Tom- Nationals finish at least five ahead of Atlanta.
“Washington will finish at least 5 games ahead of the defending NL East Champion Braves, who failed to address several glaring off-season needs. Atlanta will especially regret letting their 2nd-best starting pitcher from 2018 (Anibal Sanchez) and starting catcher (Kurt Suzuki) end up on the division rival Nationals.”
Ross – Brian Dozier hits 30 home runs.
“My bold prediction for the Nationals this season is that Brian Dozier rebounds and hits 30 home runs for his new team. I was so excited that the Nats signed him and (still) can’t believe how little people seem to talk about him. He’s going to be a household name in D.C. sooner rather than later.”
Danny – Ryan Zimmerman has a rebound season.
“In 2017, Ryan Zimmerman stayed healthy through a season for the first time since 2013. We all saw what a difference a healthy Zim made in the Nationals lineup when he put up a .303/.358/.573 slash line with 36 home runs and 108 RBIs. Zim tumbled back down a little bit last year as he struggled to stay healthy, but his .824 OPS shows that when he was on the field, he was still productive. I don’t know that Zim will be able to re-produce 2017’s campaign, but as long as he’s healthy, he’s going to hit. My bold prediction is that Zim stays healthy, suits up for around 135 games this season (for comparison, he played in 144 in 2017) and puts up a .288/.352/.510 slash line with 29 home runs and 98 RBIs. He’s one of the keys to the Nationals season and along with Brian Dozier, he could help this Nationals lineup surpass the 191 home runs that they hit last season.”
Ed – Nationals finish with six All-Stars.
“My bold prediction for 2019 is that the Nationals will have 6 players named to the All-Star game. I believe that Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Sean Doolittle, and Patrick Corbin will all make the All-Star team as pitchers, with Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Anthony Rendon making it as hitters. 6 All-Stars on a team that lost Bryce Harper would be a pretty incredible accomplishment and it is something I think could definitely be in the cards for this team. Barring any injuries, all 6 of these players are capable of being at the top of the league at their respective positions. So come July 9th in Cleveland, be on the lookout for some curly W’s.”
Matt- Nationals win 98 games tying the franchise record set in 2012.
“This may be even more than just a bold prediction bordering on a pretty crazy one, but I believe the Nationals will match their 2012 record winning 98 games. I think this is the best starting rotation Washington has ever had, and their top three starters will all finish in the top seven of the National League Cy Young voting. I think Washington has a lineup that will put the bat on the ball and avoid strikeouts, and Juan Soto and Victor Robles will more than fill the void left by Bryce Harper’s departure. This Nationals team is deeper than they ever have been, and are destined to do great things in 2019.”