Washington Nationals Opinions: Three Bold Predictions for the Second Half

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Jul 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) stands at the plate during the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Cincinnati Reds defeated Washington Nationals 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper Will Hit 50 Home Runs

Through 87 games at the All-Star break, Bryce Harper is currently sitting on 26 home runs for the season, already four better than his previous high of 22, which was set back in his rookie season of 2012 when he was just 19 years old. Currently, he’s on pace to finish the season with 48 home runs, so sliding the projection up two might not seem like the boldest of predictions.

There are a lot of factors that are in play here, though. Harper, like any other hitter, faces the possibility of a slump, and there’s no guaranteeing he’ll find the same sort of hot streak that he did in early May where he hit six home runs in a three game span. There’s also Harper’s health to worry about. Though he’s managed to avoid the more serious injuries he was prone to the last two years, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in the second half of the season.

All of that being said, I think this is Harper’s year. This is the season when Harper’s performance matches his projections, where life and legend finally converge, and Harper, fully healthy, realizes his potential as one of baseball’s most transcendent players. Feel free to knock on wood if you must, but I predict that when all is said and done, Harper will finish the year with 140-plus games played and 50 home runs, breaking Alfonso Soriano’s franchise record of 46.

The scary thing about this is that Harper is still just 23 years old. If he comes through for the Nationals and does hit 50, he may, in the near future, become the first player not lined to PEDs to hit more than 61.

Next: Prediction Two: Jayson Werth's Impact