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2011 Nats predictions

Mar 31, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

Opening Day has arrived, and though the weather outside may not suggest it, baseball season is at long last upon us.

For those of you headed to Nationals Park today, be sure to bundle up and bring your rain gear. And be sure to stop by The Bullpen bar across from the center field gate, where ESPN 980 AM will be broadcasting live from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. I'm scheduled to be out there from roughly 11 a.m. through 12:30 p.m., so please come on over and say hello.

OK, it's time for some predictions. As we did last year, my beat writer counterparts and I came up with a bunch of different categories to contemplate. Here's what everyone is predicting for the Nationals in 2011…

Who will represent the team at the All-Star Game?
Mark Zuckerman (CSNWashington.com) — Ryan Zimmerman
Adam Kilgore (Washington Post) — Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Sean Burnett
Dave Sheinin (Washington Post) — Ryan Zimmerman
Amanda Comak (Washington Times) — Ryan Zimmerman
Ben Goessling (MASNsports.com) — Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth
Pete Kerzel (MASNsports.com) — Ryan Zimmerman
Bill Ladson (MLB.com) — Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa
Craig Heist (WTOP) — Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth

What will total home attendance be?
Craig Heist — 2,512,759
Bill Ladson — 2,500,000
Pete Kerzel — 1,987,654
Dave Sheinin — 1,841,000Read more »

  1. JayB - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Congrats Mark….changes your life that is for sure….for the better…….I think Ladson is finally right…82 wins…that is all that really matters to me.

  2. joemktg - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Inherent in Sheinin's birth date prediction is the MISERY YOU'LL INCUR as a result of your wife carrying the load for an additional two weeks. Let's see: baseball playoffs + your bride blaming you for everything. Yeah: better you than me.And the only way Marquis is reaching 13 wins is if total wins are counted after the trade deadline.

  3. Anonymous8 - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Mark Zuckerman — John Lannan, 13Really? Hope you are right and hope Ladson is right on JZim with 15.Great stuff to ponder on the Bryce Harper too.

  4. Andrew - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Special bonus question: When will the Zuckerman baby be born? (Due date: Oct. 4)Seriously? Wow, this is great! Congratulations to you and your wife!!!!!

  5. Doc - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Congrats on the great event, which eclipses all the other predicted events. Due date?? Depends on whether it's a boy or a girl. If boy then September 27th; if girl October 5th.

  6. natsfan1a - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Wait, what? Zuckerman baby? That's great news! Congrats to Mark and to Mrs. Z. (btw, I've miss seeing her stop by the comments section). Good that you've got a full-time gig and bennies now, Mark! :-) And I vote for October 1.

  7. natsfan1a - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Crud, "missed." Daggone interface is going squirrely on me again.

  8. Doc - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    How about some predictions for Mickey Morse's HRs in 2011? Ladson doesn't think he can hit. Dave Nichols likewise. Not sure of the others' predictions on the matter. Me? I say 30-35 if he stays he healthy.

  9. N. Cognito - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    October 11th.

  10. Mark L - Mar 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    That's a good point, that will give all of September for Mrs. Z to be an active contributor to this column. Of course, after October 4th, we won't hear from her until 2013!

  11. LoveDaNats - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Mark!!! So happy for you and Mrs. Z! There is nothing better in life than your children! (not even opening day)

  12. Sue Dinem - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Congrats, Mark!BTW, Why does Sheinin think Desmond will have a season-ending injury in July?

  13. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    If it's a boy, name him Livan! Little Livo Zuckerman.

  14. Mark'd - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    That is amazing news on the Zuckerman baby. I think If the baby is a boy, Ryan Zuckerman is a nice name! Congrats!

  15. SonnyG10 - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Congrats Mark…a new Nats fan, maybe a Nats beat writer in the making?If he learns to lay off the breaking pitch outside, I'd say Morse hits 22 home runs.

  16. Smatt1001 - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    Congratulations Mark!! I'm going to say Oct. 4.

  17. raymitten - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Who will represent the team at the All-Star Game? Zimmerman and WerthWhat will total home attendance be? 2.6 millionWhen will Stephen Strasburg make his next start in the majors? mid-September 2011.Where will Bryce Harper finish the season?WashingtonHow many total home runs will Harper hit in 2011? 28How many errors will Ian Desmond commit? 29How many RBI will Jayson Werth finish the season with? 104Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many wins? John Lannan, 15Who will lead the pitching staff in saves? How many saves? Drew Storen, 35When will they use a sixth starting pitcher for the first time? late JuneHow many games will the Nats win this season? 80Special bonus question: When will the Zuckerman baby be born? (Due date: Oct. 4) Oct 12. Congrats Mark!!!

  18. RickH - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Congrats, Mark!!!

  19. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Mark and Mrs. Z: Congratulations on the new backup shortstop on the way! Tremendous. Our two daughters are grown, 23 and 21, and what a ride you're in for!! We can only send our heartfelt congratulations and wish you only the best for both of you, and your soon-to-be healthy, happy, switch-hitting shortstop. Way to go!John and Jaleh SchulzBethesda

  20. phil dunn - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Can't believe Kilgore's attendance prediction of 1.2 million–that is less than 15,000 per game! What does he know that we don't? That attendance would take some terrible weather and a terrible team.

  21. Suicide Squeeze - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Congrats! That's awesome!I'll go on record with 81 wins. I figure with all the bad breaks they've had, the Nats are due for a few lucky bounces to kick up the win total above what it "should" be.

  22. sm13 - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    In preparation for a great 2011 filled with hope, promise and a few more wins:Who will represent the team at the All-Star Game? Zimmerman, Werth & StorenWhat will total home attendance be? 2.2 millionWhen will Stephen Strasburg make his next start in the majors? mid-September 2011.Where will Bryce Harper finish the season?WashingtonHow many total home runs will Harper hit in 2011? 35How many errors will Ian Desmond commit? 19How many RBI will Jayson Werth finish the season with? 92Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many wins? Jordan Z — 16 winsWho will lead the pitching staff in saves? How many saves? Drew Storen, 30When will they use a sixth starting pitcher for the first time? April 24 vs. Padres (bonus ansser, Detwiller will be the new 5th starter)How many games will the Nats win this season? 79Special bonus question: When will the Zuckerman baby be born? (Due date: Oct. 4) Oct 6. Congratulations the the Zuckermans!!

  23. JayB - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    LOL Sue….I was thinking he was moving to AAA CF by July…..your comment makes much more sense!

  24. ChicagoNatsGirl - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Mark–Congrats on the baby! That's excellent news! And he/she will arrive just in time to see the Nats make their first post-season (if you can't dream on opening day . . . )Best to you and your wife!

  25. Sam - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Congrats on the baby, Mark!As soon as I saw the title, I was expecting to be able to point out how absolutely ridiculously crazy Bill Ladson's picks are…but they aren't. Wins, I think, are a little bit high, but optimism is afloat on Opening Day!

  26. DCDingo - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Congrats Mark to you and your wife on being in the "expecting" column. My two girls bring me a lot of joy, even if they roll their eyes when I start talking baseball. I'll be at the game today. I'm rummaging through my closet for the long johns.

  27. Original Nats Fan - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    congratulations to you and Mrs. Z, MarkI'll vote for Oct 9, my birthdayNats win 80 this year

  28. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Lol Sue…..very generous saying July

  29. John O'Connor - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    And Mrs. Zuckerman officially hates Sheinin.Atrendance of 1.2M, really Kilgore? They probabyl have sold close to that already.

  30. Anonymous8 - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    If Strasburg makes a Sept 6th comeback which seems like the optimum date, that should give the Nats on 5 days rotation probably 3 home starts and they could stretch it into 4 home games with a couple extra days rest.That is 3 x 40,000 fans and if Bryce Harper is a September callup, Nats Park will be packed.Throw in 3 sold out Phillie/Nats games and a sold out Opening Day and you get almost 275,000 in 7 games. Take 74 games at a light average of 15,000 and Nats Park should easily eclipse 1,385,000. Got to like Mark Z. going with 1,562,538 and not 1,560,000. So there is 5 thinking BHarper will be in Washington in 2011 and 3 thinking he finishes in Harrisburg.Heading to the Park. See you all there!!!!

  31. JD - Mar 31, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Congrats Rachel & Mark, Wins – 75 Harper – Harrisburg Strasburg – Whichever the most cautious smart date is; let's not rush him at all. RBI totals – irrelevant. Starting pitcher's win totals – irrelevant. All stars – Zim, Werth. 1st pitcher called up – Detwiler (May 15th).

  32. put MASN on in NC NOW - Mar 31, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Anybody care to offer a bold prediction….mine, Desmond demoted by June.

  33. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    My prediction: The "kindler, gentler" JayB turns negative again before the end of the day and sinks to new lows of negativity by the All Star Break. This is totally independent of the team's record, because he's a hater plain and simple. The only wildcard is whether he lashes out at his imaginary friend ABM today or waits until tomorrow.

  34. JD - Mar 31, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Anon @ 10:51, JayB has his opinions about baseball with which you can agree or disagree but I do not find that he attacks other posters in a way which you are doing especially hiding behind your anonymous stamp. We are here to discuss Baseball and the Nationals; your opinions about other posters are not welcomed.

  35. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Mark -Mazel Tov, and good luck to you and Mrs. Z the rest of the way. May the baby be a great blessing and bring your family great joy.Best Regards, Mark in Arlington

  36. cadeck13 - Mar 31, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Awww…a Baby "z"! Congratulations to you & Mrs. Z! Gear up for the most rewarding and hardest job you will ever have – raising children :) an exciting adventure is waiting for you! All the best to your growing family.

  37. A DC Wonk - Mar 31, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Mazel tov, Mark. In the words of the Sages: may it come at a good time!(Obligatory on-topic point: how does Werth get to 101 RBI's if he's batting second, Mr Heist?)As for Harper, I expect he'll finish Harrisburg's year. But it'd be silly to give him a taste of coffee after that as it would start his clock ticking — or do I understand that correctly?Anyone?

  38. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    We ended up having six kids, and it's worked out great because they are all adults now and buy me all kinds of cool stuff and send me on trips because I was such a great dad.So we adopted a four-year-old last year. The only problem is the only thing he'll be paying for when he becomes an adult is the cost of my nursing care and diapers :).Kids are wonderful things. Congratulations.Farid @ Idaho

  39. dryw - Mar 31, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Mark, congrats to you and Mrs. Z!No predictions here, just enjoying the headline of "Game One" and savoring the thought of all sorts of lovely baseball in store for the coming months!

  40. Ryan O'Halloran - Mar 31, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    I agree with Mark'd earlier today, who said …"I think If the baby is a boy, Ryan Zuckerman is a nice name!"

  41. Scooter - Apr 2, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Mazel tov, young man.

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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

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