We are a few days from the start of Spring Training at the newly built Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, and the two occupant teams are both being projected to be playoff teams. Yes, the Nationals and Astros are both built for the post-season.
We generally project the Nationals record using the FanGraphs system which predicts the Nationals will finish the 2017 regular season with 90 wins and a 1st place finish in the NL East by 6 games over the Mets.
Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projections which is an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm is less optimistic with their prediction for the Nationals at a record of 87-75 record and finishing in 2nd place in the NL East and taking the first Wild Card spot.
Last year, FanGraphs correctly picked the Nationals for 1st place while PECOTA projected the Nationals would end up with a 2nd place finish in 2016.
Here is the PECOTA WARp versus the FanGraphs fWAR for the 2017 Nationals:
As always, there is a reason that we play the games, and no season goes exactly as planned. The WARp and fWAR have very different variables and data points on valuing players and WARp rates Trea Turner as the most valuable Nationals player in 2017 versus FanGraphs who has Bryce Harper as their top player on the Nationals.
|STARTING LINE-UP||2016 WARp||2016 fWAR||2017WARp||2017 fWAR|
|Adam Eaton CF||7.2||6.0||3.2||2.4|
|Trea Turner SS||4.0||3.3||5.7||3.5|
|Bryce Harper RF||4.6||3.5||4.0||5.7|
|Daniel Murphy 2B||6.8||5.5||1.9||2.9|
|Anthony Rendon 3B||3.8||4.7||2.2||4.0|
|Jayson Werth LF||1.7||1.1||0.9||0.7|
|Derek Norris C||0.9||(0.4)||2.0||1.2|
|Ryan Zimmerman 1B||(0.3)||(1.3)||0.2||0.8|
|Max Scherzer RHP||6.0||5.6||3.4||5.9|
|Stephen Strasburg RHP||3.8||3.9||3.2||4.4|
|Tanner Roark RHP||3.3||3.2||1.1||2.1|
|Gio Gonzalez LHP||3.8||2.9||2.3||2.9|
|Joe Ross RHP||0.5||2.1||1.4||2.3|