Nationals: DoD staff makes Over/Under predictions
James Simmons: Overs
There are two win totals in the National League East I am particularly confused by. The Nationals. The New York Mets. With as much as the teams in a division play one another, I do believe the East will beat each other up. For this reason I do not think the Mets punch overs on 90.5 wins for the year. Does Francisco Lindor boost their stock that much? Nationals on the other hand. The 84.5 wins is too low, and I predict they will go over.
A revamped offensive lineup, which will score runs for a healthy pitching staff, while giving way to a retooled bullpen. All the ingredients for a quality baseball team.
With the spring Josh Bell and Ryan Zimmerman had, they have proven they are locked in and ready to tear the cover off the ball when the season starts. Kyle Schwarber showed enough to lead us to believe he’s good for twenty plus home runs. Trea Turner and Juan Soto had mediocre springs, though are coming off career years a season ago.
In 2020, the Nationals didn’t receive one healthy start from Stephen Strasburg. Patrick Corbin led the majors in hits allowed. Max Scherzer had his highest FIP in ten years and Anibal Sanchez pitched more than five innings just twice in eleven starts while finishing with an ERA over 6.00. Strasburg is healthy. Corbin is refocused. Scherzer struck out 20 in 13 spring training innings. Sanchez was replaced by Jon Lester who was serviceable in three outings during camp.
A 7-9 record in one run games a year ago, meant the Nationals needed to bring in Brad Hand to bolster the back of the bullpen. Hand converted all 16 save opportunities a year ago and didn’t surrender a home run. The ninth inning belongs to him.
I’m taking overs on 84.5.