Washington Nationals: Four x-factor players for the Nats in 2019
By Tobi Altizer
Stephen Strasburg is one of the biggest factors to a successful 2019 campaign. If he can remain healthy, he can give the Washington Nationals another ace at the top of the rotation. Obviously, health is the biggest issue as he spends time on the DL quite often.
When Strasburg is healthy, he can be one of the best starters in baseball. In 2017, Strasburg stayed relatively healthy, and he was able to translate that into finishing third in Cy Young voting. A return to that kind of form could take the Nationals to the next level.
With Strasburg at his best, the Nationals become legitimate contenders in the NL. He showed that he can pitch well in the postseason too when he shut down the Cubs in the 2017 NLDS. The right-hander is the player the Nats need to take them from good to great.
Imagine how dominant the Nationals can be if Scherzer, Strasburg, and new addition Patrick Corbin have great seasons. You could argue they would be the best starter trio in the majors.
The starting rotation didn’t have their best year last year. They combined for an ERA of 4.03 in 2018 compared to an ERA of 3.63 the previous season. They also combined to post a record of 55-53 in 2018 compared to 72-47 in 2017.
The Nationals have all they need for a successful 2019, and Stephen Strasburg may be the biggest factor in how successful this season is. If he is dominant and stays healthy, the Nationals could be favorites to reclaim the division title.