The Washington Nationals won 95 games last year and had a plus-151 run differential. While it is hard to project how many victories they’ll have this summer, they realistically should be good for at least 90 victories based on the following:
Bryce Harper had a miserable dropoff is batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Assuming he stays healthy his numbers should improve, at least enough to off-set any drop from Daniel Murphy.
The acquisition of outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox is expected to improve the offense, which also should be aided by a full season from Trea Turner. Together that should make up for the declines of Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth.
However – and there’s always a however – the Nationals have issues.
Washington couldn’t keep closer Mark Melancon, which puts them on a par with the Mets, who are expecting to be without closer Jeurys Familia for at least the first month. Both teams need to patch their bullpens.
In comparing the Nationals and Mets, Washington added to a 95-win team while New York basically kept the status quo and is banking heavily on their injured pitchers bouncing back.