Washington Nationals

Why The Washington Nationals Will Exceed 66.5 Wins In 2024

Long gone are the stalwarts from the 2019 Washington Nationals World Series championship team. Stephen StrasburgAnthony RendonMax ScherzerTrea TurnerHowie KendrickJuan Soto, etc. The fall from the top of the mountain was fast and steep.

Three short seasons after winning it all, the Nationals lost 107 games. Unfortunately when that happened, the team didn’t have a plan in place like the Houston Astros and later the Baltimore Orioles that allowed for quick rebuilds. The fact that the team was for sale until recently didn’t help.

Projections heading into last season were for more of the same after the disastrous 2022 campaign. The Nats didn’t disappoint getting off to a very poor start to the 2023 season. However, they rebounded and fielded a competitive team that was fun to watch. With about a month and a half left in the season, my brother-in-law called me very excited to report that the Nats were only seven games out of the last wild-card spot.

Needless to say, they didn’t make the playoffs. However, they did improve by 14 games over 2022 to finish with a record of 71-91. The “experts have set the over/under at 66.5 wins for the Nats in 2024. Here we explain why they will exceed that number.

Why The Washington Nationals Will Exceed 66.5 Wins In 2024


Manager Davey Martinez

We could debate endlessly about Davey Martinez‘s acumen with X’s and O’s. While the phrase isn’t used as much in baseball as in other sports we’re talking about how a manager sets his lineups, handles load management (no more Cal Ripken, Jr’s. these days), determines when to remove pitchers, when to hit and run, bunt, etc.

What can not be debated is that Davey has proven himself to be a great relationship builder. Even as a young skipper, his veteran players bought hook line and sinker into his “Let’s go 1-0 today “ mantra all the way to a world title in 2019. He also didn’t try to overmanage the club and let his experienced players do their thing. And of course “Baby Shark “ was there every step of the way to a world title. Those relationship-building skills will come in handy as he mans the ship of a young and upcoming team with some talent.

Eddie Rosario

This guy can hit as he’s proven over many MLB seasons. More importantly, the 31-year-old is a consummate clubhouse guy. He will help to keep the clubhouse loose which will become very important if the Nats are in the hunt during the dog days of summer.

Eddie Rosario has already made it clear he’s happy to be in Washington and is here to help. Picking him up was a very shrewd move by Nats GM Mike Rizzo.

Patrick Corbin

This may raise some eyebrows but follow along. First, there is almost zero chance Patrick Corbin will be back for the 2025 season in Washington no matter what he does this season. He also hasn’t lived up to the massive contract the team signed him to in free agency. He’s also 34.

The bottom line is that Corbin is pitching for his next and possibly his last contract. While he was a significant contributor to the championship squad he hasn’t stepped up to be the ace of a rebuilding team. Regardless, the chances are good that Corbin will have a big season as he auditions for 29 other clubs.

Not For Sale

While the anticipated sale of the team was not consistent headline news as would have been the case with other teams, the fact that the team is no longer for sale will allow ownership and management to refocus on the rebuild. GM Mike Rizzo should have job security for as long as he wants to stay in D.C. How far behind the quick rebuilds in Houston and Baltimore will play themselves out over the course of the upcoming campaign?

Youth And Talent

The difference between the young talent currently on the roster and former Nats stars Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto is that none of the current crop of young Nats are in line for massive paydays unless they have huge seasons. We all knew the four players mentioned above were getting paid well before they left the team.

The fact that the team isn’t hamstrung by huge contracts other than Corbin gives them a lot of flexibility to improve on or before the trade deadline. If the season isn’t going well they can always decide to be sellers and acquire even more young talent. This team is not going on a spending spree for expensive veterans.

The future looks bright in DC. A playoff appearance may be a little too optimistic. We expect the Nats to be in the hunt for most of the season and finish just short of .500. We’re confident they will exceed projections for only 66.5 wins. Look out in 2025.

Main Image: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports