Washington Nationals: Gio Gonzalez
Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are probably the best one-two punch in the league. When healthy, they’re among the most dominant pitchers in baseball. It’s a big reason why the Washington Nationals continue to end up in the postseason year after year. It’s a good bet they’ll continue to be dynamite.
If they want to finally win their first postseason series in franchise history, they’ll need other performers to step up their game. Namely, Gio Gonzalez. When he’s pitching well, Washington has the best rotation in the majors.
Last season, he went 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA to go along with 188 strikeouts in 201 innings pitched. It was easily the best year of his career. In ten years between the Oakland A’s and Washington Nationals, he’s gone 117-86 with a 3.64 ERA. He’s a proven, dependable starter with the potential to perform at a higher level than you generally see out of the three-spot in a rotation.
The National League East is shaping up to be one of the worst divisions in baseball just like last year. Even if teams like the Braves and Mets improve, the Nationals are so far above both of them, they’re almost guaranteed win the division.
This could be the year the Nationals win a playoff series. They’ve never done it since they moved from Montreal in 2005. To do so, they’ll need Gio Gonzalez to hold the momentum he gained last year. It would give the team a three-headed beast with Strasburg and Scherzer.