4) Washington Nationals
2020 Stats: W/L 15-27, 5.38 ERA, 5.17 FIP, 2.5 fWAR
Washington’s rotation hinges on the team’s aging big three of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin to return to form. Easier said than done. After winning the World Series in 2019, the Nationals rotation was a mess in 2020. Scherzer battled a hamstring injury, Corbin was inconsistent to put it nicely, and Strasburg missed the majority of the season due to Carpal Tunnel Surgery.
It helps that Joe Ross will be back after opting out of 2020 and the team also added a new fourth starter in workhorse and three-time World Series champion, Jon Lester.
All eyes should be on the Nationals ace, Max Scherzer. The future Hall of Famer had a down year in 2020, but he was still plenty effective. He went 5-4, with a 3.74 ERA, 92 strikeouts, and a 3.46 FIP. Now that his hamstring injury is behind him, expect the veteran to be back to his elite self.
Stephen Strasburg is the other ace to watch out for. After being named the 2019 World Series MVP, his injury bug flared up in a major way in 2020. Strasburg has slowly ramped up this Spring, but left his first Spring start early, with a leg injury. The rotation’s success hinges on his recovery, especially after the team signed him handed him a seven-year deal worth $245 million before the start of the 2020 season.