Nationals fans will hope we here at Sports Illustrated can catch lightning in a bottle again with our World Series prediction.
Last season, our 2014 prediction that the Astros would win the 2017 World Series came true. (Let’s ignore that in last year’s MLB preview issue we said Houston would lose in the ALDS to the Red Sox.) This year, the magazine staff has picked the Nationals to win their first ever World Series title.
The magazine’s 2018 MLB preview features two covers, one with the Yankees’ new duo of sluggers, the other with perennial MVP Mike Trout and his new two-way teammate Shohei Ohtani.
The Nationals won 97 games last season, the second-most in the National League, but lost in the Division Series to the defending champion Cubs.
This year’s Washington team has a good chance to be even better. Adam Eaton, last winter’s big acquisition, is back after tearing his ACL in April and should be an upgrade over Jayson Werth in leftfield. Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler, acquired midway through last season to prop up the perpetually beleaguered Nats bullpen, will have a chance to make a greater impact in a full season. Washington also solidified the back of the rotation by adding Jeremy Hellickson.
As for the American League side, SI is going with the Yankees to win their first pennant since 2009.