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Should the Nationals Hope for a Winning 2013 Season?
It is never too early to predict the World Season winner, even during the offseason. With Ryan Zimmerman standing as one of the greatest third basemen in MLB history, it is certainly not too early for the Washington Nationals to hope for a winning season.
Spring training is coming up quickly and the Nationals are certainly looking like they are ready. While there are going to be weaknesses on every team, they really do not seem to show theirs. Let’s take a look at their strengths and then you can gauge for yourself whether you think they will be able to beat out the Angels for the 2013 World Series – or at the very least have a great season leading up to the Series.
Harper and Span give the Nationals two great center fielders and Werth is certainly no amateur to the game either. For infield strength, LaRoche and of course, Zimmerman on 3rd. With Desmond on shortstop and Espinosa on 2nd, their infield is just as strong as their outfield. All four of the infielders for the Nationals ranked in the top 10 for their positions in the 2012 season.
If you are thinking that they have to lose something in offense, think again. With heavy hitters like Span, they are certain to finish strong in every game. They have a switch hitter as well as three left-handed and four right-handed hitters in the mix. Span just finished ninth in batting average and tenth for total runs scored.
In the Bullpen
Okay, so they are sure to have weaknesses somewhere, right? Wrong. The Nationals’ bullpen includes Storen with 43 saves in 2011, Soriano with 42 saves in 2012 for the Yankees and Clippard with 32 saves. Add to the lineup Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, Craig Stammen and Henry Rodriguez and you see why many are pulling for the Nationals in 2013.
Their surge in 2012 to an MLB best 98 wins simply means that they have the experience and the motivation to continue to the top. Most teams experience issues such as player injuries and other problems during the actual season which could very well cause them to fall short of these predictions, but right now it looks like the Washington Nationals are a shoe-in for the Series in 2013. At the very least they are sure to give other teams quite a run for their money.