Mon 23/03/2015 - 05:05 EDT

Miami Marlins 2015 Season Preview

Miami Marlins 2015 Season Preview
A busy offseason, that included handing out the richest contract in baseball history, has the Miami Marlins locked, stocked and loaded in 2015. Will the spending spree spend the Marlins to their first playoff berth since 2003?

Futures

Odds To Win Division: +600

Odds To Win NL Pennant: 16/1

Odds To Win World Series: 33/1

Regular Season Win Total: 81.5

Most Significant Offseason Changes

Biggest Additions: 

Michael Morse, 1B

Martin Prado, 3B

Ichiro Suzuki, RF

Dan Haren, SP

Dee Gordon, 2B

Mat Latos, SP

Biggest Losses:

Casey McGegee, 3B

Nathan Eovaldi, SP

Dan Jennings, RP

Kevin Slowey, P

They’ll Be Successful If…

The $326 million dollar man, Giancarlo Stanton, should have another monstrous season in 2015. A busy offseason has the Marlins bursting with talent. The 24 year old Stanton, was awarded the largest contract in baseball history last November. Stanton is one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball, having never posted a sub .830 OPS in his 5 year career. In 2014, Stanton improved his presence at the plate, drawing 94 walks (ranking second in the National League) and even managed to swipe 13 bases. Stanton is only 25 years old and should continue to improve. If Miami is successful in 2015, Stanton is a good bet to be crowned the National League MVP. Miami had a productive offseason, retooling their entire infield and adding two quality starters to their rotation. Dee Gordon is an absolute speed demon, leading the National League with 12 triples and an eye-popping 64 stolen bases. With Michael Morse and Martin Prado handling duties at first and third, the Marlins have some extra pop in their lineup to compliment Stanton. Ichiro Suzuki is expected to platoon across the outfield and affords the Marlins the ability to play Stanton at DH when facing American League teams.

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

After an errant pitched fracture Stanton’s cheek and jaw in September, Stanton may need some time to regain his 2014 form. Last time the Marlins had a productive offseason the team crashed and burned. Stanton missed the last few weeks of the season in 2014, after being hit in the face by a pitch. Though he has fully recovered from the injury, many question whether any psychological impacts still resonant. If Stanton struggles for the first month or so of the season, the Marlins will dig themselves in an early season hole. A few years back (2012 to be exact), the Marlins had an offseason that shot them from middle-of-the-pack to World Series favourites. The Marlins finished 2012 last in the NL East with only 69 wins. The following offseason, the Marlins had a “fire sale” and essentially erased their entire spending spree from the season before. The Marlins should fare better in 2015 than they did in 2012, yet the Marlins remain an organization that lacks the ability to gauge the potential of players entering their system.         

Fantasy Bargain: Mat Latos, SP

With the move to a very pitcher friendly park, Latos should have an impressive campaign in 2015. Latos has posted a sub 3.5 ERA the past 5 season, and posted over 180 strikeouts from 2010 to 2013. With the Marlins surrendering the second fewest home runs in the league in 2014 (only 114), Latos’ 0.74 ratio of ground ball outs to air ball outs in 2014 will translate well to his new stadium and to a very successful season in 2015.   

Outlook

The Marlins will need a MVP season from Stanton to reach their first playoff berth in over 10 years. With a revamped lineup and improved pitching staff, the Marlins have the talent to challenge for a wild card spot. If the offseason signings go belly-up, it’ll be another long “what went wrong?” type of season in The Magic City.

Prediction: 2nd In NL East

 

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Tag : baseball , Marlins , Miami Marlins , Miami Marlins 2015 Season Preview , mlb

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