The Phillies made a huge splash by signing Bryce Harper to a $330 million deal. And the Braves won this division by 8 games last season and all they have done is improve their roster.

Yet here I am proclaiming that the Washington Nationals will not only win the NL East Division in 2019, but I’m picking them to win the Fall Classic too.

It might seem like a bold statement when you consider the competition, and I’m well aware of how strong the top dogs in the American League are. But if the core of this lineup and the pitching staff can both stay healthy, I’m not sure anyone wants to play the Nats in a 5 or 7 game series.

Follow along as I explore all of the reasons that make the Washington Nationals a legitimate contender to win the 2019 World Series. I’ll first start with the obvious question that baseball fans in the nation’s capital are asking themselves right now.

Baseball Was Losing Bryce Harper That Big of A Deal?

Losing Bryce to an in-division rival might sting temporarily, but all it does, in the long run, is clear the way for Juan Soto and Victor Robles to take off.

I live in Las Vegas and root for the Sin City native, don’t get me wrong. But Harper hit .249 in 2018, which is actually better than the .243 clip he sported in 2016. I know the massive amount of attention he brings to an MLB franchise, and I’m mindful that he won the NL MVP Award when he was just 23 years old.

But given the situation the Nationals were in, it just didn’t make sense to let Scott Boras run the Nationals front office over while demanding such ridiculous terms.

I don’t blame the Nats for not shelling out more than $300 million for a single player, as those “rich and lengthy” MLB contracts never seem to work out for the team who coughed up the guaranteed dollars.

I’m not saying Harper isn’t one of the top outfielders in baseball, but here’s what I will say.

Juan Soto and Victor Robles can produce mighty efficiently, and they’re a HECK of a lot cheaper.

Baseball Peep These Prices!

Before I dive into why the Nationals are going to win the World Series this Fall, I want to show you their current prices.

Nationals World Series Odds

  • +1600
  •     +1600
  •    +1700
  •    +2000

It’s pretty clear. Those of you who like to bet baseball online, is where you need to go for this particular wager. And I suggest locking the Nationals in at +2000 right away because something tells me that price won’t be around all season long.

Should Washington begin the year winning 8 of their first 10 games, their WS odds could dip down to +1500. If they wind up building a cushion in the NL East by May, we could see them down around +1000 to win the whole thing.

Their top three pitchers are healthy to commence the season, and the heart of the batting order is intact. It’s hard to envision them getting off to a slow start, which is why I’m endorsing placing this bet before the season begins.

Baseball A Trio of Aces

I alluded to Washington’s “top three pitchers” and now it’s time to elaborate. I’m not going to spend much time trying to convince anyone that Max Scherzer has been the most dependable starting pitcher in baseball over the last six years. I think Scherzer’s three Cy Young Awards on his resume do all the speaking I need to do.

But I’ll quickly emphasize that since 2013, Max boasts a 2.81 ERA. And I’ll point out that his annual averages over that span are 219 innings pitched, 18 wins, and 270 strikeouts. Hopefully, that’s enough to remind you that the 34-year-old righty is still as good of a pitcher as we have in baseball.

Moving onto Stephen Strasburg. If only this cat could stay healthy for an entire year. Take 2017 for example, when Strasburg went 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and struck out 204 batters across 175.1 innings.

Imagine how good his numbers could have been if he didn’t miss six starts!

It’s hard to believe that the 30-year-old standout at San Diego State is already entering his 10th year in the Big Leagues, but time has flown by for the man they call “Stras.” Maybe it’s naïve to think he’ll suddenly be available for 34 starts like he was back in 2014, but I have a funny feeling he’s in line for big things in 2019.

Same goes for the newcomer, Patrick Corbin. I’ve already indicated why I think Corbin’s addition to Washington will wind up as one of the biggest MLB offseason moves in the entire league, and I’ll expand on that below.

The 29-year-old southpaw showed signs of growth in 2017 when he won 14 games in Arizona as opposed to sporting a 5-13 record the year before. But the strides Patrick made in 2018 were even more apparent than that.

Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

STATS 2017 2018
Games Started 32 33
ERA 4.03 3.15
Innings Pitched 189.2 200
Hits Allowed 208 162
Runs Surrendered 97 70
HR Given Up 26 15
Walks 61 48
Strikeouts 178 246
WHIP 1.418 1.05

The reason every single pitching statistic is highlighted in the right column is done to accentuate the facts. And the facts are that he was better across the board!

Perhaps that’s why Mike Rizzo decided to dish out $160 million to ensure they grabbed hold of Corbin. The Nationals GM now has Patrick locked up for the next six years, which is a pretty good thing when you take into account how much young talent this roster consists of.

Baseball Soto and Robles Are Here to Stay

I briefly touched on the idea that losing Bryce Harper would be curbed by the fact that the Nationals have a pair of youngsters who are set to explode.

We saw Juan Soto for 116 games in 2018, and all 19-year-old (at the time) phenom did was hit .292 and blast 22 homers. He walked nearly as many times as he struck out and accounted for 25 doubles and 70 RBI.

Well, fast forward to 2019 and Soto is slated to hit in the cleanup spot every day for the Nats, which means a 100+ RBI season is well within the cards. Juan’s lefty swing possesses so much effortless power, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him propel himself into the conversation for the NL MVP Award this year.

Speaking of NL MVP in 2019, there are two other Nationals hitters I think have an even better shot at capturing that hardware, and I’ll get to them in the next segment. But I want to first refresh our memory on what Victor Robles was able to accomplish during his short sample size in the Majors at the end of last season.

I know it was only 59 at-bats, but Victor batted .288 with three homers and three stolen bases. Simple math tells us a full season with around 600 AB means he could be a 30-30 candidate, but I won’t stretch it that far.

However, it is more than reasonable to think that Robles could hit over .280 and with 20+ homers and 20+ steals. If he’s playing outstanding defense in center field and putting up those kinds of numbers from the 8-hole, it’s safe to say the Nationals are going to win a whole bunch of games.

Baseball A “Real Deal” 1-2 Punch – Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon

Everybody knows that Trea Turner is a speed demon running the base paths. He stole 46 bases in just 98 games in 2017 and led the National League in steals in 2018. But I also noticed an uptick in power from the Nationals shortstop, which has me really excited about what Turner might do in 2019.

Trea launched 19 homers and 27 doubles last season and had a career-high 73 ribbies. I’m not sure if Davey Martinez plans on hitting Turner first or second in the order, but he should be able to do plenty of damage regardless.

It’s actually not out of the realm of possibilities for Trea to finish the year with around 25 homers and 50 stolen bases, which would put him on the short list of viable MVP candidates.

But as good as Turner is, and as much as I raved about Juan Soto, I don’t think either of them is the best batter on the team. That title belongs to the dude who mans the hot corner.

Anthony Rendon – The Most Underrated Hitter in Baseball

Anthony Rendon has missed 41 games over the past two years but it hasn’t stopped him from being one of the most reliable hitters in the league. Anthony hit 25 homers and drove in 100 runs in 2017, all while hitting .308 and raking 41 doubles. I should also mention that he walked more times (84) than he struck out (82)- the ultimate sign of an efficient and disciplined hitter.

What did he do for an encore in 2018?

Rendon raised his BA up to .308 and led the NL with 44 doubles. He hit 24 jacks and supplied 92 RBI, maintaining his level of excellence.

See why I said the Nationals had a pretty trustworthy 1-2 punch?

Baseball Brian Dozier Can Hit

The Nationals knew they needed to replace Daniel Murphy at second base going into the offseason. Washington utilized Wilmer Difo and Howie Kendrick once they traded Murphy to the Cubs on August 21st, meaning finding an everyday replacement at the keystone position was vital.
Enter Brian Dozier.

Brian Dozier first led all second basemen in HR during the 2014 campaign. But then Brian did the same thing in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Technically, if you go by “true 2b” in 2018 and remove Max Muncy and Travis Shaw from the equation, Dozier hit more long balls (30) in 2018 than all second baseman as well!

Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long will try and work with Brian on pitch selection and tempering expectations, as Dozier doesn’t need to swing for the fences on every plate appearance. No longer in Minnesota and surrounded by “less-than-stellar” talent, Brian doesn’t have to try and be the guy who wins the game for his team each and every night.

If he can just do what he has done for the past five years, he’ll be just fine, and the Nationals will score plenty of runs.

Baseball Adam Eaton Is Healthy

Adam Eaton blossomed in the Windy City, which is why the Nationals went out and snagged him in advance of the 2017 MLB Season. Eaton hit .297 his first year in DC and hit .300 last year. The problem is, Adam has been on the field for just 118 of the 324 games!

We could see Martinez employ a platoon in right field, with Eaton in the lineup vs righties and Michael Taylor in the lineup vs lefties. But if Eaton picks up where he left off and continues getting on base at a high rate, it’ll be tough to take him off the field.

From 2014-2016, Eaton hit more triples than anyone in the league and consistently stole 14 or more bases. Now that Adam is finally healthy, it’s feasible we see him return to that “tip-top” form.

And that’s going to make life that much tougher for opposing pitchers when they face the Nationals.

Baseball Can Joe Ross Contribute?

We know all about Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin. Anibal Sanchez and Jeremy Hellickson are available at the back end of the rotation, but I know that the Nats want to incorporate Joe Ross into the mix at some point during the season.

Ross returned from Tommy John surgery late last year and made three starts for Washington, but 2019 represents his first full season since the operation. I expect that Washington will take things slow and ease him back, with the hopes that he can hit full stride by August or September.

If Ross can start pitching like we all know he is capable of then what a weapon he could turn out to be. Teams already had the daunting task of facing three ace pitchers when they play a series against the Nationals.

Could Ross develop into ace #4? Only time will tell.

Baseball The Summary

You can wait until the season starts to see how Washington comes out, but I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice. I see their +2000 number to win the 2019 World Series shrinking once the season beings, and I predict their WS odds continue to diminish as the year wears on.

Don’t wait to see how good this team can be, that was the point of this article. Head to and latch onto the Nationals right now, that way you have a chance of scoring a chunky profit come October.

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