2016 – 19.5
Last year’s team ended up winning 95 games and won the National League East for the third time in five years. There were several additions to the lineup in center fielder Ben Revere and second baseman Daniel Murphy.
For the first time in franchise history, a Opening Day WAR leader for the season ended up being the starting pitcher. Max Scherzer (6.2) got the start on Opening Day last year and ended up having a season in which he won his second Cy Young award.
From a position player standpoint, Murphy (4.6) had a fantastic season as he hit 25 home runs, finished second in the batting title race, and second in the NL MVP race. For a time last year, Murphy and catcher Wilson Ramos (3.3) carried the offense.
On a negative note, the two players with negative WAR’s that year in this lineup were Zimmerman (-1.1) and Revere (-1.2). Revere ended up injuring his oblique on Opening Day and just could not get into a rhythm during the year. Eventually, his center field spot ended up going to Trea Turner.
Last year, Opening Day was at Turner Field as the Nats took on the Braves. Both Harper and Murphy ended up hitting home runs that afternoon, but the Nats found themselves in a 3-2 hole after the bottom of the eighth.
But, the Nats would rally back and tie the game in the ninth on a Michael Taylor sacrifice fly. One inning later, it was Murphy’s RBI double to left that ended up sealing a 4-3 win for the Washington Nationals in Dusty Baker’s first year as manager.