We are less than a month away from opening day of the 2013 MLB season and odds for the Washington Nationals to win the 2013 World Series are at +1000, according to Sportsbook.ag. A very focused Stephen Strasburg has the Nationals once again thinking World Series.
Davey Johnson knows plenty about managerial success. He guided the New York Mets to the 1986 World Series championship. He managed the Cincinnati Reds to the postseason in 1995 and the Baltimore Orioles to back-to-back AL Championship Series in 1996-97. And what does the 2012 NL manager of the year say about his 2013 Nationals? “We’re primed to take that next step,” Johnson says. “We’re in a perfect position to show the world that we’re a pretty good damn ballclub. ‘World Series or Bust’—that’s probably the slogan this year.”
It isn’t just the brash, young, 1-2 punch of Stephen Strasburg dominating on the mound and Bryce Harper raging through the outfield, although they are certainly a great place to start. What makes these Nationals the favorites to win the NL East is the depth of a roster that also includes:
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who won 21 games and finished third in Cy Young voting last season... Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who posted a 2.94 ERA.... Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who hit .282 with 25 homers and 93 runs... Shortstop Ian Desmond, who made his first All-Star team and hit .292 with 25 homers... Right fielder Jayson Werth, who bounced back from his miserable first year in Washington to hit .300, though he was limited to 81 games because of a broken left wrist.
Although they made the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 1981, the Nationals’ season wasn’t without controversy: namely, shutting down Strasburg, who was in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, in September. Memo to the rest of baseball: Don’t expect to get that lucky again.
Pregame.com Pro Webinar: Steve FezzikLittle about Steve Fezzik: In 2000, he moved to Las Vegas, and has been betting for a living ever since. During the next 10 years, Fezzik sharpened his focus in several areas including Proposition betting, and Football Contests.