Nationals: 3 early-season takes that look really stupid right now
1. “The 84.5 wins is too low, and I predict they will go over.”
Fellow District on Deck writer, Max Rayman, and I predicted the o/u on the 84.5 wins Vegas set for the 2021 Washington Nationals team. Confidently, I picked the over. Begrudgingly, I acknowledge that mistake now. Were the Nationals ever on pace to win 85 games this year?
This prediction was derailed from game one of the season. COVID protocols led to a makeshift Opening Day roster (remember Cody Wilson? That’s how far the Nats reached to fill their roster). After winning the first game, the Nationals promptly lost the next five, being shut out in three of them. From that point, the uphill climb was on.
After reaching the surface at 12-12 in early May, losses in seven of eight games (to division rivals nonetheless) sent the Nationals reeling once again. An incredibly hot June (thanks to an incredibly hot Kyle Schwarber) sent the Nats above .500 and back within two games of the division lead. That’s where the latest descent began.
There were high hopes for this season, though maybe there shouldn’t have been. Age, injury, and inconsistency, all lead to an underachieving Nationals team and a fire sale at the trading deadline. Not only were we wrong on “over 84.5 wins”, we just wait to see by how many wins we blew this prediction by.