Despite a shaky start, the Washington Nationals remain primed for a long postseason run. Do the Vegas oddsmakers agree with the aspirations of the ballclub?
For a perennial World Series contender, the Washington Nationals’ season has been anything but steady.
After starting off 4-0, the team quickly fell below .500 for the better part of April and never quite recovered until the middle of May.
Injuries have ravished the team, sending two 2017 all-stars, Daniel Murphy, and Ryan Zimmerman, to the disabled list for extended periods of time. Other casualties include Matt Wieters, Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick.
Despite all of the injuries, the Nationals are in first place in the National League East and have the second-best record in the NL This is due in large part to the outstanding performances from their studs, namely Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Scherzer is leading Major League Baseball in strikeouts, fielding independent pitching (FIP) and pitching wins above replacement (WAR). Turner leads the Nationals batters in WAR, is tied for second in the league in stolen bases and plays well above average defense.
Despite the unstable start to the season, the Vegas oddsmakers have not waivered on their long-term projections for the Nationals. Nor have the projections from Fangraphs.com.
Also, some Nationals are making their way up the respective leaderboards for N.L. MVP and for the Cy Young award. Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez are among the contenders for the Cy Young while only one batter sees his name in the MVP conversation.
In this article, we will take a deep dive to see how the Nationals fare in the minds of the people whose job it is to handicap baseball.