Hey, you there! Yes you, fan of any of the top four teams in the National League East! I'm not sure if you noticed, but there's another team in your division that has allowed you to compile such a tidy intradivision record. It's true, folks, the Marlins (16-10), Braves (12-10), Mets (15-9), and Phillies (17-11) all have winning records in the NL East which means that, by rule, there must be a mysterious fifth team absorbing all those losses. Surprise! It's the Washington Nationals and their 5-25 record against their own division! Somehow, they've managed to go 8-11 versus everyone else, which begs the question, is it possible that the Nationals can avoid making sad history once their schedule evens out?
If the season ended today, not only would a lot of season ticket holders would be upset and confused, but the Nats will have tied the 2003 Detroit Tigers on the official list of worst winning percentages at a miserable .265. But imagine the Nats as two different beasts; winning just 16% of their divisional games and a whopping 42% of their games outside. They've got 35 games left against the NL East, 63 games left against the rest of the NL, plus three games apiece against each of the AL East teams. Assuming their performance against the AL East is similar to the NL East, and that the Nats record can be extrapolated from a small sample size by someone who came three credits shy of a math minor, here's how I predict their season to unfold:
- 35 games vs NL East: 6 wins, 29 losses
- 63 games vs NL Central & NL West: 27 wins, 36 losses
- 15 games vs AL East: 3 wins, 12 losses
Add it all up and you've got 36 future wins to pair with 13 current wins. That's 49 wins overall, or exactly six wins more than the 2003 Detroit Tigers managed to squeeze together. That'll leave the Nats with a .302 winning percentage, miserable by every measure but enough to keep them out of the Pantheon of Loserdom. But at least Adam Dunn will have a better chance to make his own history and become the first player to collect more homers than his team has wins.