The Washington Nationals bounced back after a forgettable 2015 season. They won the AL East by eight games, but lost to the Dodgers 3-2 in the NLDS.
The Nationals realized their current roster wasn’t good enough to take their team to the next level, so they made one of the biggest trades of the Winter. They sent some good prospects to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton. A trade that brings them talent and a player who is under team control until 2020.
The Nationals were unable to retain closer Mark Melancon this offseason. Will have issues closing games in 2017?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Washington Nationals.
The Washington Nationals had a forgettable 2015 season. They were one of the favorites to win the National League pennant, but they didn’t even end up making the postseason.
Bryce Harper had his best season as a pro last year. He took home the National League MVP award and it was the first time since his rookie season that he stayed healthy enough to have 500+ at-bats. If he avoids running into outfield walls, this could be a yearly occurrence for the 23-year-old.
Can Dusty Baker push the Nationals to an NL East crown?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Washington Nationals.
The Washington Nationals season ended in the NLDS when they were defeated by San Francisco. The Giants was a team of destiny and went on to win the World Series. The early exit doesn’t look as bad when the team that defeated you goes on to win the title…but Washington really needs to get to a World Series while this core group of guys are all in their prime.
Bryce Harper is fun to watch (even if his peers think he’s overrated). He goes all-out on defense and often swings for the fences when he’s at-bat. Unfortunately, his playing style could lead to his early demise. He has missed 108 games the last two seasons due to injuries suffered in the outfield. If he can stay healthy for a full season, he could put up big numbers…but that’s a huge ‘if.’
Stephen Strasburg threw 200+ innings for the first time in his career in 2014. Can do it again this season?
Here is the 2015 MLB season preview for the Washington Nationals.
Justin Verlander has been in the running for the Cy Young award in nearly every season for the better part of a decade. In the span of his career, the Detroit Tigers have went from worst to first in the AL Central. They couldn’t have done it without his dominant pitching.
Things aren’t going so well for Verlander this season. He currently has a record of 6-7 with a 4.98 ERA. Detroit is only leading Kansas City by a half game in the AL Central. While the official MLB Futures betting lines have the Detroit Tigers in contention to take the AL Central Division, I am no longer comfortable with their position in the top spot as the Royals look to make their move on them.
Matthew Leach of MLB.com wrote an in-depth article breaking down Verlander’s problems this season. Leach opines that he shouldn’t be breaking down at 31 years old. As a power pitcher, he should actually be firmly in his prime. His velocity has taken a hit and he’s even having issues against players the second and third time through the order. This is new territory for Verlander.
What’s going on with Detroit? What should we expect from them going down the stretch?
The Detroit Tigers were one groin injury away from winning the World Series last year. Miguel Cabrera’s injury couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Even with Prince Fielder and Justin Verlander having down years (Verlander still managed to land Kate Upton, so much respect), they still won the AL Central.
Detroit made some big moves this offseason. They traded Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler and bolstered their bullpen by signing closer Joe Nathan. They’ll miss Jhonny Peralta, Omar Infante and Doug Fister, but they are replacing them with above average talent. The impact of losing them shouldn’t hurt them much. The AL Central isn’t a hard division to win this year.
Can Max Scherzer repeat last year’s Cy Young performance if Verlander has another average season?
Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Detroit Tigers.