Washington Nationals: 5 predictions for 2018

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Anthony Rizzo
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: Anthony Rizzo /
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washington nationals
washington nationals /


The best pitcher on the staff after the All-Star break last year, Stephen Strasburg is ready to continue.

His decision to ditch the windup last spring paid off in spades. By simplifying his delivery, Strasburg excelled. When you add his two tremendous starts in the NL Divisional Series, you get the pitcher everyone hoped for.

Now that Strasburg figured how to pitch—that is not an insult as it takes time to mature from a thrower into a pitcher—he takes the next step in shutting down opposition hitters. His mix of pitches is perfect. He has a better understanding of what to throw when.

If the cramps plaguing him throughout the summer are under control, there is no reason Strasburg cannot start 33 games and clear 210 innings. Because the division should be easy, along with Max Scherzer, the pressure to push should be low. If the back end of the bullpen continues their success, there will be less stress on all the starters.

Yes, he must win 17 and stay healthy. However, the change in approach worked. He solved his inner puzzle which will pay dividends going forward.

Scherzer will continue to punish hitters and top 250 strikeouts again, but Strasburg has the better year. A nice problem to have.