Nats players have hardly been shy about talking playoffs this March, but they’re attracting some media outlets to their merry brand of optimism. Baseball America’s 2012 predictions, which came out on Wednesday, have the Nats finishing second in the NL East and earning a wild card, with potential for even more.
Best-Case Scenario: LHP Gio Gonzalez makes an easy transition to the NL, RHP Stephen Strasburg holds up over a full season and OF Bryce Harper hits 20 homers as 19-year-old rookie, allowing Washington to dethrone Philadelphia.
Worst-Case Scenario: The Nationals aren’t ready to contend and drop all the way to fourth place in the division.
Of course, I was on Philadelphia’s WIP on Tuesday morning. The hosts there seem to have a different view of Washington’s chances in 2012.
Online gambling outfit Bovada.lv, on the other hand, sent out a release on Wednesday that listed the Nats at 30-1 to win the World Series, 15-1 to win the NL pennant and 8-1 to win the NL East (the fourth choice).
Meanwhile, the AP included this passage in its story about Tuesday’s Spring Training game:
The biggest [rotation] question mark could be where to put Stephen Strasburg, who will be limited to 150-160 innings this season. One possibility is making Strasburg the fifth starter, which could stretch his availability until deeper in the season. “Yeah, he might be able to pitch the seventh game of the World Series,” [Davey] Johnson said. “But if I wait that long, we might not get into the playoffs.”
Might not. Love it.