Padres Opening Day: Three bold predictions for the 2021 season

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Fernando Tatis Jr. / Padres
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Padres Opening Day: Fernando Tatis Jr. turns in a season for the ages

Manny Machado might win MVP. Blake Snell and Yu Darvish are legit Cy Young contenders. But this Padres team belongs to Fernando Tatis Jr.

This isn’t up for debate. How do I know this? Look at the jerseys in the stands or on the streets. Look at the reaction to his extension earlier this offseason that locks him up for the better part of his entire career. He’s just getting his feet wet in Major League Baseball and the guy is already the most talked about player in the game.

So what will El Niño do for an encore after finishing fourth in NL MVP voting last summer? He’s going all-out, all the time. Put him down for a monster 35-35 season in 2021. The home runs will come. After all, he popped 17 in last year’s shortened slate of games. But if Tingler unleashes him and lets him use his speed and athleticism, this is a guy who can realistically steal 35 bags.

Next. Three questions facing the Padres this season. dark

Hey – I warned you. Only way I’m heading into this season is all-in. I expect big things from this Padres team and if you can’t buy into the hype the night before Opening Day, just when can you?