Who should be the Nationals Opening Day Starter?

The Nationals have not had a true ace in their rotation since the departure of Max Scherzer via trade, leaving the spot for Opening Day starter up to best pitcher available. After Patrick Corbin got the nod the past couple seasons despite subpar performance, who should get the nod this season?

Sep 11, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Washington Nationals pitching coach Jim Hickey (48)
Sep 11, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Nationals pitching coach Jim Hickey (48) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Longshots

Jake Irvin, Trevor Williams, Zach Davies

Not only do I do I think there is no chance whatsoever that any of these pitchers are the Nationals' Opening Day starter, I would go as far as to say there is a likelihood that any or all of these pitchers do not finish the season with the Nationals.

Irvin is the "best" pitcher of the group, but has even hinted at his spot in the rotation not being secure. It is a bit surprising considering Irvin performed admirably last season following his call-up, but he was not the most consistent pitcher. Hypothetically if one or more pitchers emerged as capable starters, Irvin could be optioned back to AAA to work on some things. However, the Nationals pitching in their organization is not very deep, so I would expect Irvin to stay with the team unless something really goes wrong.

Trevor Williams would be the "Patrick Corbin" of the group in terms of being an MLB Veteran, and having made Opening Day starts previously in his career, but I think most Nationals fans would sooner kick Williams off the team than give him the ball for Opening Day. Last year's experiment of converting the once starter turned reliever back into a starter could not have gone worse and many are calling for Williams to return to his relief role as that is seemingly the only way to restore some value. It is unclear if the Nationals will do that, so I do expect Williams to remain in the rotation in the meantime. Perhaps when Cade Cavalli returns we can see a change.

Zach Davies is the odd man out here, but including him for the discussion in case he earns a roster spot out of camp and the Nationals do decide to put Williams in the bullpen at the start of the year.