April 4, 2012 by Stephen
Tonight was opening night for baseball (unless you count that 2-game series in Japan between Seattle and Oakland that I don’t think many people are aware took place last week). I’m back again this year to try my hand at making some baseball predictions. Now, last year was simply horrible for my predictions – I only got three of the eight playoff teams correct (only two in the right spots – Texas and Philadelphia as division winners). I’m pretty sure I can’t do much worse this year if I tried. I’ll start with my Nationals outlook for the year and then give my predictions. Enjoy! (If I pick your team to do well, I’m sorry.)
Last year, I was a little off on my Nationals outlook, but in a good way. I predicted 75 wins and they won 80. Here’s a snippet from last year’s Nationals outlook:
I predicted 75 wins last year – I was off by 6 (a ten-game improvement from the year before). Again from last year, “I’m going to look at it like I was just a year too early – I’m going to predict 75 wins for this year.” With the starting pitching looking a little better stability-wise, the bullpen continuing its improvement, and key additions in the field (Werth, LaRoche, Ankiel, and Morse) making the defense better (with hopefully not too much of a drop-off offensively), a 6-game improvement seems possible. We’ll see. The future could be looking up over the next couple of years: win in the 70s and get a solid foundation of young players built this year, get Strasburg back and add a solid free agent or two to improve to the 80s win range in 2012, and add Harper and other key pieces to get into playoff contention in 2013. Here’s hoping that happens! Let’s go, Nats!
If I had stopped after that last year, my predictions wouldn’t have been half bad. The Nationals should be better this year. They should have their first winning season since they relocated to Washington from Montreal. I’m a little concerned about some of the injuries that have piled up in the Spring, but if they can keep that to a minimum, I believe the Nats could contend deep into the season for a playoff spot (the second wild card added this year). Unfortunately, I still think 2013 is going to be the year for the Nats. 2012 will be the year that Bryce Harper makes the big club for good. The younger players will gain valuable experience. Stephen Strasburg will complete his 160 innings without incident. Strasburg’s innings limit and the relative inexperience and team depth will just keep the Nationals from making the playoffs as the second wild card. I’ll predict 85 wins this year.
Here are my predictions (sure to be wrong) for the year:
Wild Cards: Reds and Diamondbacks
Team that just misses out: Toss-up between the Cardinals and the Marlins
Surprising team: Nationals
Disappointing team: Braves
Wild Cards: Yankees and Rangers
Team that just misses out: Red Sox
Surprising team: Blue Jays
Disappointing team: Toss up between Red Sox and Twins
Angels over Giants