The key player to watch on the Nationals offensively going into 2017 is 23-year-old Trea Turner. After being called up, Turner hit .342 with 53 runs scored and 33 stolen bases playing in just 73 games. He would finish second for the Rookie of the Year award.
I expect Turner to bat in the top of the order and leading the league in runs scored. As Turner has the ability to be able to put himself often in scoring position by stealing bases. Leading to the middle of the order guys, like 2015 MVP Bryce Harper and runner-up to the 2016 MVP Daniel Murphy, knocking him in.
After seven seasons in New York, Murphy demolished Mets pitching. In his first season with Washington, Murphy hit for a ridiculous .413 average with 7 home runs and 21 RBIs in 75 at bats against the Mets. We could basically never get him out.
In terms of winning the division, the Mets and Nationals are the only two teams that truly have a realistic chance of winning division. These two team will meet up 13 times before the All Star break having most of their season match ups done early on in the year.
Washington has consistently won the season matchup against New York. Although, the Mets went 5-2 when scoring 3 or more runs against the Nats, so the key will be get games into a high scoring trend.
On the flip side, when the Amazin’s have to face Scherzer and Strasburg often the same fate of last year will occur again. I expect that to continue as the Nationals should finish this year 11-8 against the Mets.
With the prediction total placing the Mets at finishing 45-31 against their division rivals. Which is five games better than how they did in 2016 and giving the team a better chance at winning the division.