The San Diego Padres are not winning the 2012 World Series.
That seems like a pretty solid prediction. But they look like the kind of team that will destroy someone else's hopes for a World Series title down the stretch.
Much like how Baltimore sent Boston to a miserable offseason last fall, the Padres look poised to dish out some serious late season misery. Teams with playoff hopes should dismiss San Diego at their own peril this fall.
The Friars will go into the All-Star break with a four-game set against the Reds. Then, the second half of the season includes twelve games each against the Giants and Dodgers, seven games against the Braves, six games against the Pirates, four against the Reds and three games each against the Cardinals, Marlins and Mets.
Each one of those teams will be playing for their playoff lives. And each one will be facing a young, relaxed and talented team with nothing to lose.
That can be the worst kind of opponent a team can face.
The Padres have been on a roll in the past week. They are on a five-game winning streak and just swept the Diamondbacks. They are winning with speed from players like Alexi Amarista and power from Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso.
The kids are producing. And more young help could be on the way. Third baseman Chase Headley could be trade bait, but his spot could be filled by minor league phenom Jedd Gyorko.
A team filled with kids with first-round talent, no expectations and no pressure could spell certain doom for a contender. The Padres know they will be playing golf when the season ends and the playoffs start.
They might make sure that they have company on the golf course.