Justin Verlander will grace the cover of Sports Illustrated for the third time in the magazine's baseball preview. SI predicts that the Washington Nationals will defeat the Tampa Rays for the 2013 World Series in the April 1, 2013 issue of SI, on newsstands Wednesday. The SI Baseball Preview, which has six regional covers including one of Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg, features 42 pages of scouting reports with standings and playoff predictions, stat projections from rotowire.com and takes on every team from rival scouts.
In a profile on why the Nationals will win the World Series, senior writer Tom Verducci says that the they look a lot like manager Davey Johnson’s 1986 Mets team—and that the similarities will extend through October.
Verducci writes: "Like the ’86 Mets, the 2013 Nationals are the best team on paper at the start of the season. And like that championship team, Washington has young power pitching, a deep bullpen with multiple closers, a blend of power and speed, and an unmistakable swagger."
In addition to Verlander and Strasburg, David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, James Shields of the Kansas City Royals and Clayton Kershaw of the L.A. Dodgers will be featured on SI's regional covers.