I love waking up knowing it is Nats Opening Day

Good morning. It is Opening Day. We made it!

WEATHER FORECAST

If you are like me, you’ve been checking in on it for the last 10 days or so. It looked more promising mid-week last week, but after the weird, slushy March, low 60s, slight chance of rain sounds good enough for me.

TEAM FORECAST

In one way of thinking, the challenge for the 2013 Washington Nationals is simple — create a greater moment to put on a banner than Jayson Werth’s Game 4 NLDS walk-off home run (DC Sports Bog, The Post). As great as it was, it wound up extending the first postseason of baseball by another day, another game.

The Nats enter 2013 as favorites to win their division, their league and the World Series. Can they overcome the Sports Illustrated cover jinx? The glossy magazine put Stephen Strasbug on the cover and called him Mr. October which is just stupid. Another glossy, ESPN the Magazine, picked the Nats to go all the way too.

PREVIEWS

Nationals preview 2013: Ready to go the distanceThe Post
Lots of good stuff from the paper of record.

Nationals Opening Day | Nationals hoping for a healthy startThe Wash. Examiner
Enjoy it while you can, this paper is folding in a few months.

Nationals 2013: Talented Nats enter season as favorites, but they know luck is a factor, too | Nationals 2013: It’s ‘World Series or bust’ as Johnson prepares to cap five-plus decades in gameThe Wash. Times
They didn’t put everything in a PDF, but after all the autoplay ads, maybe they should have done so. Bush-league Web site.

Nationals ready to dominate, even if they won’t say so | SI.com 2013 MLB Experts’ PicksSports Illustrated

The World Series winner will be … | ESPN predicts the 2013 seasonESPN

COLUMNS

THOMAS BOSWELL: Washington Nationals opening day: Embracing a season of great expectationsThe Post

THOM LOVERRO: Drinking a Big Gulp of the Nationals’ Kool-AidThe Wash. Examiner
Loverro drinking the Kool-Aid?

RICK SNIDER: Nationals fans, enjoy the rideThe Wash. Examiner

WHAT’S NEW IN NATSTOWN

Washington, Let’s Play Ball! (2013 Version) – JD Land Near Southeast DC
Everything you need to know about changes in and around Nationals Park. A Gordon Biersch opens today, another local brewery, Bluejacket, later this spring.

PREDICTIONS

Here is what I submitted to the Idaho District Sports Page:

1) Who will lead the Nats in home runs in 2013?
Bryce Harper

2) Who will lead the Nats in RBI?
Ryan Zimmerman

3) Who will lead the Nats in stolen bases?
Denard Span

4) Who will lead the staff in wins?
Stephen Strasburg (followed by Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman)

5) Who will make more appearances for the Nats this season: Rafael Soriano, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard or Craig Stammen?
Craig Stammen (Clippard’s arm is going to fall off)

6) Who will get more at bats for the Nats this season: Kurt Suzuki or Wilson Ramos?
Wilson Ramos

7) Which minor leaguer are you most interested in keeping tabs on this season?
Anthony Rendon

8) Date of Anthony Rendon’s Major League debut?
June 24

9) How many all-stars will the Nats have? Who?
Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman

10) Total wins and what place in the division?
94 wins and first place

MEDIA PREDICTIONS

From Mark Zuckerman at Nats Insider. Bill Ladson is so, so crazy.

TODAY’S GAME

First pitch 1:05 p.m. Strasburg for the Nats, Ricky Nolasco for the Miami Marlins. Honorary first pitch by Clint Romesha, a Medal of Honor recipient. Theodore Roosevelt’s great great grandson Winthorp Roosevelt will be there as well.

ENOUGH ALREADY!

Washington, D.C., play ball!

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