For The Win, part of USA Today, as part of their preseason rankings released their rotation rankings and had the Nationals second overall.
Per For The Win:
The offseason trade of prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez cost the Nats some depth, and a prolonged injury to dominant but brittle Stephen Strasburg could send Washington plummeting down this list. The Nats will work to manage Strasburg’s workload between starts this season in an effort to keep him healthy all year. Ace Max Scherzer comes with far fewer question marks: The 32-year-old righty has made at least 30 starts in each of the last eight seasons and is showing no signs of slowing down. Tanner Roark enjoyed a breakout season at age 29 in 2016, Joe Ross is only 23 and maintains big-time talent, and Gio Gonzalez appears at the very least a safe bet to stay healthy and gobble up league-average innings.
Despite not trading for Chris Sale in the off-season, the Nationals still were near the top of the rankings proving just how solid a Scherzer-Strasburg-Roark top of the rotation is.
Although they did note that it wasn't really that close between the second-place Nationals and the top-ranked Boston Red Sox, who landed the aforementioned Sale, but the Nats were two spots ahead of the New York Mets.
The NL East looked a lot like the win projections that came out earlier this week, the Nats atop the divison followed closely by New York and then everyone else lags behind.
Locally, the Orioles were ranked 24th in the rankings. Despite not making any moves to the rotation, they avoided being even closer to the bottom thanks to the hope that the oft-injured Dylan Bundy may finally be healthy.