How Are Washington Nationals Performing Compared to Preseason Expectations?

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How Are Washington Nationals Performing Compared to Preseason Expectations?
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Dan Haren is one of many Nationals underperforming.

The 2013 season has not begun the way the Washington Nationals envisioned it would. They are 10-11 through 21 games, five full games back of the Atlanta Braves (15-6) for first place in the National League East.

There's no need to panic, though. With 141 regular-season games remaining, the Nationals have plenty of time to figure it out before panic should set in.

The offseason and spring training were filled with high expectations for the Nats. After losing a tough Game 5 in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals last season, general manager Mike Rizzo made a couple of moves to shore up areas of need on the roster. Entering the season, there wasn't a single hole on the roster.

This led to not only high personal expectations, but also high expectations from analysts around the nation. Sports Illustrated chose the Nationals as their World Series favorites, as did the Bovada.lv oddsmakers (via CBSSports.com).

It's obvious that the team has yet to click through 21 games. The lineup, rotation, bullpen and bench have all experienced their fair share of issues. But just how far off are they from the expectations placed upon them during the preseason?

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