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Washington Nationals in 2014?

Things didn't go according to plan for the Washington Nationals in 2013. Expected to be one of the best teams in the majors, the Nats struggled so much early that their late playoff push fell short. But it's hard to deny the talent in the nation's capital, with Stephen Strasburg -- who shined in his spring debut Tuesday -- and Jordan Zimmermann leading the rotation and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth among the team's impressive hitters. Will Washington stay healthy and bounce back under new manager Matt Williams?

What type of season are you expecting out of Stephen Strasburg in 2014?

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    15%
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    41%
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    36%
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    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 44,458)

  • What type of season are you expecting from Bryce Harper in 2014?

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      21%
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      54%
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      20%
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      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,911)

  • How many games will the Nationals (86-76 in 2013) win in 2014?

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      11%
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      43%
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      37%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,840)

  • How will the Nationals fare in 2014?

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      22%
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      56%
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      22%

    Discuss (Total votes: 36,052)

  • Will the Nationals win a World Series with their current core?

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      40%
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      60%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,387)

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Over the next week, Buster Olney is ranking the 10 best in MLB in a variety of categories. Today he is analyzing the league's best rotations Insider. Do you agree with his list? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

More: Top 10 lineups

Baseball's best rotations

A's

A's

Pictured: Sonny Gray

Braves

Braves

Pictured: Julio Teheran

Cardinals

Cardinals

Pictured: Adam Wainwright

Dodgers

Dodgers

Pictured: Clayton Kershaw

Nationals

Nationals

Pictured: Stephen Strasburg

Pirates

Pirates

Pictured: Francisco Liriano

Rangers

Rangers

Pictured: Yu Darvish

Rays

Rays

Pictured: Matt Moore

Reds

Reds

Pictured: Mat Latos

Tigers

Tigers

Pictured: Max Scherzer

Your Rankings

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2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Can Nationals make the playoffs?

Remember a few days ago, when the National League playoff picture was all but set -- at least in terms of which five teams would vie for the pennant? Not anymore. The Washington Nationals are soaring, winners of 10 of 11 after their valiant two-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves a day after tragedy struck the nation's capital. The team still sits 4.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the race for the second wild-card spot. But with the kind of talent on the Nats, would it be that surprising if the final 11 games delivered joy to D.C.?

What chance do the Nationals have of making the playoffs?

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    10%
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    57%
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    33%

Discuss (Total votes: 137,684)

  • How surprising is the Nationals' turnaround from below-.500 to outside playoff contender?

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      30%
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      54%
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      16%

    Discuss (Total votes: 33,613)

  • If they made the playoffs, how far would the Nationals go?

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      57%
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      25%
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      9%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,929)

  • Which player is more important to the Nationals' success?

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      64%
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      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 23,813)

  • How will the Nationals fare in 2014?

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      23%
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      54%
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      23%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,757)

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A bit of Bryce Harper's luster had come off recently, as his long absence from the Nationals allowed other young players to shine. We're looking mainly at Yasiel Puig, whose 2.1 wins above replacement over 26 games is insane and would be a halfway-decent number over a full season. Harper wasted no time at all in re-establishing himself, however -- he homered in his first game back from injury on Monday night. The Nationals aren't a bad team without Harper, but their left fielders could use the boost -- during Harper's 31-game absence, the gentlemen who replaced him hit .200 with two home runs, eight RBIs and a .540 OPS.


Top phenom?

We're lucky enough to be living in the dawn of a potential golden age of outfielders, but it remains to be seen which one will rise above the rest.

SportsNation

Which young outfielder would you most want on your team?

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    22%
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    24%
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    54%

Discuss (Total votes: 75,875)

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Harper, Strasburg and the Nationals

Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg <a href="http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9385258">is set to return to the mound Sunday</a>, after spending time on the DL with a lat strain. Meanwhile, standout outfielder Bryce Harper got good news from Dr. James Andrews on his ailing knee and could be back next week. This, of course, is good news for the Nats, who entered the season as a popular World Series pick but who enter Friday at just 33-32, 5.5 games out of both the NL East lead and a wild-card spot. As for fans, they'll be watching closely to see if their two biggest names can remain on the field.

Who is more important to the Nationals?

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    61%
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    39%

Discuss (Total votes: 8,359)

  • Will injuries keep Stephen Strasburg from reaching his potential?

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      81%
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      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,753)

  • Who should be considered the Nationals' ace?

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      30%
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      70%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,768)

  • Will the Nationals make the playoffs in 2013?

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      50%
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      50%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,551)

  • Which team has been most disappointing in 2013?

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      52%
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      14%
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      23%
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      11%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,623)

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