Nationals 2018 Playoff Prediction
Baseball is back! Spring training is in full swing and before you know it, April will be here and the games will count. Oddsmakers have released odds on whether or not teams will make the postseason. Every day we'll pick a new team to cover. Up first: The Washington Nationals.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Nationals have 2/13 odds to make the playoffs this season. Washington's odds of missing the postseason are 9/2, so the value for bettors is listed on "No."
That said, even though the odds don't offer bettors much value, the smart money is still with Washington reaching the postseason. The Nationals won 97 games a year ago despite Bryce Harper missing 50 games. Trea Turner (60) and Adam Eaton (140) missed significant time as well. With all three healthy and Harper entering his free-agent year, the Nationals are all in this season.
Washington doesn't have many holes. Harper needs to stay healthy, sure, but he's an MVP candidate when he does play. Turner stole 46 games in only 98 games last season and has power to match. Max Scherzer is as durable as they come as the club's ace and Stephen Strasburg was the most dominant pitcher in baseball over the second half last season, posting a 6-1 record with an 0.86 ERA over 10 starts.
Thanks to their midseason additions from Oakland, the Nationals are setup in their bullpen as well. Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson helped turn a terrible bullpen into a dependable one last year, as Doolittle converted 21 of 22 save opportunities with the Nats and Madson finished with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP.
This team is loaded from top to bottom and won't be challenged much in the National League East. Not with the Marlins in full fire sale mode, the Braves and Phillies still rebuilding, and the Mets not talented enough. The Nationals should have no problems making the postseason in 2018 so eat the chalk.
MLB 2018 Playoff Prediction: Washington Nationals Yes at 2/13