This winter, the Washington Nationals set themselves up to mow down any team that stands in the way of a World Series title, but now it’s time for the Nats to put their $156 million where their mouth is. 

That number is Washington’s total payroll obligation in 2015, according to Baseball Prospectus.

The Nationals shattered their previous franchise spending record in order to win right now. And it’s hard to see them doing anything other than dominating with the roster general manager Mike Rizzo and company have assembled. 

The list of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez reads more like an All-Star team than a single club’s rotation. The offense that supports that squad features two reigning Silver Sluggers in Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond and a perennial member of the all-potential team in Bryce Harper

Washington will be called a lot of things if its grand experiment doesn’t materialize in a World Series trophy. Failure, disaster and underachiever are some of the nicer insults the Nationals would face in that situation. 

But the way this team is built, the odds of making a run at the championship aren’t exactly stacked against it. 

What follows is your guidebook to the 2015 Nationals as they kick off the most anticipated season in the franchise’s history. 

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