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2012 Media Predictions

Apr 5, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

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What will Jayson Werth hit this season? We've got some varied predictions.

CHICAGO — Guess what, folks? It's Opening Day! See that little countdown clock to the right of your screen? It reads "0" at long last. In a little over seven hours, Ryan Dempster will stand on the mound at Wrigley Field and deliver a pitch to Ian Desmond, officially inaugurating the Nationals' 2012 season.

This, of course, is the most anticipated season since the Nationals arrived in town in 2005. And that means there are no shortage of predictions that can be made about this club. As we've done the last two seasons, my counterparts on the Nats beat were kind enough to fill out some questionnaires and make some bold predictions about the local ballclub.

Feel free to rip on us for our wide-ranging choices (though we'll certainly respect you more if you're willing to put your own reputation on the line and publish your picks as well)…

Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?
Mark Zuckerman (CSNwashington.com) — Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann
Adam Kilgore (Washington Post) — Ryan Zimmerman, StephenRead more ยป

  1. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Thank God A new Post. I am going with 86 wins. I have had the kookaid all off season, but starting getting worried with the injuries otherwise I would have really gone of the deep end and picked some ludicrous amount.And to brighten everyone's morning: The Marlins are currenlty in LAST PLACE in the NL EastGYFNG!!!!

  2. The Great Unwashed - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    What, no prediction about whether the Nats will make the playoffs? Since it's opening day and I'm feeling optimistic, I predict they will.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Kilgore and Steinberg report that 19 "experts" from various sports reporting entities are picking the Nats to make the playoffs … versus 0 from last year.

  4. The Great Unwashed - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Funny how Bill Ladson is so optimistic in just about every category (Ian Desmond in the ASG?!) but he's bearish in the win totals department.

  5. Friend of all the World - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for making the off-season go a little faster.Just looked at the daily matchups. Small sample size (16 AB), but Zimm has owned Dempster.Wish I had a PFB sofa to watch the game on today.

  6. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Ladson might be a closet Marlins fan …

  7. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    The PBR sofa is best … and a refreshing beverage as well!

  8. alexva - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Of course it's the last question that matters most, nice that all expect a winning record. After an offseason that accelerated expectations it's time to play the games. I doubt few predicted the '89 Os or the '10 Padres to contend to the end but they got some breaks along the way and their confidence carried them through. That's all the '12 Nats need at this point, with Davey at the switch it could happen. Play ball!

  9. Rabbit - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    If any of the picks above happen, the Nats should be in for one heck of a great season. You know some other players not picked will have a good year. But, that Kilgore guy, he is kidding about Jason Werth isn't he? Unbelievable.

  10. Rabbit - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    I watched the Marlins last night and discovered I hate them (competively that is) more than the Phillies (who run a close second). We are going to have such a fun season in this division!!!!! GO NATIONALS!!!

  11. LoveDaNats - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    90 wins. Second place in the NL east. Ramos to the all-star game. Wild card entry in the playoffs advancing to next level.

  12. Gonat - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I can't believe nobody picked Michael Morse for the All Star game.88 wins for the Nats this year.

  13. sully - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    I hope the Nats soar this year, but don't think they will win as many as we wish, given management's failure to meet all of its offseason goals. Rizzo knows that, and I think he's probably anxious about the team's performance, given the high expectations in some quarters. It seems clear that he wanted to add one effective pitcher to the rotation, and that was to be accomplished by the signing of Buehrle. Then, the other need-adding offensive punch with a position player- could be addressed by trading some of the minor league depth. When Buehrle fell through, he was forced to address rotation depth by trading the minor leaguers for Gio, and to find offense somewhere else. That leads to the courtship of Fielder, who I believe would have been a Nat, on terms palatable to the team, but for a bad break (literally) that caused Detroit to enter the Fielder market and take him from us. That leads to the strange signing of Jackson, for $11 million dollars, giving the team too much depth in the major league rotation. Why did that occur? It seems clear the team saw that as an opportunity to trade a pitcher for the needed offensive punch, and I believe they tried desperately, up until the final hour, to make such a trade with Lannan. This now appears to have been a significant miscalculation, as they have found no takers for him. As a result, the team has spent an additional $11 million to flip Jackson for Lannan, and may not get any better pitching performance from that swap. Additionally, the long-sought offensive sparkplug, whose acquisition the team acknowledged to be one of its fundamental offseason needs, remains somewhere other than Washington. That's why I think they'll fall a little short, but hope I'm wrong. Go Nats!

  14. Les in NC - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    The only one that matters is the number of wins. I'm going with 87. Will it be good enough to make the playoffs? I honestly doubt it, but stranger things have happened. I wanted to go all out and pick the Nationals winning the division, but I guess someone watered down my kookaid this morning.

  15. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Rabbit, we ALL hate the Marlins. In the case of the Phillies, I think it's not so much the team as the Phans. I got nothin' against Marlins fans because I've never met one. Stinkin' Fish.I can't believe no one picked Clip for a repeat trip to the All Star Game. :) :)

  16. The Retired Journalist - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    I stocked my fridge last night with a sixer of Goose Island Honkers Ale to enjoy as I watch today's game on the TV facing my beachside couch. That Chicago brewery has a bar in Wrigleyville so it seemed an appropriate beverage with which to celebrate a Nationals' victory over the Cubbies.I predict 86 wins for the Nats, and that the Zimm brothers Ryan and Jordan will represent the team at the All-Star Game.

  17. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    No one is picking John Lannan to get to the All Star game?

  18. The Retired Journalist - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Agreed, NatsLady; I have great respect for the Phillies roster and the organization that put the team together It's their obnoxious to the point of thuggish "phans" that I loathe.

  19. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Gonna break in my new (cable) TV today, at least for 1/2 hour before I have to go to work. Since I don't have a remote (but they are sending one!) and no HD (cheapie me til I see how it works) it's been functioning as a computer monitor since I got it. Now I will have to get off my duff and press buttons and find the channel… Ah, life is good.

  20. Marty - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    My guesses:Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?The Zimmermen(n)What will total home attendance be?I agree with Kilgor on this one. Somewhere around 2,226,652 would be having an extra ~3K at each game over last year.When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut?June 19 vs. RaysHow many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season?8How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record?130 I think Strasburg is going to have a rough year. However I think in the long run this will be a good thing for him.What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?.258How many home runs will Michael Morse hit?21What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?.325How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals?101Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many?Jordan Zimmermann, 15How many games will Drew Storen save?33How many games will the Nats win?83

  21. Friend of all the World - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Hmmm, just read the latest Boswell column. We may need to find a way to make some PFB t-shrits.

  22. natsfan1a - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Zero days! Zero days! Good luck with the maiden voyage of your cable TV, NatsLady. Maybe you should bust a bottle of the bubbly over it. Or not.On topic, nice to see baseball predictions and all but where's the traditional Brian Zuckerman question? (Example: What position will he play in the bigs?) :-)

  23. Will - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Wow. You guys are INCREDIBLY optimistic about Jayson Werth. He's a career .264 hitter for crying out loud.Even in his best seasons with the Phillies he only batted .273, .268 and .296. If I were to choose the over/under of .264, I'd easily pick the under. But that doesn't mean he won't rebound from last year. I'll be happy with .250/.350/.450 and good defense.You all are also wildly optimistic about Desmond. Again, a career .304 OBP, which you all expect him to just downright obliterate. Unless he bats something like .285-.290, there's no chance his OBP reaches .320.I'm also surprised every single one of you didn't pick Stephen Stasburg to make the ASG. He's probably the most hyped up pitcher in the game, and hype goes much further than on-the-field performance at the ASG.Anyway, glad it's finally Opening Day!

  24. HHover - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Ladson is generally the wild-eyed optimist, tho I guess clear-eyed and detached analysis isn't what he gets paid for.Mark Z's predictions look much more realistic to me. If you take the average in each category, you'll probably end up close to the mark–mid-80s in the W column, for example. The optimistic predictions are fun if taken with a large grain of salt, but dangerous if taken seriously. When the Nats are below .500 in June, all those predicting them as playoff contenders will rage about how they failed to live up to a potential they never really had in the first place–for this season, at least.

  25. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

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  26. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    That's some serious Kool-aid being drunk by our favorite beat writers. Good for them. It must be much more fun to cover a team you are optimistic about. Some of the more amazing predictions: Ladson predicting Desmond's OPB of .360 and every single one of the writers picking Werth to hit over .260. Wow. And so many of them picked JZnn over SS for the ASG. Would they have done that back in January? I doubt it. I guess Spring Training means something after all.

  27. sm13 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    It's opening day and optimism is king! I'm in for 88 wins, Zim, Gio, and Stras as all stars, 35 saves for Druuu, 21 wins for Gio (and 18. for Stras), 18 homers for Bryce (8 of them oppo boppos), and 2.5 million in Nats Park.Yep, I'm all in for 2012. Go Nats!!!!

  28. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM

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  29. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM

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  30. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Getting serious … I think Stephen Lombardozzi will have a greater effect on the standings than many here are willing to predict. That is if he isn't optioned to make room for someone like Morse or Ankiel. I think he'll hit .300 +. He appears to have a more mature approach to switch hitting than does Espinosa. He foregoes power for base hits yet he appears to have decent gap power which could develop further.

  31. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    And Lombo is also a rookie …

  32. Joe Seamhead - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    All-Star? Tyler Clippard repeats, with Ryan joining him.I'mwith Mark on the Harper deut date of June 19th, but only see him hitting 7 HR's this year.Gio and Jordan will each notch 16 wins.ALR will play in 128 games.Attendance will be 2,750,000 Werth will hit about .265Storen will save 37 gamesMorse will hit 32 homersIan Desmond obp .328

  33. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Nats will give them a run, but the mid-season losing spell, and the late fade will not make up for the rest of a fine season. Strasburg will lead the league in losses-while-pitching-without-run-support, but Znn will be right behind him. Jackson, of all people, will lead the staff in wins, because he will get the run support–go figure. Zimm will pull something else this time, for at least 1 15-day DL stint. Davey will still manage better than Bobby Valentine, and get significant votes (but no award) for MOTY. Desmond will figure it out. Espinosa won't. Ramos already has–MVP votes, All Star selection. 83-78 (another rainout lost), third place, just.Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?Wilson Ramos, on the meritsWhat will total home attendance be?I think the weather will help, too. 2,497,001When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut?Aug. 20, vs. Braves. The late callup for Harper means ROY in 2013. Won't be why they do it, but it'll work out like that.How many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season?3How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record?127What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?.266How many home runs will Michael Morse hit?19What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?.329How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals?145. Starting at first base–about 120.Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many?Edwin Jackson, 16, from getting disproportionate run support as much as anything else.How many games will Drew Storen save?27, but he'll also blow 8. Lidge will turn out to have been Rizzo's best get of the winter (Jackson notwithstanding).How many games will the Nats win?83, but that's all. No puh puh. Wait til next year.

  34. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Does anyone else find Bill Ladson's writing boring/cliche and biased? This is why I am so glad I found this blog… Mark, thank you for adding some art to the art of writing.Anonymous in Manila

  35. CBinDC - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Ok here we go the most positive baseball opening day since 1925. I am not going to say how I think the season will go, just like travel you know the method, the distance and the destination the fun is in the getting there. But this year the Nats have gotten rid of the cheap transport and now we just hope the testing on this one was thorough enough to reflect our expectations. See you at the park and on twitter and here in 2012. GO NATS

  36. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Prediction: Poopy_McPoop will bring his insane pro-Oriole fan postings to Nats Insider on a constant and continuing basis.

  37. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Attendance 2.5 million, more Strasburg starts, more meaningful games down the stretch, decent weather, Harper hype.Harper's debut – agree with Kilgore, 5/16 or 17, Pirates are a lousy draw, he'll have 40 games in AAA by then, and DJ will be pushing for him.Because he's up early in my prediction, I'll say Harper gets 13 bombs.Stras gets 150 K's, going for contact more, but there are still a lot of guys who will be overmatchedWerth has looked better this spring, I'll bite on him getting to .275 with a bit more power.Morse will get a bit less time with DJ keeping DeRosa sharp and nagging injuries, 23 homers.Desmond OBP .313122 games for LaRoche, seems like he'll have another DL stint, but I don't think they'll trade him since they will still need LH hitting and be buyers late July.Agree with Amanda, 17 wins for Gio. He's a guy going deep enough into games to win that many. Only thing will be they'll never let that guy bat a third time.Lidge and Rodriguez will be strong enough to work the ninth more, Storen gets 30 saves.I'm thinking Harper is a win better than our centerfielders if he hits at least .250 when he comes up, more Zimmerman and Zimmermann, more Strasburg, still solid bullpen, better rotation depth, despite the on-base weakness at the top of the order, I think we'll be close to average offensively and defensively overall, which means the excellent and deep pitching will be able to put the team several games above .500. Having two long men means this team will be ready for extra innings, and the dog days when other clubs have tired guys and one-inning specialists with bad matchups. A short pitch-heavy or ineffective start won't use up the pen. 87 wins tied with the Reds for 2nd wildcard spot

  38. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    All-stars Strasburg and Zimmerman

  39. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I love this post every year, mainly because Ladson's unflinching optimism in his picks is contagious.Let's give it a shot, shall we?1. All Star Rep: Ramos, Zimmerman, Strasburg2. Home attendance:3. Harper debut: May 14, vs. Padres4. Harper HRs: 185. Strasburg Ks: 1626. Werth BA: .2767. Morse HRs: 238. Desi OBP: .3179. LaRoche GP: 10210. Wins Leader: Gio Gonzalez, 1911. Storen Saves: 3412. Wins: 87

  40. Natsochist - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Err…Home Attendance should read 2,404,837(AKA Let's pull a number out of a hat!)

  41. NatsBrat - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Soooooooooooo, none of the experts predict 90 wins or more for my Nats???Wad a bunch of haters!!!!!

  42. Sean Kelly - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Thank God for DVR and blast this work thing on Opening Day – if Congress really wants to make a difference and mess with MLB proceedings, they need to go ahead and make this a National(s) holiday. I'm drinking the juice 89 wins and playoffs!

  43. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Ladson is a horrible hack, I can't believe ANYONE reads him — always a day late giving non-news or obvious updates. Seriously, does ANYONE go to him as their "first-read?"

  44. SayNoToClint - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Who peed in Sheinin's Kool-Aid?

  45. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    SayNoToClint. I totally agree. Shenin's Koolaid must have been tainted with something

  46. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Ladson is okay he's kind of biased but once you get used to it … he tries and he does have good sources. He has a lot of enthusiasm which I like and he isn't at all fake about it. I shouldn't have to defend him but someone here will think its me doing the hating …~peric

  47. jcj5y - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    This is excellent. I don't know how you could reasonably rip someone for preseason predictions; it's all in good fun. Here are mine:1. All Star Rep: Zimmerman, Strasburg, Storen (I'm thinking he'll be back by mid-April and start saving a lot of wins right away)2. Home attendance: there's a buzz here that I've never seen before–if they contend, I bet it gets close to 3 million3. Harper debut: June 15 vs. New York Yankees (because I think the world might end)4. Harper HRs: with 31/2 months of playing time, I'd go with 155. Strasburg Ks: 187 (that's 10.5 Ks/9 over 160 innings, which isn't crazy) 6. Werth BA: .260 (but with a .380 OBP)7. Morse HRs: 28 (same player as last year)8. Desi OBP: .325 (not great, but that's pretty much the best you can hope for; he'd have to hit .280 to get there)9. LaRoche GP: 140 (full season with slightly more than normal days off)10. Wins Leader: Gio Gonzalez, 18 (that's a lot of wins these days; it could lead the league if the Phillies aren't good)11. Storen Saves: 4012. Wins: 89 (that could win the division)

  48. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I don't mind Ladson, he's on Twitter and usually posts his items there first. He's good-natured and sometimes quite funny. No, I don't read him first==>Mark Z is my priority, but sooner or later I get around to Ladson.

  49. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Sheinin is an Angelos lackey. Ladson is clueless.

  50. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Okay, I'll join in, why not. My predictions:All-Star: R Zimm, Strasburg, J ZimmAttendance: 2,650,000Harper debut: June 19 vs. RaysHarper dingers: 12Strasburg Ks: 175Werth BA: .267Morse dingers: 30Desmond OBP: .320LaRoche games played: 125Staff wins: J Zimm, 20Storen saves: 39Team wins: 87Number of Anonymous posts I don't read: 4,3782

  51. Traveler8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Not on point, but don't think it has been mentioned – Kindle's Daily Deal today is Ball Four for $.99.

  52. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    As to beat writers, Mark Z. is my #1 go-to guy, but I am really getting to like Amanda Comak also. I think the Times filled Zuck's shoes with a good replacement, once they got around to doing sports again.

  53. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    I predict that none of the predictions matter; that's why they actually play the games.I also predict that most, but not all, of these predictions will look silly in October.But it sure is fun to make predictions, isn't it?

  54. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Wait a minute, I don't know what kind of number that is. Let me get my prediction right.Anonymous posts I don't read: 4,869. (I got annoyed since posting that last one.)Ladson's okay, but I don't look to him for authoritative info. He's frequently a bit off-base.

  55. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Instead of adding your own predictions, readers should predict which predictor is going to come closest to the truth on October 3.I'll go with Sheinin, although he and Mark are remarkably close except on a couple of items. Not sure why Sheinin doesn't think LaRoche plays much; think Mark is a little optimistic on Harper's home runs (only 3 teenagers have hit as many as 10 in the last 50 years), and Sheinin is less bullish on Mikey Mo than Mark is. But Mark and Dave appear to be the horses to bet on in this race.

  56. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I think Spinner will have a breakout year. He has shown he can revise his approach at the plate. His last 2 ABs against the Red Sox were the kind of ABs that show the emergence of a confident patience at the plate. He did not get his pitch in the 8th, with the bags loaded, and took the walk, ignoring all but 1 of 5 pitches out of the zone.In the 9th, with the tying run on 2nd, the count full, the pitcher did not want to walk the go-ahead run and gave Danny something over the plate, which he promptly smacked on a rope into CF with his shortened swing.I did not see all of Espinoza's ABs this spring, but those last 2 were the best of all that I did see. That kid can be really good.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  57. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Number of Anonymous posts I don't read: 4,3782Its not Ladson that's clueless its "journalist" Dave. Far and away the worst coverage of anything Nats related.

  58. jeeves - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    All-star rep–Zimmermen(n), Strasburg Attendance–2 762 089, Harper debut–early May, Harper HRs–18, Strasburg ks–148, Werth's BA–254, Desi OBA–327, LaRoche GP–94, Win leader–Gio, Storen saves–32, Wins–91.One more prediction–the anon who constantly puts Desi down will be, as usual, more tedious than Poopy ever was.

  59. SonnyG10 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    My guesses:Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, and Tyler ClippardWhat will total home attendance be?2,336,457.When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut?June 19 vs. RaysHow many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season?7How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record?145.What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?.267How many home runs will Michael Morse hit?22What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?.330How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals?115Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many?Jordan Zimmermann, 15How many games will Drew Storen save?40How many games will the Nats win?86

  60. Luqman Sh-Hersi - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Here is my 2012 Washington Nationals predictions:Who will represent the Nationals in the All-Star Game: Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Tyler Clippard.What will total home attendance be: 2,594,648When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut: July 6 vs. Rockies How many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season: 15How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record: 140What will Jayson Werth's batting average be: .260How many home runs will Michael Morse hit: 24What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be: .320How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals: 126Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many: Gio Gonzalez, 21 How many games will Drew Storen save: 42How many games will the Nats win: 87

  61. fast eddie - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    I'm surprised no one has posted "Best 25 Went North".But what about the Worst 25? Where did they go? South? Class A Potomac?(just killin' time till 2:20)

  62. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    I like this picture.Opening Day Lineupshttp://twitpic.com/95wz7b

  63. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Joining the party:1. All Star Rep: Zimmerman, Strasburg2. Home attendance: 2.4 million3. Harper debut: July 3 vs. Giants4. Harper HRs: 95. Strasburg Ks: 1256. Werth BA: .2437. Morse HRs: 278. Desi OBP: .3039. LaRoche GP: 7210. Wins Leader: Gio Gonzalez, 1511. Storen Saves: 2912. Wins: 85, just missing playoffs, but providing lots of excitement down the stretch.Other predictions — Harper plays decently down the stretch, but without much power. Our top 3 pitchers are great, but the rest of the rotation is uneven. Morse comes back from injury and has an excellent season. ALR's shoulder isn't actually fully recovered and is a bigger problem than his foot. Espi figures it out; Desi doesn't. Lannan isn't traded, gets 10 starts as the yo-yo.

  64. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Can somebody please explain how the hamburgler is still allowed to cover the nationals? Desmond in the ASG with a .360 OBP???

  65. sjm308 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Love to play the game!!Before doing so, I hardly ever read Ladson but in scrolling down the predictions I thought he had overdosed on kool-aid till I came to the wins. If his other predictions come true (which they won't), we would win over 90. Also agree with Dave that Amanda is now my 2nd read after Mark with Kilgore still a solid 3rd. We have a glut of good sources now (including Nats Prospects) and it has totally taken over my retirement. I like Shenin because I think he is objective. OK my picksAll Stars – I think 3 which is huge R. Zimm, Gio and RamosAttendance – over 2.5 millionHarper – June 15thHarper Homers – 12Strasburg K's – 120Werth's Ave. – .268 (but 90+ rbi's)Morse HR's – 26Desmond's – obp – .320 (kool aid flowing here)LaRoche games – 140 – I feel he is a huge key to use making the next jump, both offensively & defensively for our other infieldersWins – Gio with 18 J Zimm with 16 & Edwin with 15Saves for Storen – 35 (Davey uses Lidge & Hrod)WINS – even with all that I can't see a jump of more than 5 or 6 games so I will go 86Go Nats!!

  66. Diz - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Just saw the Kilgore's post of the lineups.Didn't realize that Dempster has only given up 4 ERs over 22 innings against the Nats the last 2 years. A 1.64 ERA?!Ouch!

  67. sjm308 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Nothing to do with this post but I just saw the Cubs starting lineup. There is honestly just ONE player I would trade from our lineup and that would be the SS. I realize people will scream Bradley in CF but I do not need more age in the OF and it would be temporary at best. This is just how great baseball is however because even though I think we are the superior team, anything can happen.Go Nats

  68. natsfan1a - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Did you perchance mean to type "Byrd" rather than "Bradley," sjm?

  69. NCNatsie - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Off topic, but I got thinking about this last night and checked the BB Reference this morning to make sure my memory was right (It was.)Before we consign the John Lannan story to Old Business, I have a favorite memory of his career so far. August 6, 2007. San Francisco. Lannan vs Lincecum. Both pitchers go 7 innings, each allows only one run. Giants win in the 11th. But the key thing is this: Lannan has to go into the game with one overriding goal — Don't be the guy who throws Barry Bonds Home run #755 to tie Henry Aaron. Bonds came up 4 times. 3 outs, one walk. A strikeout (How great that must have made John feel.) and a GIDP (Ditto.) Against the most feared hitter of the 21st century, at the height of his drug-induced powers, Lannan bore down and got the job done, while at the same time matching the great Tim Lincicum for seven (who says he never pitches more than five) innings.The next day, Mike Bacsik gave up #755 and the day after that Tim Redding gave up #756. If Lannan spends the rest of his career in AAA, he'll have the memory of that day (and his $5 million) to comfort him in his old age.

  70. Kid for a day - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Eeeeeeeeeeee!

  71. jd - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    NatsLady, I am with you on the Fish hate. Any one who followed the Expos knows Loria's role in stealing and killing baseball in Montreal and while Washington fans were the ultimate beneficiary Jeffrey Loria will always have a place in Montreal's hall of shame. I wish him and his team nothing but bad luck and as the newness of the new stadium wears off and the usual 10,000 attendance returns watch for Loria to start flirting with other cities and their public funds.

  72. Hmmm... - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Prediction-Amanda will raise a fortune for the moonies by increasing wash times readership

  73. NatsBrat - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    @sjm308:I think that is Milton Bradley's ghost that you saw in the lineup. He still haunts Wrigley, and Lou Pinella's house too. Apparently, Lou is taking medications for it.

  74. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Ladson is a crazy peron. Demsond makes All Star team and gets on at a .360 clip?? Only if Ian hits .320 and Reyes gets hurt and Tulo gets hit by a truck and Starlin Castro falls down an elevator shaft, sll of which I guess could happen.

  75. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Here's my stab:Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game? Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson RamosWhat will total home attendance be? 2,476,069 When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut? June 3 vs. BravesHow many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season? 10How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record? 159What will Jayson Werth's batting average be? .273How many home runs will Michael Morse hit? 23What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be? .323How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals? 108Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many? Jordan Zimmermann, 16How many games will Drew Storen save? 33How many games will the Nats win? 86

  76. Dan! - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson RamosWhat will total home attendance be?3,105,000When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut?May 4 vs. PhiladelphiaHow many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season?22How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record?166What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?.266How many home runs will Michael Morse hit?25What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?.337How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals?125Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many?Gio Gonzalez 17How many games will Drew Storen save?38How many games will the Nats win?85

  77. Ray - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I'm still reeling a bit from Mark Z's prediction that the Marlins will finish ahead of the Nats and in the playoffs. I'm not sure how signing a medicore starter and a declining closer, and creating contention at SS by signing an oft-injured 'star' in the one position you don't need leads to a playoff appearance. Maybe its the Vegas girls and the pinball machine in the outfield. Here are my predictions: Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Michael MorseWhat will total home attendance be?3,000,000. They got 30,000 for an exhibition game in the middle of the week. Good times are ahead. When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut? July 17 vs. Mets.How many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season? 8How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record? 140. in 160 innings.What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?.280How many home runs will Michael Morse hit? 40.What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?.301How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals? 155Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many? Gio Gonzalez 19How many games will Drew Storen save? 45How many games will the Nats win? 91 wins. Division title. Ty Wigginton and an over 40 Jim Thome is not good enough for the Phillies to remain on top.

  78. Glover Park Fan - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Play ball! :-)

  79. FS - Apr 6, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    what did Mr Ladson drink before making these predictions?

  80. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I heard Ladson had a cold beer.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 59 -- 18
ATLANTA 72 67 7.0
MIAMI 67 70 11.0
NEW YORK 65 74 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 64 74 14.5
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

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)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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