Advertisements

MLB Power Rankings March 2015

Once again, the National League is very top heavy. with the Nationals, Dodgers and Cards reeling in 3 of the first 4 rankings spots.

Once again, the National League is very top-heavy. with the Nationals, Dodgers and Cards reeling in 3 of the first 5 rankings spots.  The American League has more parity in the league this year. and could feature several new entrants into postseason play.  This includes the two longest playoff drought teams in the Toronto Blue Jays (the last team to make the playoffs since the Strike/Lockout in 1994 and 1995 – and the M’s haven’t since their 116 win campaign in 2001. The Marlins own the longest such dry spell in the NL<- with their last playoff berth coming in their 2003 World Series win.  You also have many young franchises like the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins having several of their young studs coming into the fold, and teams like the Rangers trying to be relevant again following a league record for DL Stints in 2014.  This will mean there are no easy wins on the J’unior Circuit’ this campaign.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

1.  Washington Nationals – This team is so far above the rest of the MLB, they should be everyones unanimous pick to win the best record in the MLB.  Their Division is weaker the NL West, and the teams in the NL Central are a lot closer in parity.

2.  LA Dodgers – Too many changes will take the club time to gel.  Emphasis on Joc Pederson to do well may be too much to ask.  Not enough is being said about the club losing the offense of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. Any club with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke as their top 2 starting pitchers will never be to far from the top ranking.

3.  Detroit Tigers – This is all based on the American League Central.  While I believe the team is not as strong as last year in the pitching department with Max Scherzer, they may be better in the lineup with Yoenis Cespedes.

James Paxton may prove to be the pivotal force in the Mariners rotation this year.  Hampered by injuries early, this LHP from Delta, B.C. Canada still holds a 2.66 ERA and 1.133 WHIP in his 1st 17 MLB starts.  This guy throws a fastball between 95 - 98 MPH and is a perfect mix after Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, and right before Taijuan Walker and J.A. Happ to add a nice combination of Right, Right, Left, Right Left Starter Staff.

James Paxton may prove to be the pivotal force in the Mariners rotation this year. Hampered by injuries early, this LHP from Delta, B.C. Canada still holds a 2.66 ERA and 1.133 WHIP in his 1st 17 MLB starts. This guy throws a fastball between 95 – 98 MPH and is a perfect mix after Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, and right before Taijuan Walker and J.A. Happ to add a nice combination of Right, Right, Left, Right Left Starter Staff.

4.  Seattle Mariners –  Seattle has improved their club tremendously on offense since the end of last year, and the pitching may be even stronger if Taijuan Walker and James Paxton emerge.

5.  St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright is crucial to the club being the Division winner, and they are still the most talented club in the Division.  4 straight NLCS appearances is tough to bet against.

6.  Boston Red Sox – An improved offense, and a revamped pitching rotation should mean these guys rebound in 2015.  While the AL East may beat each other up badly, I like Boston’s lineup.

7.  LA Angels – Josh Hamilton was not in the plans to start with.  Garrett Richards is in camp, but I fully expect some early season hiccups.  Tyler Skaggs will probably not be able to help this season either.  Losing Howie Kendrick will hurt more than what has said. Mike Trout will have a lot to carry early on, and the squad will need Albert Pujols to be his vintage self early on.  I foresee a slower start, but with a heavy charge towards the end of the year.

8.  Pittsburgh Pirates –  The best young OF in the NL – with apologies to the Marlins.  Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco are the keys.  A.J. Burnett pickup was wise.  This team won 88 games last year, after mid 90’s in 2013, and I fully expect them to near 90 wins this year.

  Chris Davis is back on a approved medication from the MLB to help with his ADD.  It is a form of Adderall, but not exactly it.  I think with him being right mentally, a 40 HR campaign is not out of the realm.  If he does this, and you have contributions from Manny Machado and Matt Wieters, then it more than makes up from the departures of Nelson Cruz and fan favorite Nick Markakis.

Chris Davis is back on an approved medication from the MLB to help with his ADD. It is a form of Adderall, but not exactly it. I think with him being right mentally, a 40 HR campaign is not out of the realm. If he does this, and you have contributions from Manny Machado and Matt Wieters, then it more than makes up from the departures of Nelson Cruz and fan favorite Nick Markakis.

9.  Baltimore Orioles – The O’s depth is the best in the AL East.  If the rosters stay the same without division counterparts not adding anyone else, I like the O’s to win in the high 80’s this season, which is still almost 10 less wins than 2014,

10. Cleveland Indians – The Tribe have won 92 and 85 wins in the last 2 seasons, and are a decent team with great coaching in 2015 again.  The White Sox are improved this year yes, but the Tigers and Royals are a little bit worse overall.

11. San Francisco Giants – San Francisco will still get to reign on the D’Backs and the Rockies 38 games this year, which should boost their overall win total.  I also think they are going to fare well against the Padres, and hold their own against a slightly weaker Dodgers club.  Just like the Royals, they will be near the playoff bar when the season is over.

12. Kansas City Royals – The losses of Nori Aoki, Billy Butler and James Shields are not covered by Alex Rios, Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez in equality, however they could improve internally a little bit more.  At the end of the day, they should still win 85 some odd games, which is right in line with what they have done in the last few years.  This should put them in contention for the AL central and a Wild Card position.

13. Toronto Blue Jays – This club really needs to invest in an ace, and add depth to the Bullpen.  They are going to beat up several teams with their offensive lineup.

14. Oakland A’s – Despite all of their roster turnover, this club should have plenty of wins in the 2014 season, although I believe a slight regression is in order.

15. New York Mets –  The team hailing in Flushing Meadows will be a lot better just because Matt Harvey is back, however don’t expect miracles and everyone should stop promising playoffs and 90 win campaigns.  I believe they may have their 1st winning season since moving to Citi Field, and finish 2nd in the NL East, but they are still closer to a .500 team than they are a  90 victory squad.

Chris Sale has a fractured foot injury from an undisclosed home incident.  The MLB is always littered with these bizarre types of things, as Michael Saunders of Toronto Blue Jays found out this week too, losing half his season when he stepped on a sprinkler - and tore up his knee.

Chris Sale has a fractured foot injury from an undisclosed home incident. The MLB is always littered with these bizarre types of things, as Michael Saunders of Toronto Blue Jays found out this week too, losing half his season when he stepped on a sprinkler – and tore up his knee.  Sale usually misses 4 – 5 starts in the early season to dead arm, and absolutely must not do that once he returns from this incident, otherwise he will max out at 24 – 26 Game Starts for the year.

16. Chicago White Sox – Chris Sale injury unnerves me a little.  This guy is a phenomenal thrower, who usually spends a DL Stint on the shelf about a month into his season’s anyway, if he does that again, he may be more of a 24 to 26 game starter.  Might be the difference in this club contending for a playoff spot or not.

17. Chicago Cubs – There will be growing pains for sure, and will Jon Lester throw much better than Jeff Samardzija did in the 1st 3 months last year?  I also think it will be tough for Jason Hammel to duplicate the same timeframe – with his 2014 Cubs numbers.  They will likely have a better 2nd half than 1st, just think 2016 will be the year they challenge.

18. New York Yankees – The Bronx Bombers will be lucky to finish .500 in my view.  They should be in a rebuild.  The AL East teams all have a better offense than the Yanks except the Rays, and I also expect a slight regression out of the Starting Rotation and Bullpen.

19. Miami Marlins – “The Fish” are overrated without the services of Jose Fernandez for at least half of the year and then who knows how effective he will be after that once he returns.  I like the team to be near .500,  Teams 14 – 23 are all in the similar forecast here.  If they play well, they max out in the mid 80’s for wins, and if they struggle, that may be mid 80’s in losses.

A.J. Preller has revamped the roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings.  Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year to round out their talent.  Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn't translate to immediate impact on the field.  The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad.  I think they will be far below that.  For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

A.J. Preller has revamped the roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings. Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year – to round out their talent. Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn’t translate to immediate impact on the field. The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad. I think they will be far below that. For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals,Cubs, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

20. San Diego Padres – “The Pod Squad” remaining healthy with all of their injury prone players, new and drafted, will be a tough task.  James Shields should have a good year, yet I think that the team will miss both Jesse Hahn and Eric Stults.  It is too bad the club only has Justin Upton for one year, because I think that they may be better in the 2016 season than they are now.  Maybe they should keep one of their reserve ouftielders past this season, so that they can take over for the former Brave – when he leaves for Free Agency.

21. Milwaukee Brewers – I would have ranked them higher if Jonathan Lucroy weren’t hurt for the 1st part of the year.  He was the NL MVP until the end of August in 2014.  I think Ryan Braun will be slightly better in 2015, and I like the depth of the team all the way around.  The NL Central is just a beast, and lots of victories will be taken away from each other.

22. Atlanta Braves – Anemic offensive production will be blamed for several defeats this season.  I think the run prevention is just as good as last year – if not better.  Shelby Miller also will not win the NL Cy Young, but I expect a decent year out of him, filling in the roles vacated by Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana.

23. Cincinnati Reds- Joey Votto and a healthy Jay Bruce will do a lot for the teams offense.  Losing Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon is troublesome of the Starting Rotation.  This club will probably be within a few wins or losses away from .500.

24. Texas Rangers –  Texas will probably not have 60+ DL Stints this campaign, however don’t look for everyone to come back healthy right away either.  I forecast a better year than 2014, yet this AL West may string the most wins up on the board in the American League.

25. Houston Astros – A team of windmillers have added several new pieces to their lineup that should fit right in.  Looking for big things out of George Springer in 2015 – after a nice rookie year.  They signed every reliever out there that was in the mid-level price range.  I can see them being similar to the Pirates a few years ago, where they play well to start the season – before fading out to end the year.

26. Tampa Bay Rays – It is tough to see where this organization will be on the offense.  The pitching should keep them competitive losing Ben Zobrist is a killer for the club., and that may not be the worst loss.  Joe Maddon always knew what buttons to pitch.  It may take some time before Kevin Cash figures it out .  A nice 2nd half should be had after early season struggles.  This should give the fans some hope for 2016 anyway.

27.  Minnesota Twins – I think a 5 or 6 win improvement is on the agenda for the Twinkies.. Unfortunately they might still finish in 5th in the AL Central with that anyway.  Like the veteran additions of Ervin Santana – and Torii Hunter coming back.  The latter may be key in teaching the young nucleus how to win.  His efforts may not translate into contention until after he leaves.

28.  Arizona Diamondbacks – A work in process for the rebuild.  The best the team can hope for is to see a revitalized Mark Trumbo, and Aaron Hill so they can flip them away in trades, continuing the new wave of players coming in.  Yasmany Tomas may prove to keep the turnstiles going inward at Chase Field with curiosity of the Cuban slugger.

29.  Colorado Rockies – Look for their usual April hot stretch before the rest of the year will not be as good.  Eddie Butler and Jonathan Gray would have to be electric out of the rotation, while Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki have to remain on the field for the majority of the year  I am not counting on any of this to come to fruition.

30.  Philadelphia Phillies – It is going to be a long year at CBP for folks this season.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see half of the roster turned over and several front office changes this campaign.

 

It will be a long season In Philly, and the best thing this franchise can hope for is to rebuild by trading all of their veterans (provided they don't get hurt like Cliff Lee last year).  Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Ben Revere and even Ryan Howard may be flipped in deals this season.  This is a franchise that needs to turn the page completely.

It will be a long season In Philly, and the best thing this franchise can hope for is to rebuild by trading all of their veterans (provided they don’t get hurt like Cliff Lee last year). Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Ben Revere and even Ryan Howard may be flipped in deals this season. This is a franchise that needs to turn the page completely. If the current brass can’t pull this off, it may be time to replace that facet of their organization as well.

Advertisements

About MLB reports

24/7 MLB talk, news, and reports: If baseball is your passion, this site is for you! Follow us on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/MLBreports

Posted on March 1, 2015, in gambling 101, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on MLB Power Rankings March 2015.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: