2016 Recap & 2017 Outlook
The Nationals were one of the more busier teams this offseason, bringing in a handful of names. Adam Eaton is the biggest name, and will likely make the most impact out of the group of additions. They comfortably won the NL East, finishing eight up on the Mets. The Nationals narrowly beat out the Mets in team ERA, finishing with the second best in the league. As long as the top two arms, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, can stay healthy they will be a top five rotation again. The Offense ranked just outside of the top ten last season in wOBA, but were seventh in runs per game. Trea Turner was a spark plug in the second half, and now we get to see a complete season of him in this offense. The Nationals are in a great spot to contend again, and have a lot to offer in DFS terms.
Additions: Matt Wieters, Adam Lind, Derek Norris, Adam Eaton
Subtractions: Danny Espinosa, Lucas Giolito
Nationals Park is more of a neutral park than anything. In 2016, it ranked 15th in home runs, and 18th in runs. Over the last five seasons, we have seen a 98 park factor. Humidity and winds have a lot to do with ball flight, which varies game to game. In 2016, Nationals Park limited home runs and triples on both side, but enhanced doubles from the right side. Nationals Park plays to the likes of Comerica Park and Progressive Park, which can play both ways.
|Lineup Order||Player||Position||2016 wOBA vs. RHP||2016 ISO vs. RHP||2016 wOBA vs. LHP||2016 ISO vs. LHP|
2016 Statistics Used
Pitching Outlook & Notes
DFS Rotation Grade: A
DFS Studs: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg
Max Scherzer was a workhorse again, throwing 228 innings in consecutive seasons. His strikeout rate was up a bit from 2016, sitting at 31.5%, which was only up from 30.7% in 2016. His strikeout numbers have climbed over the last few seasons, and his home runs as well. He had a 1.22 HR/9 last season which came a lot in the beginning of the season. He had a 0.89 HR/9 in the second half, compared to 1.48 HR/9 in the first. Scherzer is primed for another solid season.
When Stephen Strasburg is on, he is on. On a season note, the concern is always his health. The same somewhat goes in daily, as you will likely run into him leaving a start early at lease once. Strasburg had a superb 30.6% strikeout rate, and continues to boast solid FIP and xFIP numbers, yet consistently finds himself on the unluckier side of things. When healthy, Strasburg is one of the highest upside pitchers in the game.
Washington has three very serviceable rotation guys behind their studs, and they can be used in most formats. Tanner Roark is a steady arm, who won't strikeout out many, but ranked 11th in quality starts last season Gio Gonzalez has a little bit more strikeout upside than Roark, but is more on the riskier side. He has posted a 22% strikeout rate in back to back seasons. Last year batters had a 33% hardball rate off him, up about 5% more from 2015. Gonzalez is probably my least favorite out of this group in 2017, as I fear his numbers will start to decline. Joe Ross is the younger brother of, Tyson Ross, and is a reliable backend pitcher. He had a 20.8% strikeout rate, and kept his walks in check. Ross is tough on right-handed bats, but has his struggles with left-handers. If he can figure them out, and improve on a changeup, Ross can take a big jump this season. He is only 23.
Lineup Outlook & Notes
DFS Stacking Grade: B+
DFS Studs: Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy
Lets start with the DFS Goat, no, not Bryce Harper. Trea Turner. In 73 games, Turner stole 33 bases, and had 13 bombs. A .388 BABIP is unsustainable, so expect a drop in average. He should still sit around the .300 mark. Stolen bases will be there again, and many have him pegged for around 35-40, with room for many more. Turner is in the midst of a good lineup, and will be an elite player at his position.
After a monster 2015 season, Bryce Harper struggled a bit. The bonus for Harper is that he stole 21 bases this past season. His .264 BABIP in 2016 is low, so hitting .243 again is unlikely. .270 - .280 is a good bet for him, alongside 30-40 home runs. Daniel Murphy had the big season, hitting .347, with 25 home runs. He also drove in 104 RBIs. Murphy is a good combination player in the middle infield, but power should regress in 2017.
Washington went out and grabbed Adam Eaton, and will likely hit leadoff in 2017. Eaton is a solid outfielder, but isn't anything to get excited about in his new team. He should hover around ten home runs, and 15 SB. He does get a downgrade in park factors as well, moving from U.S. Cellular.