Washington’s rise to the top of the NL East in 2012 came a year ahead of schedule; can the Nationals now take it one step further and win the franchise’s first National League pennant?
With the MLB odds listing them at 9/1 to go all the way, Washington is projected to be a 5/1 selection to take the NL flag, right behind the Dodgers and with roughly half the payroll. The Nationals won 98 games in 2012 behind a very young and solid rotation, and they should get 4-6 more starts from phenom Stephen Strasburg in 2013 which makes them definite contenders for a 100-win campaign.
That rotation will also once again include Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler, plus the Nats inked free agent veteran Dan Haren and recently announced they had re-signed Adam LaRoche. And, oh yeah, NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper just turned 20 and will have 139 MLB games under his belt when the ’13 season begins.
The Braves and Phillies aren’t going to let Washington cruise to the division crown ...