2024 Washington Nationals O/U: Why Nats Will Be UNDER

The Washington Nationals are considered to have overachieved in 2023 with a 71-91 record. This year, however, it’s possible that they could underachieve. According to FanDuel, the projected win total for the Nationals is at 66.5. Let’s talk about why exactly this team has a chance to hit the UNDER.

The 2024 Washington Nationals Will Win UNDER 66.5 Games

Lack of Roster Talent

As we all probably know, a team with good roster talent is always capable of making a deep run in the postseason. That’s one of the ways how the Nationals won the 2019 World Series. Since then, however, the feeling of winning has all gone south, and part of that is the lack of roster talent this team has developed.

To go more in-depth, it’s the starting lineup that has major question marks. Last season the offense had a lack of power, hitting just 151 home runs, which got them ranked 29th in that category. Not only that but they were also ranked 21st in total runs scored, which was 700. Although the Nationals had some good hitters who had good seasons last year, everyone else was the exact opposite.

What they’ve missed, and will continue to, is one of their former best hitters Jeimer Candelario. He was consistently hitting pretty well for the Nationals last season, putting up a .481 SLG (seventh-ranked) and a .342 OBP (fifth-ranked). It was a great four-month stay in Washington for Candelario before being dealt to the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline.

Another guy who they’re missing is Stone Garrett, who did so well with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022 and continued to shine as a National last season. In 2023 he played in 89 games slugging 17 doubles and nine home runs before fracturing his left fibula in late August, and he still hasn’t been ready to return to the field.

So, the moral here is that yes, some players contributed well offensively, but when those players weren’t available, the rest of the team didn’t quite do so much. We’ll see how it all plays once the regular season begins, but as of now, the lineup doesn’t have much talent on them.

Lack of pitching depth

The Nationals got some good quality outings from a few starters during the beginning of last season. Trevor Williams, Josiah Gray, and MacKenzie Gore were the three pitchers who performed well to start, but then things didn’t stay the same as the season progressed. Patrick Corbin and Chad Kuhl, on the other hand, had way too high ERAs.

As a result, Jake Irvin was called up from AAA after Kuhl got designated for assignment, and that’s when he emerged as a starter. He could be a starter during the 2024 regular season, but the problem is who else is reliable enough to fit well in the rotation. That same question could be asked for the bullpen, which had an ERA of 5.02.

The regular hasn’t begun yet, but if the Nationals don’t figure that out soon, it’s going to be a tough road to climb in most games.

What Else?

Well, if you follow the Nationals frequently, you could probably question the state of the team and organization as we speak. Remember, the team hasn’t done anything since winning the 2019 World Series. That has a lot to do with the coaching staff and front office. The manager Dave Martinez got a contract extension last year in August, and plenty of fans weren’t happy mainly because of his questionable in-game decisions with his staff. The general manager Mike Rizzo is another example of complaints from fans. They feel that he doesn’t do well with player development and drafting the right players.

All that said, there is a bunch of concern right now for the Nationals heading into the 2024 season, and given all that’s mentioned above, it’s clear that this team’s chances of further improving are slim to none.

Main Image: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

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