2013: 86-76, 2nd in NL East
The Nationals sidestepped the playoffs last season despite more or less the same team that won the NL East in 2012. They also brought that same team into 2014, meaning the Nats have as good of odds as anybody to get the division back from Atlanta. Hype no longer follows Stephen Strasburg around every start; it seems to be routine now that he comes out and produces. Jordan Zimmerman and pleasant surprise Tanner Roark are right behind him in the rotation. Washington hauled in a steal of a trade in acquiring Doug Fister from Detroit. That key move could put them above Atlanta at the end of the year as their starting five, rounded out by no slouch in Gio Gonzalez, can go up against almost anyone’s, including the Braves’. When they have a lead they keep it far more often than not; the bullpen is nasty. Closer Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard, Jerry Blevins, Aaron Barrett, Drew Storen, and Craig Stammen are the most reliable members of that ‘pen.
Offense has been a little on-and-off for the Nats over the last few years but they did get Adam LaRoche to resign at first base, and he rewarded them with getting on base constantly at the beginning of 2014. Top prospect Anthony Rendon was the everyday guy at the hot corner while underrated Ryan Zimmerman recovered from a broken thumb, and he’s only getting better. Jayson Werth is putting together a second straight solid season living up to that big contract. Along with toolsy Denard Span and potent Bryce Harper, this has got to be one of the best outfields in the bigs. Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond comprise a power-heavy middle infield. The Nationals play just off the Anacostia River near the Navy Yard south side of DC at Nationals Park, one of the most modern stadiums in the league. It’s a great time at the ballpark to see another contending Nationals team. Gold Coast Tickets can hook you up with the best seats at Nationals games!