2021 Nationals Predictions: Washington’s Chances in a Strong NL East

The 2021 Nationals Predictions is a hard one. Being a Nationals fan seems to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Their 2018 season ended in the Regular Season and 2019 saw them win the World Series, and then 2020 swiftly followed with a sub .500 record that didn’t even see them make the Playoffs. They will be hoping for a much more competitive season, but the Mets have been heavily invested in and the Braves always look dangerous.

2021 Nationals Predictions: The Pitchers Will Return

The Nationals’ 2019 World Series season saw them rely heavily on Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. This ultimately led to Max Scherzer earning All-Star honors. Between the three of them, they had an overall record of 43-20 in the Regular Season alone. Although this doesn’t always determine how well a pitcher pitches, it gives an idea of how solid they were and how well they were backed up by their defense.

Scherzer showed his dominance in 2019, whilst Strasburg led in wins and Corbin was the man in the middle. The main three started 93 games between them, showing their importance in such a special campaign.

Fast-forward to the 2020 Playoffs, and the Nationals are nowhere to be seen. They limped to a 26-34 finish and missed a key component of their main trifecta. Stephen Strasburg started just twice due to having carpal tunnel surgery but will be healthy and ready for the upcoming 2021 season.

With these three back to their best, backed-up by Daniel Hudson, the Nationals will see an upturn in form. This is bold, but also the most likely of the 2021 Nationals Predictions.

Josh Bell Proves to be a Valuable Asset

Going back to the 2019 World Series season, the Nationals had Juan Soto in full swing and swatting pitches over the fences. However, he was overshadowed by Anthony Rendon. Rendon led the team in Batting Average, RBIs, Runs and Hits in the Regular Season.

Enter Josh Bell, the free-hitting first baseman struggled somewhat in 2020, but his form in 2019 drew much attention. Luckily, the Nats avoided Arbitration with him for 2021 and will be hoping for the Josh Bell that hit 37 HRs and had 116 RBIs in a poor Pirates team in 2019.

There are some concerns after his 2020 campaign, but you can’t keep a good hitter down. The second of my 2021 Nationals Predictions see Soto and Bell both hit 30+ HRs.

The Emergence of Someone Unexpected

The Nationals are best known for their three-star pitchers, as well as their big names of Juan Soto and Victor Robles. So who will step up in 2021?

We saw glimpses of Luis Garcia in 2020, proving to be a bright spark in a somewhat disappointing year. Although he didn’t blow anyone away, he was consistent and kept the team ticking over.

This experience of being involved in the every-day lineup will be huge for his development. This could see him come on leaps-and-bounds in 2021, and I predict that he has another solid season, potentially having a greater offensive output.

Another name that Nats fans will be hoping will step-up is Carter Kieboom. Highly regarded within their farm system since being drafted in 2016, he didn’t create much offensively in 2020. However, with his potential ceiling, and going back to how he performed for Fresno (AAA) in 2019, there is every chance he steps up to be a key part of this organization.

The final one to look out for is Cade Cavalli. Drafted in 2020, there shouldn’t be much chance of him being called-up in 2021. However, this boy is talented. He reaches the mid-90s consistently with his fastball that has riding action, whilst his curveball shows power, coming in in the low-80s. If there were any concerns on Corbin or Strasburg towards the middle to back end of 2021, then Cavalli could get the call to get some work in the Big Leagues, dependent on his form in the Minors.

Final of the 2021 Nationals Predictions: The Nationals Finish 2nd the NL East

This one is bold. Very difficult to judge whether this will happen following on from the 2020 season, but there is a lot to be said about the Nationals’ rotation. Their star pitchers, plus Erick Fedde, Daniel Hudson, and even Ben Braymer make their pitching line-up look solid. With the added bat of Josh Bell, as well as the form of Juan Soto in 2019, and the up-and-coming Luis Garcia, there is a lot to be positive about for the Nationals.

They will need to add another catcher after Kurt Suzuki signed a deal with the Los Angeles Angels, as well as a few other positions, but the core is there for them to nick 2nd place ahead of the rising New York Mets.

Follow me on Twitter @MLBUKAnalysis1 for more of my content! Don’t forget to join OT Heroics MLB Facebook group, and feel free to join our new Instagram – @overtimeheroics_MLB, and listen to our baseball podcast Cheap Seat Chatter!. We’ll see ya there!

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main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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Jake Tweedie
Jake's love for baseball grew watching late-night games on TV in the UK. This led to card collecting, before the desire to write about his passions. His primary focus is prospects but he loves writing about everything baseball-related.

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