After 10 years of desolate years winning 70 one time. Then in 2008 they beat out the always good New York Yankees, the crushing Boston Red Sox, and the sometimes good Toronto Blue Jays to win the toughest division: AL East.
The Nationals are in about the same predicament: years of losing, and tough opponents(mets, phillies, braves). So can the Nats be the new Rays? I doubt it but anything can happen.
I just hope they don't turn out like the Pirates(record straight years of losing seasons[16 about to be 17]). All they need is pitching. Zimmerman, Johnson, they should hit at least 20 homers, Dunn can hit 45 easily. Jordan Zimmerman hopefully can step up in a couple years and be his projected self, Strasburg(if he signs) can hopefully live up to the potential. They have ok relief pitchers, when they are on, and an ok farm system.
In a few years their may be a new "Beast in the East", but maybe not.