2015 – 21.5
When looking back at the Washington Nationals 2015 season, one of the themes from that year was injuries in the early stages of the season. On Opening Day that year, the Nats didn’t have center fielder Denard Span, left fielder Jayson Werth, and third baseman Anthony Rendon.
In the end, the Washington Nationals ended up underachieving that year as a team that was picked by some to win the World Series ended up finishing with 83 wins.
Out of the 21,5 total WAR by that lineup, a combined 17 WAR came from two players. Right fielder Bryce Harper had a 9.9 WAR and the starting pitcher, Max Scherzer, was at 7.1
Of course, Harper ended up winning the MVP that year with a .330 average, 42 home runs, 99 RBI’s, and an on-base percentage of .460. As for Scherzer, he ended up leading the staff in wins (14), innings pitched (228.2 innings), and strikeouts (276).
Without Span, Rendon, and Werth, their three replacements (Michael Taylor, Dan Uggla, and Tyler Moore) combined for a -2 WAR. Uggla had to play second base because new acquisition Yunel Escobar ended up moving to third base.
The Nats hosted the Mets that year on Opening Day and Harper had the team’s lone run with a solo home run in the fourth inning against Bartolo Colon. Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but a Lucas Duda two-out, two run single gave the Mets the lead and New York ultimately won the game 3-1.