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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

2020 MLB Washington Nationals World Series Odds & Picks

The Washington Nationals Hope to Become
the First Team to Repeat in Two Decades

The Nationals brought Washington D.C. its first World Series title in 86 years last season, earning the team a spot in city lore. No one expected Washington to rally out of the Wild Card and upset the LA Dodgers and St. Louis on its way to the NL pennant, but the Nationals overcame the odds to claim the franchise’s first title.

Washington is out to become the first franchise to win consecutive World Series crowns since the New York Yankees won three straight titles between 1998 and 2000. The Nationals have a puncher’s chance to repeat the feat, thanks to the best one-two combination of starters in MLB.

2020 Washington Nationals World Series
Betting Online Odds at DraftKings: +1600

2020 Washington Nationals Season
World Series Odds Overview

Although the Nationals are the defending World Series champions, they are not favored to win the NL East. Instead, Atlanta has been given that honor with odds of +200 to win the division. Washington is second with odds of +260 to win the NL East at DraftKings, and this team has the fifth-lowest World Series odds on the board.

National League East

The NL East is a bit of a logjam. Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, and the NY Mets are all projected to win between 85 and 90 games, so there isn’t much separating these division rivals in the eyes of the oddsmakers. The Braves have three young stars in the making, while the Mets have last season’s NL Rookie of the Year and back-to-back NL Cy Young Award winner. Philadelphia has spent lavishly in an effort to get back to the postseason too, so Washington will have work to do to even return to the playoffs.

On the Hill

Washington has the best collection of starting pitchers in baseball even if the fifth starter is something of a question mark. The Nationals’ best three pitchers could be aces on many staffs, giving them an advantage over every other team in baseball.

Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals look to defend their World Series title.
Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals look to defend their World Series title. (AP)

Max Scherzer continues to be the strikeout king in baseball. The best pitcher of the last decade has finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting in each of the last seven seasons, winning the award three times. He has shown no signs of slowing down after posting a 12.7 K/9 in 2019, and his 2.45 FIP and 7.36 K/BB rate were the best in the big leagues.

Stephen Strasburg would be the No. 1 arm on most staffs. Strasburg has been solid for over a decade, and he is coming off one of his strongest seasons. He posted a career-best 18-6 record in 33 starts, pitching 209 innings and striking out 251 batters. Strasburg had a 1.038 WHIP and placed fifth in the NL Cy Young voting. He is still just 31 years old, so there is reason to believe he has a few more great years left in his arm.

Patrick Corbin proved he is more than just an innings eater for the second season in a row. Corbin threw at least 200 innings and finished the year with a WHIP under 1.20 for the second straight campaign. His 10.6 K/9 is solid, and talents like Corbin and Sanchez at the bottom of the rotation mean that you don’t want to face this team in the postseason.

However, the bullpen leaves much to be desired. The Nationals had the worst bullpen in baseball in 2019, posting a cumulative 5.66 ERA. They didn’t do much to address the issue after winning the World Series, and that could bite them in 2020.

At the Plate

The loss of Anthony Rendon will hurt Washington’s production at the plate. Trea Turner might be ready to replace a lot of Rendon’s numbers though provided he can stay healthy. Turner missed over 60 games in 2017 and 40 games in 2019, so durability is a concern. If he can stay on the field, he could become Washington’s deadliest bat after finishing last season with a .298 BA and a .850 OPS.

Juan Soto appears ready to take another step forward too. Soto came up big for the Nationals throughout the regular season and postseason even though he was just 20 years old. His .949 OPS was the second-best on the team, and he showed excellent plate discipline for a young player with 108 walks.

Howie Kendrick was a postseason hero for Washington in 2019, and he is the only other big bat in the lineup. Kendrick finished last season with a .966 OPS, posting his best numbers from the plate to date over a long career.

Every other player on the Nationals finished last season with an OPS under .800, so the team will rely on those bats to lead the way.

2020 Washington Nationals World Series Projection

Washington has largely decided to run it back with almost its entire team save Rendon. The Nationals have a staff that is the envy of the sport, and two great, young bats in the lineup. If one or two players can overachieve and the team can stay healthy, the Nationals have a solid chance at repeating.

2020 Washington Nationals World Series Free Pick:
There is real value in the Nats at this price

Odds provided by DraftKings (IN, NJ & PA only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

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