A few seasons ago, things came together for the Washington Nationals. They won the National League East while looking like one of the most talented teams in the league. While they were upset early in the postseason, they were a popular pick to win the World Series last year. That didn’t quite happen, but it didn’t scare people from picking them again this year. It might have taken a while, but the Nationals are starting to live up to the hype.
Right now the Nationals have the best record in the National League. They’ve had one of the best run differentials for most of the season, and the record is starting to reflect that. Right now they are second in the league with a run differential of +101, making them one of just two teams with a run differential over 100. But despite the success they’ve seen, Washington Nationals tickets have the cheapest average price on the secondary market of just $36.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in a similar spot, but even Dodgers tickets are averaging at least $42 on the secondary market. They also don’t have as good of a record as the Nationals, and have a much smaller lead in their division. In terms of run differential they are less than half of what the Nationals are at +49.
Perhaps some of the difference in price can be attributed to the difference in market. The Dodgers play in Los Angeles after all, while the Nationals are in Washington D.C. and have only existed there about a decade. But the Baltimore Orioles play right around where the Nationals are and Baltimore Orioles tickets have an average price more than double the Nats at $76.61. The Orioles also don’t have as talented a team, haven’t had much success recently and still trail two teams in the American League in terms of record.
Even Milwaukee Brewers tickets are more expensive than the Nationals on the secondary market. Milwaukee isn’t a small town, but it’s certainly not a major market in the sports world. Yet Brewers tickets have averaged $79.44 for the season. That’s even with the team owning the smallest division lead in the National League at just 1.5 games. They also lack the big names the Nationals have on their roster, and could realistically miss the postseason.
The Nationals have one of the best rotations in the game, and a formidable offense as well. The team has been a popular World Series pick the last couple years, and are starting to play like it. With the best record and run differential in the National League, they are certainly playing like a team that could win a pennant this year. But even in the D.C. market, the Nationals have one of the lowest average prices in all of baseball. Tickets in Washington are even cheaper than in Colorado to see the Rockies, who have an average price of $37. While Nationals tickets are the cheapest in the league now, that won’t be the case once the playoffs come around.