Washington Nationals Odds: MLB Win Totals, Projections, Possible Bets

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
Nationals odds

Welcome to TheLines.com’s 2024 Spring Training preview of MLB odds. We’ll preview every team’s 2024 season with a focus on MLB win totals and World Series odds. We’ll evaluate each team’s roster and see if there are any wagers worth considering. Today, we’ll look at Washington Nationals odds.

The Nationals put together a surprisingly competitive season in 2023, with the young hitters and a couple of hard-throwing relievers leading the way to 71 wins. They’re basically running it back with the same crew in 2024.

Will the Nationals play feisty spoiler once again?

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Nationals Odds: An Overview And What The Projections Say

First, let’s compare the market on Nationals odds to publicly available projections from FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus.

  • 2023 wins: 71
  • Market wins: /
  • FanGraphs wins: 64.8
  • Baseball Prospectus wins: 58.2

Both projection systems and the market expect regression. Rightfully so, since only the Orioles won more games due to sequencing luck than the Nats’ +8.

The Nats made only fringe moves in the offseason to fill out the lineup with cheap veterans. All of the players they added would likely get dealt before the deadline if they’re doing anything positive. The only real source of upside comes in the form of some premium prospects the franchise has stockpiled while in this down cycle.

Evaluating The Nationals Roster

Bats And Defense

The Nationals managed a 92 wRC+ last season, which probably counts as a win, given their talent level. Some of that is due to regress, all else being equal, as Washington had the fourth-worst xwOBA in MLB.

Of course, the Nationals hope all else is not equal. They hope they have some foundational hitters on the right side of the aging curve in CJ Abrams, Keibert Ruiz, Luis Garcia Jr., and Lane Thomas. The first three in particular would fit as up-the-middle hitters with the potential to develop into average or better regulars.

About that defense, though. The Nationals were rough with the gloves in 2023. Ruiz’s poor framing dragged the pitching staff down. DRS and UZR/150 both rated the Nats among the league’s worst overall, with Statcast seeing them as closer to the league average. This doesn’t project as a good defense, and bringing in Jesse Winker and Eddie Rosario won’t help.

Upside exists in the forms of James Wood and Dylan Crews. A couple of power-hitting outfielders, the two aren’t expected to contribute until sometime next season. But if either or both storms through the minors, look for them to possibly show up this season. Wood, in particular, tantalizes as an outfielder in the mold of Elly De La Cruz — a mammoth athlete with 80-grade future power and scary swing-and-miss. FanGraphs currently rates him the No. 2 prospect in baseball.


Only Oakland got fewer fWAR from the pitching staff than the Nationals did in 2023. The Nats did absolutely nothing to upgrade that group. They’re running it back with the same unit that finished above only Colorado and Oakland in most pitching metrics.

The disappointing part about this is that the Nationals aren’t even particularly young or talented.

Josiah Gray has proven he can be a durable innings-eater, but the command that he needs to get batters out at an above-average clip just doesn’t seem to be there. Heading to his age-26 season, hope is dwindling that he can make good on his prospect pedigree.

Mackenzie Gore looks like a solid mid-rotation arm, so the organization probably feels good about his trajectory.

But there’s really nothing else of note here unless Cade Cavalli returns from March 2023 Tommy John.

Everyone’s coming back from a bullpen that performed well in terms of clutch factor but poorly in general metrics. Hunter Harvey looks like he has a future as a back-end arm, but nobody else inspires much confidence. The Nationals are likely to have one of the worst pens in MLB, which makes sense for a team far from contention.

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Possible Bets On Nationals Odds

The Nationals have a terrible team all around with very few selling points, which makes me think anything is going to get better in 2024. Frankly, I’m not sure how the offense finished where it did last season. And the pitching is dreadful, aside from Gore and Harvey. The hurlers certainly don’t figure to get much help from their defense.

I wouldn’t really blame anyone for betting Under 66.5 here, but I actually will instead take a small shot on the Nationals to finish with the fewest wins. DraftKings Sportsbook has that market at +650, which puts the Nats fourth-shortest behind the A’s, Rockies, and White Sox, respectively.

The A’s at least have some competent pitching on the team. The Rockies do not, but they always have a little wind at their backs thanks to the best home-field advantage in baseball. As for the White Sox, well, there isn’t a lot to buy into there with Dylan Cease out the door, but they can probably score some runs with their top-of-the-order hitters, and they play in the worst division of any of these.

I feel like the value is on either the White Sox or the Nationals, so I’ll take a small punt on the bigger price and see if the Nats bottom out this year.

Best of luck if you decide to bet on Nationals odds this spring.

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