2013 – 26.6
It is somewhat surprising that the 2013 Washington Nationals had the highest regular season WAR in the team’s history because this was another team that underachieved and ended up missing the playoffs with a 86-76 record.
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When looking at the numbers, one thing that might helped the 2013 team get to that number was no player in the Opening Day lineup had a negative WAR that year and only first baseman Adam LaRoche (0.8) had a WAR under one.
But, at the same time, injuries did play a factor that year as catcher Wilson Ramos and second baseman Anthony Rendon both played in fewer than 100 games.
It was another Opening Day start for Stephen Strasburg (3.5). That season, Strasburg went 8-9 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts. That season, the three starters who had more wins than him were Dan Haren (ten), Gio Gonzalez (11), and Jordan Zimmermann (19).
However, Strasburg’s 3.5 WAR ended up being the highest he has had in any season in his career. Last year, his WAR was at 3.3, so he might’ve past the 3.5 total if he did not get injured at the end of the season.
For Opening Day that season, the two main stories were Strasburg and Bryce Harper against the Miami Marlins. On the mound, Strasburg went seven innings and gave up only three hits while striking out three. At the plate, both of the Nats runs were scored via two solo home runs from Harper against Ricky Nolasco.