With Opening Day festivities kicking off today, it’s time for our annual Half Street High Heat Nats predictions. A bunch of us from the HSHH team got together and made our season predictions and while some of them are expected, we also have some hot takes in here.
What will the Nationals record be?
Nick – 58-104
Ryan – 58-104
Tyler – 56-106
Danny – 63-99
Zander – 64-98
Arthur – 62-100
Matt – 57-105
Amanda – 51-111
Roundup: Amanda is the most pessimistic of the group this year, pegging the Nats to lose 111 games which would be 4 more losses than last year. Trey, Arthur and I see the team improving enough to avoid 100 losses, but just barely.
Who will lead the team in HRs?
Nick – Smith with 18. RIP to the Stone Garrett dream.
Ryan – Meneses with 17 if he is not traded
Tyler – Garcia with 20
Danny – Meneses with 19
Zander – Meneses with 21
Arthur – Meneses with 24
Trey- Meneses with 22
Matt – Candelario with 21
Amanda – Meneses with 25
Roundup: Meneses is the clear favorite among the group to lead the team in home runs. Although, I think if Tyler’s prediction comes true we would all be very happy.
Who will lead the team in OPS?
Nick – Smith with .807
Ryan – Meneses with .802
Tyler – Meneses with .770
Danny – Meneses with .814
Zander – Meneses with .840
Arthur – Meneses with .864
Trey- Dom Smith with .850
Matt – Smith with .822
Amanda – Meneses with .885
Roundup: Meneses wins here again in a near landslide, although I personally would be pretty happy to see Dom Smith put up a .800+ OPS.
On what date will Robert Hassell III make his Major League debut?
Nick – September 2024
Ryan – June 2024
Tyler – September 2023
Danny – September 2023
Zander – September 2023
Arthur – August 2023
Trey- September 2023
Matt – March 2024
Amanda – April 2024
Roundup: Mixed results here as 5 of us think we see RHIII this year and 4 of us think we have to wait until next year.
Who will start the most games at third base: Jeimer Candelario, Jake Alu, or Carter Kieboom?
Nick – Candelario 92
Ryan – Candelario 90
Tyler – Candelario 110
Danny – Candelario, 116
Zander – Candelario 119
Arthur – Candelario 98
Trey- Candelario 124
Matt – Candelario 131
Amanda – Candelario 83
Roundup: Candelario is the clear winner here, but I think if he doesn’t produce there is a very strong chance we see Alu take over third base by late June.
Rank the following pitchers in terms of ERA (lowest ERA to highest): MacKenzie Gore, Josiah Gray and Patrick Corbin
Nick – Gray, Gore, Corbin
Ryan – Gore, Corbin, Gray
Tyler – Gray, Gore, Corbin
Danny – Gore, Gray, Corbin
Zander – Gray, Gore, Corbin
Arthur – Gray, Gore, Corbin
Trey – Gray, Gore, Corbin
Matt – Gore, Gray, Corbin
Amanda – Gore, Gray, Corbin
Roundup: Another mixed bag, although everyone except for Shack expects Corbin to put up the worst ERA of the three. Most of us have pretty high expectations for Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore this season (more on that below).
Will we see Jackson Rutledge or Jake Irvin this season?
Nick – Irvin around midseason. Rutledge not until 2024.
Ryan – Hopefully not
Tyler – Irvin in September, not Rutledge (reeks)
Danny – Irvin makes his debut in September, Rutledge advances to AAA, but doesn’t make his debut.
Zander – Irvin called up in September, Rutledge to AAA
Arthur – Irvin gets called up late May – early June due to injuries, Rutledge gets up to AAA, but not to the majors
Trey – Irvin Yes, Rutledge No
Matt – Irving yes, Rutledge makes it to AAA
Amanda – No
Roundup: Most of the group things we see Irvin but not Rutledge this season, which I think would be the right more. If you’re not familiar with Irvin, you should check him out. I think he’s going to be a pretty solid contributor for the Nats whether it be in the bullpen or rotation.
Which starter leads the team in ERA?
Nick – Gray 4.14
Ryan – Gore 4.32
Tyler – Gray 3.89
Danny – Gore 4.03
Zander – Gray 4.01
Arthur – Gray 3.94
Trey – Gray 3.65
Matt – Gore 3.98
Amanda – Gore 4.05
Roundup: Everyone goes with either Gore or Gray here. I think both have pretty solid seasons and if we see either check-in with an ERA under 4 on the season I think it would be a huge win.
Who leads the team in saves?
Nick – Finnegan with 17 before he gets traded
Ryan – Kyle Finnegan – 18
Tyler – Hunter Harvey – 19
Danny – Hunter Harvey with 14
Zander – Hunter Harvey – 16
Arthur – Kyle Finnegan – 21
Trey – Hunter Harvey – 17
Matt – Kyle Finnegan 16
Amanda – Finnegan with 13
Roundup: The group was torn here between Finnegan and Hunter Harvey. Finnegan is obviously going to get the first crack at it, but to me it’s pretty clear that Harvey is the better pitcher. The two questions here are: 1) does Finnegan get traded at the deadline, and 2) can Harvey stay healthy?
Will we see any other extensions this season, and if so, who?
Nick – Yes, Luis Garcia extended before the All Star Break
Ryan – Not during the season but think more are possible during the offseason
Tyler – No, but I think we see one next offseason (either Abrams, Garcia, Gray, or Gore)
Danny – unfortunately no, but I’d like to see them lock up CJ Abrams
Zander – Not yet, probably next offseason, and it’ll likely be Garcia or Abrams
Arthur – No, probably no more until the Lerners are gone
Trey – Probably not until the offseason, but Luis Garcia’s agency is the same as Ruiz…
Matt – Yes, Luis Garcia is extended in May
Amanda – No other major extensions until after the team is sold
Roundup: Most of the group was pretty optimistic that we might see another extension within the next calendar year, but most thought that it wouldn’t happen until the offseason or until the Lerners sell the team (which will be in 2030 at this point).
Who will be the biggest surprise?
Nick – Luis Garcia – he cements himself as a top of the lineup bat
Ryan – Luis Garcia – the outbreak is coming be ready
Tyler – Luis Garcia – 20 HR season with an OBP above .300
Danny – CJ Abrams – it’s hard to call it a surprise since he was a high draft pick, but I think he puts it all together this year.
Zander – Luis Garcia – He’s going off this year
Arthur – Dominic Smith – I think the shift ban will help him as will a change of scenery and maybe, just maybe, he will torture the Mets like Daniel Murphy did.
Trey – Luis Garcia – I’m a believer in his unique hitting style.
Matt – Patrick Corbin – He does not get close to back to his All-Star form, but finishes the season with an ERA around 4.00
Amanda – Hunter Harvey has a strong year in what should be a pretty good bullpen
Roundup: A lot of love for Luis Garcia here. The 22 year old (yes, he’s still only 22) is a prime candidate for a breakout season. He has all the tools to hit for a fairly high average (.280-.285) and hit 20+ home runs. Let’s see if he can do it.
Who will be the biggest disappointment?
Nick – CJ Abrams. I think he’s still too raw of a prospect and will take time.
Ryan – Gray – I think addition of the cutter will hurt his slider grip and we don’t see the step forward we desperately need him to take
Tyler – Everyone Rizzo signed this offseason, as per usual.
Danny – Victor Robles – it’s hard to be any more disappointed than we already are, so maybe the biggest disappointment is just that he doesn’t show any improvement yet Davey keeps running him out there as the starting center fielder.
Zander – Jumping on the Robles train, he just doesn’t seem to have it like I always hoped he did.
Arthur – Kind of hard to have a disappointment with the state of the team, but if anyone was to be a disappointment, it would be Victor Robles. Alex Call has been turning heads in spring training and if he can keep it up, his bat will force Robles out of the lineup, especially if Robles continues hitting as abysmally as he has the past few seasons.
Trey – Davey Martinez – I have not much hope that he will make the right decisions.
Matt – C.J. Abrams – He’s great in the field, but just can’t be consistently effective offensively at the big league level
Amanda – Josiah Gray – I desperately want him to be good because he is a constant reminder of what we traded to get him. I think his ERA will be well over 4 again and he’ll never be better than a back of the rotation starter.
Roundup: A mixed bag of results here, but many of us went with either Victor Robles or Josiah Gray. Gray’s results this season will be largely based on how he fixes his issues with his fastball. Robles on the other hand might be unfixable.
Will Mike Rizzo or Davey Martinez get extended or let go?
Nick – I think Rizzo outlasts Davey, but I don’t think Ownership cares enough to make a change.
Ryan – Both will be fired 🙂 <3
Tyler – Both should be gone but knowing this team both will be extended (in all seriousness Davey probably goes Rizzo probably stays, rebuild or not you have to have a fall guy eventually)
Danny – Rizzo gets extended and Davey is let go after the season
Zander – If only my dreams came true, they would be gone. Rizzo probably gets extended though.
Arthur – We can only hope that they are both fired and a parade is thrown afterwards
Trey – Davey will probably need to be fired, but they won’t do it.
Matt – Both are extended – This team has one of the worst rosters in MLB history, you can’t judge a manager fairly with this team.
Amanda – Both will be let go when new ownership takes over. They will be kept until then because it the easiest thing for the Lerners.
Roundup: Most of the team wants to see both gone, while some of us think Rizzo gets extended. It was nearly unanimous that this is likely Davey’s last season with the Nats.
How will the NL East finish from top to bottom?
Nick – Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Ryan – Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Tyler – Mets, Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Danny – Mets, Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Zander – Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Arthur – Mets, Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Trey – Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals
Matt – Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Mets, Nationals
Amanda – Phillies, Braves, Mets, Marlins, Nationals
Roundup: Well, the only consistent thing was the Nats finishing last, which is a near lock. We had 5 pick the Braves to win the East, 3 pick the Mets and 1 pick the Phillies. At the very least, it should be an exciting year in the NL East.
What is your World Series prediction?
Nick – Blue Jays over Padres
Ryan – Astros over Padres
Tyler – Astros over Mets
Danny – Padres over Yankees
Zander – Astros over Dodgers
Arthur – Astros over Cardinals
Trey – Padres over Astros
Matt – Dodgers over Yankees
Amanda – Mariners over Phillies
Roundup: The majority of us had the Astros either in the World Series or repeating as World Series champs. Matt and I wanted to switch it up and put the Yankees in the World Series. It’s tough to go to the World Series 3 consecutive years and in 4 of the last 5 years, but that’s what the Astros are trying to do. They certainly have the talent to do it.