2024 Washington Nationals Preview

An extensive fantasy baseball preview of the 2024 season

2024 Washington Nationals Preview Shawn Childs is a legend in fantasy baseball and his advice is invaluable. A member of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn has several top-5 finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship as well as five […]

2024 Washington Nationals Preview

Shawn Childs is a legend in  fantasy baseball and his advice is invaluable. A member of the NFBC Hall of Fame, Shawn has several top-5 finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship as well as five NFBC auction championship titles under his belt. He also boasts several prominent in the high-stakes market and multiple huge DFS wins. Shawn's process and evaluation are among the most thorough in the sport and his exclusive FPGscore metric is changing the game. This 2024 team preview and insight is courtesy of the brilliant mind of one of the sport's best.    This 2024 Washington Nationals Preview is courtesy of Shawn Childs. Read Shawn's expert fantasy analysis at his Substack.   After winning the World Series in 2019, the Nationals moved into the basement in the NL East, and they should be treated as squatters based on their play over the past four seasons (217-329). Over the team’s first 43 seasons (Expos and Nationals), this franchise only had one playoff appearance while being robbed of a great opportunity in 1994 (74-40) due to a baseball strike. Washington made the postseason five times between 2012 and 2017. The FullTime Fantasy 2024 Washington Nationals Preview projects their fortunes this year.  The Nationals fell to 27th in ERA (5.02) for their starters and relievers. Their bullpen had 34 wins, 29 losses, and 42 saves over 599.0 innings with 523 strikeouts (lowest in the majors). Washington scored 700 runs (21st), hit 151 home runs (29th), and drove in 665 runs (21st). Their base stealers swiped 127 bases on 156 attempts (81.4%).  In the offseason, Washington signed OF Joey Gallo, 3B Nick Senzel, and RP Dylan Floro. They parted ways with 1B Dominic Smith, OF Corey Dickerson, 2B Michael Chavis, RP Carl Edwards, and RP Victor Arano. The Nationals added SS Nasim Nunez in this year’s Rule 5 Draft. Offensively, the Nationals lack star power and proven middle-of-the-order bats. SS CJ Abrams showed growth last year, giving them one player with youth and upside. OF Joey Gallo adds power at the expense of more trips to the dugout via strikeouts. Their top two prospects (James Woods and Dylan Crews) are outfielders. Their bullpen has more risk than reward for their top choices to finish games. SP MacKenzie Gore and SP Josiah Gray have upside while failing to live up to expectations at this point in their major league career. The back of Washington’s rotation is messy, with minimal room for improvement in 2024.  Starting Lineup SS CJ Abrams Over three short seasons in the minors, Abrams hit .331 over 483 at-bats with 109 runs, 12 home runs, 75 RBIs, and 42 steals. He only has 171 at-bats of experience at AAA (.310/42/7/30/14). His strikeout rate (15.5) beat the league average while having weakness in his walk rate (6.7). Abrams had an exceptional contact batting average (.400) but a light power-hitting average hit rate (1.544).  In his first experience in the majors in 2022, he had a sharp decline in his average hit rate (.299) with a minimal change in his strikeout rate (16.6). Abrams did have a step back in his walk rate (1.7) and a less potent average hit rate (1.314). Lefties held him to a .157 batting average with no walks and 21 strikeouts over 89 at-bats. Over the first half of last season, Abrams felt like a losing fantasy invested based on his production (.230/30/7/33/9) over 252 at-bats. The Nationals gave him the great light on the basepaths in July, leading to a much better player over his final 311 at-bats (.257 with 53 runs, 11 home runs, 31 RBIs, and 38 stolen base), helped a move to the top of the batting order. His contact batting average (.310) remained well below his potential, but Abrams finished with an excellent bump in his average hit rate (1.681). He still had a low walk rate (5.2). His strikeout rate (19.2) regressed but remained in a favorable area. Abrams had a slight uptick in his exit velocity (87.4), with a better output in his hard-hit rate (35.9). He finished with 31 barrels. His swing path was more balanced (18/44/38) in 2023. Fantasy Outlook: About two-thirds of Abrams’ equation checks the upside box. He must improve against lefties (.166 with three home runs and 18 RBIs over 151 at-bats) to become a more complete player. His ADP (40) in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship in mid-February ranks him as the eighth shortstop. In 2023, Abrams finished 32nd in FPGscore (2.84) for hitters, with a +4.16 coming from the steals category. His draft value aligns with last year’s stats this year, indicating a “good buy” in 2024. Abrams had 44 steals over 46 attempts over his final 121 games, which screams a push to much higher output in this area. I expect a better contact batting average, pushing him closer to the .270 range in batting average. I see a 90/20/70/60 player with 550 at-bats, making him a player to fight for in drafts...  


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About Shawn Childs 970 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros. As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.