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Colorado Rockies Predictions

Colorado Rockies Predictions 2015 Over/Under: 71.5 Boy, it just keeps getting worse in the rarified air of Colorado. They can’t keep talented members of their offense on the field and the pitching continues to be brutalized.  Add to it that the front office doesn’t seem to want to make the types of moves that winning organizations make, and one has to wonder how much longer classy manager Walt Weiss will hang around. Where They Will Succeed:  The lineup is again peppered with some really talented hitters. SS Troy Tulowitzki remains the preeminent middle infielder in the game. He’s a consisted .300/30/100 threat – when healthy.  Carlos Gonzalez brings that rare blend of outstanding power and above-average speed. He can anchor the three-spot in the line-up and be an MVP candidate – when healthy. 1B Justin Morneau enjoyed a fine comeback season, but experienced a mysteriously low flyball rate last year. Expect improved power production. 3B Nolan Arenado and OF Corey Dickerson are the latest in a long line of young mashers.  Both could experience .290/25/80 seasons, and Dickerson may toss in 15-20 steals .C Wilin Rosario and the OF duo of Charlie Blackmon and Drew Stubbs  will also provide some punch. The Rockies will be strong defensively as well, especially in the infield. Arenado and 2B DJ LeMahieu won Gold Gloves last year, while Tulo and Morneau are both outstanding glovemen. Gonzalez, Dickerson, and the platoon of Stubbs and Blackmon can all cover ground and will save a few runs throughout the season. Where They Will Struggle:   Staying healthy.  Tulo and Car-Go COMBINED for 575 Abs last season. Arenado...

Arizona Diamondbacks Predictions

Arizona Diamondbacks Predictions Arizona Diamondbacks (2014 record: 64-98) 2015 Over/Under: 71.5 Another year meant another season of disappointment and frustration in the desert. Injuries again decimated the roster as the Diamondbacks slogged their way to the worst record in the league. Regulars Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo, Chris Owings, and AJ Pollack each missed significant time in the lineup and they missed SPs Patrick Corbin, Bronson Arroyo, and Daniel Hudson in the rotation.  New GM Dave Stewart blew up the roster again and will try to build a winner basically from scratch. Where They Will Succeed:  There’s a good trio of power hitters, and the D’Backs play in a hitters park. Goldschmidt and Trumbo are good for a minimum of 30 homeruns with full seasons, and newcomer Yasmany Tomas put up some huge power numbers in Cuba. Don’t expect the second coming of Jose Abreu, but don’t expect fewer than 20 long balls either.  Additionally, AJ Pollack and Aaron Hill should provide some top-of-the-order excitement and set the table nicely for the middle portion. Pollack could be a 20/30 type player with better luck in the health department.  SS Chris Owings should also provide an above-average bat and glove from his position. The entire lineup has the potential to score quite a few runs. They’ll need to. Where They Will Struggle:  The pitching staff, from the top of the rotation to the bottom of the bullpen, could be one of the worst in baseball. Josh Collmenter will be the ace by default; don’t expect an improvement from his 3.54 ERA of a year ago. He’s a flyball pitcher in a...

San Francisco Giants Predictions

San Francisco Giants Predictions San Francisco Giants (2014 record: 88-74) 2015 Over/Under: 84.5 Another even numbered year, another title for the Giants – officially giving them ‘dynasty’ status.  They possess the smartest front office in the game, refusing to over-pay for free agents and instead simply filling holes with quality, yet unspectacular, talent.  It doesn’t hurt to have the latest big-game stud pitcher in the game in Madison Bumgarner.  While the Dodgers and Padres made the big-splash moves in the off-season, the Giants continued their under the radar ways. Where They Will Succeed:  If you want to know how good manager Bruce Bochy is, look back no further than last year. He had to piece-meal a rotation that was missing Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum due to injury and ineffectiveness. His #2 starter turned 39 in July and his #3 didn’t join the team until later in the season.  His leadoff hitter and sparkplug missed nearly 70 games, and his 1B missed 100. Bochy’s ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome adversity is unmatched. He will continue to keep them competitive. Bumgarner looks like he is ready to take the next step towards superstardom. His postseason performance was legendary, and he has the mental makeup to build upon it rather than let it go to his head (remember Jaret Wright of the ’97 Indians?).  We see fewer homeruns allowed and a slightly lower ERA than his 2014 season (21 HRs; 2.98 ERA) and perhaps a slight improvement on his 18-10 W/L record. His battery-mate is now the preeminent ‘face of the franchise’ now that Derek Jeter has retired. Buster Posey...

San Diego Padres Predictions

San Diego Padres Predictions San Diego Padres (2014 record: 77-85) 2015 Over/Under: 85.5 The Padres floundered a bit again in 2014. But they made a signing late in the season that changed the direction of the franchise immediately.  New GM AJ Preller joined the organization and made an immediate impact, using the team’s above-average farm system to acquire the bats that the Padres had been sorely lacking since they traded Adrian Gonzalez away. Adding a top-flight, playoff-tested ace in the rotation as well has the team thinking playoffs for the first time in years. Where They Will Succeed:  The middle of the lineup can flat-out rake. The brand new outfield of Wil Myers, Justin Upton, and Matt Kemp are all capable of .285/25/95 seasons, even in a pitcher’s park like Petco.  We aren’t scared away by Myers’ disappointing 2014; his wrist injury hampered him for much of the year. He’ll be just fine with all of the protection surrounding him. Imported C Derek Norris will also provide some solid pop from the six or seven spot in the lineup.  All of these additions should also help incumbent 1B Yonder Alonso, coming off of his own injury-ravaged season.  Time to find out if he was worth giving up Mat Latos a couple years back. We also envision a healthy comeback for 2B Jedd Gyorko, who will provide punch from his position as well. Speaking of starting pitching, the Pads have some really good ones. The top four of James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy, and Tyson Ross are all durable and possess the ability to miss bats when they need...

Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions

Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions Los Angeles Dodgers (2014 record: 94-68) 2015 Over/Under: 92.5 The Dodgers were fantastic in the regular season. Clayton Kershaw cemented himself as the best starter in the game; Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp were back to their usual productive selves; Yasiel Puig looked like he was on the verge of stardom; Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu were the perfect two/three to follow Kershaw; and Don Mattingly appeared to finally get some buy-in from the Dodger fans and faithful. Then the playoff loss to the Cards and all was forgotten as the roster was blown up. This might be Mattingly’s last chance to bring a title to Hollywood. Where They Will Succeed:  The top of the rotation might be the best in the bigs (sorry, Washington).  Kershaw, still only 27, is by far the best hurler in baseball – and he keeps getting better.  Think about this; he set or tied career highs for wins, fewest losses, ERA, K:BB rate, K:9 rate, WHIP, and complete games last year.  All this after missing his first few starts! The only worry has to be wear & tear; he’s averaged over 220 IP over the past six seasons. Greinke is in basically in a walk year, meaning extra motivation to maintain or improve upon his 17-8/2.71/1.15 line from last year. He’s entered spring with a sore elbow, but it doesn’t appear to be an issue. And Ryu looks to be over his September shoulder issues that limited him to 26 starts. Gonzalez enjoyed his most productive season since coming back to the West Coast, and Puig looks ready to...

Milwaukee Brewers Predictions

Milwaukee Brewers Predictions Milwaukee Brewers (2014 record: 82-80) 2015 Over/Under: 78.5 For a team that finished two games over .500, not a lot went right for Milwaukee last year. They suffered power declines throughout the lineup, even from hitters who are supposed to be in their prime in a hitter’s ballpark. The top dogs in the rotation averaged an ERA right around 3.55. It did, however, help to be in the same division as the Reds and Cubs. They won’t be quite as fortunate this season. Where They Will Succeed:  Despite last season’s power outage, there are some really nice bats in the lineup, including two of the best in their positions.  Jonathan Lucroy may not just be the best hitting catcher in baseball now, but the best overall catcher. He calls a great game, has a nice arm, and will hit close to .300 with solid power. The Brewers would love to see some of those 53 doubles (a record for the position) turn into homeruns, and an improvement in his 69 RBIs would be welcomed, but he’ll be in the Midsummer Classic again.  He’ll be joined by CF Carlos Gomez, one of the most exciting players in the game. He’s a consistent 20/40 threat now, and continues to improve upon his plate discipline. There’s potential for a bit more slugging throughout the rest of the lineup as well. Corner OFs Khris Davis and Ryan Braun could each exceed 25 homeruns, and 3B Aramis Ramirez and new 1B Adam Lind could chip in with 20 or so each. Each will miss a handful of games, but they could...