Strasburg Snags SI Cover, Washington Nationals Predicted as World Series Champs

Andrew Rocco@@Andy_RoccoContributor IMarch 27, 2013

There will be numerous assumptions and predictions coming out this week regarding the 2013 season from most MLB media outlets. As many of us have expected since last October and throughout the winter as the franchise added to its strong roster, the Washington Nationals will be getting plenty of buzz.

This week, Sports Illustrated officially deemed the Nationals as their World Series favorites and ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg as their cover choice.

Many of us know that such a bold early season statement should be greeted with equal parts pride and pause.

Yes, it is exciting that one of the more prominent publications in all of sports backs the Nationals to be World Series champs. But considering the history of such a bold proclamation, it’d be good to take this with a grain of salt.

SI’s last correct prediction came back in 1999, when the publication chose the New York Yankees to win it all. In the 13 years since, only the ’01 Yankees even made the World Series, while six of the other 12 missed the playoffs entirely. Hopefully this will not be the case for the Nats.

If the Nationals, with the addition of good health, can piece together a season similar to last year’s impressive campaign, they look every bit as capable as the ’99 Yankees.

In order for Washington to actually make a deep playoff run, they will need to resist buying into any sort of predictions that many publications have made during spring training. Experienced manager, Davey Johnson, has been there before ('86 Mets). He will assist in the process of keeping the clubhouse focused and reassuring the team that there's a long season ahead.

Here’s to seeing the Nationals get some major publication (front page) love, but let's not put too much stock into the power of predictions.