Nationals Baseball: Opening Day!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Opening Day!

Wooo! And the whole season just got alot easier with that Mets loss, right!

Well it still counts!

Friday I did my season prediction (90 wins - no playoffs).  I'm fine being wrong and expect all of you to remind me of that come October. Onus on you!

How did the rest of the pundit picks shake out over the weekend?

ESPN had 31 experts pick : 17 had the Nats winning the East, another 10 had then in a Wild Card slot. Three had them in the World Series and 1, good ol' Eno Harris had them winning it all.

SI had a mere 7 experts pick : only one had the Nats winning the East, 3 more had the Nats in the Wild Card. One had them in the Series and winning it, Mr. Ben Reiter - from the WC spot, no less.

Fox had 5 experts pick, along with the fans and Twit-lebrity Old Hoss Radbourn. One had the Nats winning the East, 3 more in the Wild Card. No World Series appearance here.

Yahoo had 6 experts pick.  Two NL East titles, three Wild Cards, two NLCS appearances, 1 World Series appearance and titlle from Mr. Israel Fehr.

CBS with 5 experts. 1 Division win, 3 Wild Cards, no WS appreance.

NBC Sports Hardball talk chimed in 2 - no division titles or Wild Cards. 

Anyone else? USA Today? Sure!

USA Today had 7 experts. 5 NL East titles, 1 WC, 1 NLCS appearance. That's it.

So adding that all up....carry the 7....

That's 65 total pundit guesses from these major sports outlets. 27,  or 41%, had them winning the East.  That pretty much follows what everyone thinks. The Mets, who have to be around 59%, are favored, but the Nats have more than a punchers chance to win. It's generally seen as an either/or situation with the Mets with a slight edge.

Another 23 have the Nats making the playoffs through the WC slot, bringing the total that have the Nats in the playoffs to about 77%.  Most people think the Nats are good. Good teams usually make the playoffs... but not always. The Nats have a better chance of making it than not, but at a "not making it" guess rate of around 23% it's not a trivial chance that they miss it completely. That feels right, too, at least in terms of the vibes I'm getting from the season start. If the Nats can't win the East they can win the WC. These guys even think they probably will win the Wild Card in that case (60% rate in this situation). But if something derails them from a division title, it could be big enough to knock them out entirely. Or hell it could just be a tough year to get in.

About 7.5% have the Nats in the series with less than 5% having them win it all. The Nats are good, and generally looked at as a playoff team, but picking them to have the type of playoff success needed for a WS title is hard, given their recent past. Still they are in it, and they are talented, so if you are looking for a team to pick to make you stand out, the Nats are not a bad choice.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the Nats win today, Harper, then the Mets' advantage is all gone, right? You had them winning the East by 1 game over the Nats, so using your same methods of prediction, you'd have to predict a dead heat for the remaining 161 games, wouldn't you?

Bryceroni said...

Nats have momentum after mets loss! They have to be favored now!

Donald said...

As bad as everyone says Atlanta is, anything other than winning both of the upcoming games will seem like a disappointment. But it's not like the Nats will win 100% of their games against the Braves so I will try not to read too much into a lose. Still, really hoping for a sweep and a fast start. Both the Nats and Mets have relatively easy April schedules and a really tough May. Would be nice to rack up a bunch of wins early.

Chaz R said...

Harper did your conscience bothe yout his weekend? Is this your "I feel bad" make up post for Nats fans for Friday? :-)

Mythra said...

This season, more than any, is when April games really count. The Nats gave away games last season in April, with Desi's yips and bad decisions, the injuries and just poor play. This season, if they can keep distance between themselves and the Mets starting early, then it might make them be the team that is weighed down by expectations.

I think if they start fast, Dusty is just the right coach for a team having fun and playing good ball. Revere is also supposed to be very fun-loving and Murphy seems to enjoy playing a kids game. That plus BRYCE showing up with this healthy lineup would make some noise in the NL.

Bryceroni said...

Also, my yearly vow: I will enjoy 162 games. I will root for my team win or lose, and I pray this is the year...

Robot said...

Should be a fun season to watch. I can see either the Nats or the Mets taking the East. Nats have to come out of the gate strong. Way too many division games in April to waste games the way they did last year. I'm optimistic because I think (1) the modest improvements to the line up will have a disproportionate pay-off if Bryce remains BRYCE and (2) I don't think the Mets offense, particularly Cespedes, can stay as hot as they were in August and September of last season.

JE34 said...

@Chaz R - the soulless automaton does not carry the burden of conscience.

Fries said...

Extrapolating the data, we're on pace for an historic season! In all seriousness, though, I liked what I saw today in the first real action of the year. Bryce had a BRYCE at bat to start the year (though the rest of the game was underwhelming), Murphy had himself a day, and Espy/Ramos were putting good wood on the ball. I know it's just one game, but I've grown to expect much lower expectations, especially in April

Unknown said...

Are you kidding? the braves were on a VERY short list of teams that performance today will beat. I thought it was horrendous.

Zimmerman11 said...

The bullpen... if that's waht we have to look forward to it's gonna be a LONG season. And the first consequential injury on the first day? At least we can hope MAT carries some of taht momentum from the spring into the regular season.

Anonymous said...

I know there will be times when his defense drives us all batty, and yet I already feel like we struck gold with Murphy.

He showed more plate discipline and general baseball IQ in one day than dopey-ass Ian Desmond showed over the sum of his entire career. It's going to be a joy to watch him hit.

Donald said...

Revere's injury will be an interesting test for the new medical staff. He's listed as day-to-day. If this were 2015 he'd miss a few days and then come back and play awful baseball for a month or so before going on a lengthy stint on the DL.

Robot said...

Not the most inspiring of wins, but I liked what we saw from Murphy and Bryce. Werth came through when it mattered (though having the 9th come down to the speed of Jayson and Ramos was nerve-wracking), and Max was good enough. Bullpen already has me nervous, though.

JE34 said...

Harper - what do you make of the Rangers making Desi their starting left fielder? That seems all kinds of crazy to me. I still believe he could be coached and mentored into a top SS (but I wouldn't pay him in advance for it).