in the first month.
My prediction is the Washington Nationals will win at least 90 games and advance to the NLCS this year.