2016 Washington Nationals
The 2016 Nationals are loaded. 95 wins, a Cy Young award winner, an MVP candidate, four other All-Stars, and a new manager looking for a second wind.
Leading the charge on the mound is the blue and green-eyed beast himself, Max Scherzer.
Scherzer led all 2016 Cy Young vote-getters in WAR, pitcher wins, innings pitched, and tied Madison Bumgarner for most games started. On top of that, he led the MLB in strikeouts with 284, WHIP at 0.968, and in strikeout to walk rate with an impeccable 5.07.
Daniel Murphy left the 2015 season on one of the biggest “heaters” in MLB history. After hitting a home run in six consecutive postseason games, Murphy picked up exactly where he left off.
The new Nats slugger led the league in doubles with 47, slugging percentage at .595, OPS at .985, and lost the batting title to D.J. LeMahieu by mere decimal points as the latter sat out late on to preserve his average.
Murphy made the All-Star team, won a silver slugger for second basemen, and finished second in the MVP voting to Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.
Despite being the fourth seed in the tournament, the 2016 Nationals are a team to fear. The biggest weakness on this team is its bullpen, but with names like Mark Melancon and Felipe Vazquez holding down the fort, it’s only a minor issue.