MLB Win Total Betting: Can the Nationals Defy Expectations in 2024?

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere
MLB Win Total Betting: Can the Nationals Defy Expectations in 2024?

The Washington Nationals finished 2023 with a 71-91 record. The good news? Their 71 wins and 0.438 win percentage were their best marks since their World Series victory in 2019. The bad news? They still finished last in the NL East, their fourth consecutive last-place finish in the division.

The Nationals are moving in the right direction in their quest to be a competitive club for the first time in half a decade.

But after a relatively quiet free agency, what are the Washinton Nationals' win total set at for 2024, per the MLB win totals at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The Washington Nationals' win total is listed at 66.5, with -115 odds on the under.

Let's dig into what we can expect from Washington this year and which side of the win total should interest you.

All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published. nERD via numberFire. Projections via FanGraphs.

Washington Nationals Win Total Odds

Washington Nationals Over/Under 66.5 Wins

  • Over: -105
  • Under: -115

Why Washington Could Win Over 66.5 Games (-105)

The Nationals scored 4.32 runs per game last season, 21st in baseball, and they allowed 5.22 runs per game, the fourth-worst. Despite ranking inside the bottom 10 on both sides of the ball, they managed to win 71 games.

Washington didn’t change much this offseason, bringing in Joey Gallo (0.8 projected WAR) and Nick Senzel (-0.2 WAR), and they once again project as one of the worst teams in the majors. For 2024, FanGraphs projects the Nationals to be slightly worse on both sides of the diamond. They rank 29th in both projected runs scored per game (4.29) and projected runs allowed per game (5.23).

For Washington to win over 66.5 games, they are going to need their prospects to shine. Thankfully, that is possible. The Nationals enter 2024 with the 12th-ranked farm system, headlined by two top-15 prospects in outfielders Dylan Crews and James Wood. Combined with infielder C.J. Abrams, who is coming off an excellent rookie season, there is the potential for this trio to lift Washington above their expected outcome.

Even with a slight decline on both sides of the ball, FanGraphs projects the Nationals to win 66 games this season, just under their win total of 66.5. In an extremely competitive NL East, where four teams are projected to win at least 80 games, things will be difficult for Washington.

But a spark from their prospects and the continued ascension of Abrams could be enough to get the Nationals over 66.5 wins.

Why Washington Could Win Under 66.5 Games (-115)

While Washington won 71 games last season, they were fortunate to do so.

They finished with the same number of wins as the St. Louis Cardinals despite a run differential that was 35 runs worse. Their run differential was 55 runs worse than the Los Angeles Angels, but they notched only two fewer wins. On run differential, the Nationals were closer to the Kansas City Royals, who won 56 games, than to the Angels.

If Washington overperformed last season, their quiet offseason doesn’t bode well for 2024. Regression seems likely, and FanGraphs’ projections agree. The Nationals project as a bottom-two side on both sides of the ball. Their –152 projected run differential ranks second-worst, ahead of only the Colorado Rockies.

In numberFire's MLB Power Rankings, Washington sits in a tie with Kansas City for 24th with a –1.14 nERD. While they are even on nERD, numberFire projects Washington to win 61 games, while the Royals are projected to win 65. That’s the difference between life in the NL East and life in the AL Central. The margin for error is very small.

Ultimately, the Nationals were one of the worst teams in baseball last season and did little to change their outlook heading into 2024. Thanks to their farm system, the long-term future may be bright in Washington, but they will face an uphill battle this season, even if their prospects are ahead of schedule in their development.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.