It'll take a few more days for the MLB previews to shake out but here are some of the earlier predictions
USA Today has the Nats winning the NL East with 89 wins. (playoffs not covered)
Sports Illustrated has the Nats missing the playoffs with a mere 83 wins.
No one at CBS Sports has Washington winning the NL and making series.
Fangraphs projected 2016 standings would have the Nats in the Wild Card.
Generally the spread I've seen here matches the spread I picked up at various newspaper previews as well. Nobody hates the Nats, but generally they like the Mets better. It's hard to argue that given the respective off-seasons (pretty even) and the results of last seasons. There are as many people picking the Nats to miss the playoffs entirely as there are picking them to win the division. There are a few Wild Card showings. There's even a guy at the Boston Globe picking the Nats to win it all. Like we said previously, and I'll say again I'm sure before the season starts, this is a hard team to read. The Nats aren't bad. We know that. But are they middling, good, or great?
I think they are being underestimated by the pundits but I get why. Even if you believe, like I think most of these guys do, that the Nats have the potential to be really good, they haven't lived up to it yet. If you backed them in 2013-2014-2015 they've failed you in some way. So they stop picking them. Fool me once, etc. etc. Instead they pick teams on the rise like the Mets or Cubs who haven't flopped yet.
I'll do my official prediction tomorrow. Gotta do more thinking about where I want to lay down the line for the Nats.