50 Things I Love About Opening Day + Post-Season Predictions

od_white_2014Baseball fans have been eagerly awaiting the start of the baseball season. Opening Day is Monday, and my favorite team, the Nationals, will play the Mets at Citi Field. Stephen Strasburg will get the start against Dillon Gee.

To celebrate Opening Day, here are my 50 favorite things (not in any order) about the start of the baseball season. Keep reading, because at the end I make my season predictions.

1. Um, baseball begins!!!
2. The beginning of MASN HD broadcasts so I can watch real, live games, not Nats Classics
3. The family DVR will stop recording all my parents’ shows
4. Lots of new food options to try at Nationals Park
5. The sounds of baseball
6. It looks like Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa and Stephen Strasburg are all no longer hurt
7. The high pop fly getting lost in the starry night of DC
8. Listening to DC Washington (who has a pretty awesome name) sing the Star Spangled Banner
9. Hopefully going to Blogger Day this year
10. Welcoming Fister, McLouth, Lobaton, Frandsen, Barrett, Blevins to the team
11. Waving your caps for the troops in the 3rd inning
12. Quick Pitch is on MLB Network. It is my main score source for games I can’t stay up to watch
13. 6-4-3 doubleplays!
14. Scoring the games
15. Inside Pitches
16. Vamos El Bufalo!
17. Kids Run The Bases
18. Starting up the rivalry with the Atlanta Braves again
19. I am traveling to see the Nats on the road in three ballparks this year
20. Now that I’m older I get to stay up later to watch more of the night games
21. We’re season ticket holders again!
22. Playing in an easy Division
23. Playing “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)” by Fall Out Boy instead of “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC to start the game
24. I can’t wait to see what they do at TheNationalsArchive.com this year
25. Sometimes missing school for games
26. Pups in the Park is always fun to watch on TV (or maybe actually to go to)
27. Seven bobbleheads to collect this year
28. Lots of new things to write about on MattsBats.com (sometimes it’s very hard thinking of topics for posts during the offseason)
29. Seeing how instant replay actually works
30. We play the Mets on Opening Day and for the first series, so we should start the season with a sweep
31. Spring and summer officially begin
32. We actually play games that count
33. Proving that the Nationals have the best rotation in the MLB
34. Seeing Ryan Zimmerman play some games at first base
35. Reading articles by Adam Kilgore, James Wagner, Mark Zuckerman, and Bill Ladson
36. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack”
37. Bob and FP on TV, and Charlie and Dave on the radio
38. Ryan will hit homers to Zim-bomb-we
39. More posts and podcasts from my favorites like Nationals101, Red Porch Report, The Nats Blog and Citizens of Natstown
40. The Nationals outfield spells “WSH” (Werth-Span-Harper)
41. Talk of the season: Will the Nats return to the Postseason?
42. Lots and lots of cheering Nats fans at each game
43. The only time I can bug my parents for a soda and actually get it
44. I might get my 1,000th Twitter follower
45. Nats Dogs
46. The possibility of MLB announcing the 2017 All-Star Game is coming to DC
47. Analyzing stats
48. Getting the chance to meet more Matt’s Bats readers and Twitter followers at “tweet-ups”
49. Baseball almost every day until at least September and hopefully October
50. Charlie Slowes saying, “Bang! Zoom! Go the fireworks! Another Curly W is in the books!”

What are your favorite things about the start of the baseball season? Leave a comment or tweet me at @MattsBats.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I already published my division previews last week. If you missed them, check out these links:
AL West
NL West
AL Central
NL Central
AL East
NL East

So are you ready for my Wild Card, Postseason, and World Series predictions?
Here are my picks for October:

West– Texas Rangers
Central– Detroit Tigers
East– Boston Red Sox
WC1– New York Yankees
WC2– Oakland A’s
*But the Tampa Bay Rays are contenders too!
Pennant– Detroit Tigers

West– Los Angeles Dodgers
Central– St. Louis Cardinals
East– Washington Nationals
WC1– Atlanta Braves
WC2– Cincinnati Reds
Pennant– Washington Nationals

World Series: Who I have in the World Series is a rematch of the teams in Saturday’s exhibition game at Nationals Park—the Detroit Tigers versus the Washington Nationals. This World Series would feature some of the best hitters in the league (Miguel Cabrera vs. Bryce Harper) and the best pitching rotations in baseball (Verlander/Scherzer/Sanchez/Porcello vs. Strasburg/Gonzalez/Zimmermann/Fister). But the team who has the advantage is willing to take their first title back to their city since 1924, the Nationals! It will, however, be very close.

My prediction: Nationals beat Tigers in 7 games

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