Bruins Demolish Blackhawks, Snap 6 Game Losing Streak

The Bruins suprisingly beat the Chicago Blackhawks, and by a lot. They also snapped a depressing 6 game losing streak. The Bruins total record is 29-21-9, looking like a record that’ll get them into the playoffs, but not far. The game was full of penalties, including a fight in the 2nd period between Adam McQuaid and Daniel Carcillo. We also saw early boarding and slashing, two players on each other, Brad Marchand and Michal Rozsival.

For scoring, it all started with an early goal by Patrice Bergeron, 3 minutes in. It appeared as if Reilly Smith scored but Bergeron got passed to by him last minute, to knock it in. Reilly Smith still got an assist for it. Besides a holding penalty, the game was quiet for a while. But that changed when Loui Eriksson scored the second Bruins goal. 2-0 Bruins, five minutes to go in the 1st period. Another memorable penalty came next, hooking on Patrick Kane. Brad Marchand roughed him after the power play though.

Late in the first quarter, Tuukka Rask got penalized for delay of game, and Patrick Kane passed to Jonathan Toews who scored on him after. Rask got penalized for slashing as well less than a second after the goal was scored.

The Bruins were very memorable in the 2nd period, like scoring machines. My favorite Bruin, Milan Lucic, scored the first one after David Pastrnak passed to him. He quickly scored when he gained possession of the puck. 3-1 Bruins. Gregory Campbell was next, making it 4-1. Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks goslie, was having such a bad day at this point, they brought the backup goalie in!

Before those two goals, Chicago had too many men on the ice twice! Jordan Caron and Daniel Carcillo got into a mini fight before another goal was scored, penalizing Caron for slashing and Carcillo for roughing. Then Dougie Hamilton scored a surprise power play goal. To end the 2nd period, and give Boston a rare 6 goal game and 5 goal lead, Reilly Smith scored! An assist and a goal! The Blackhawks scored late in the 1st, but the Bruins got back at them by doing the same shortly before 2nd intermission and ending the 2nd period.

In the 3rd period, it was very quiet. The only action was an easy goal for Chicago by Bryan Bickell. It should be 6-1, but 6-2 will do. The Bruins held on to win, snapping their previous losing streak.

This week, the Bruins will face the Canucks at home on Tuesday, the Devils in New Jersey on Friday, and the Coyotes this Saturday. Saturday’s game is special for me, it’s the first Bruins game I will attend TD Garden for. Be on the lookout for a recap post of the game I went to Saturday night or Sunday.

Red Sox Spring Training:How Will Things Look For 2015?

As spring training opens today for the Sox, things are going to start to shape out. Here’s how I think things will turn out in the end.

The Starters

I will talk about each of the nine players I could see being starters in the lineup.

Here’s a glance at some possible batting orders the Red Sox could use this year.

1.Rusney Castillo CF
2.Dustin Pedroia 2B
3.David Ortiz DH
4.Mike Napoli 1B
5.Pablo Sandoval 3B
6.Allen Craig LF
7.Hanley Ramirez RF
8.Xander Bogaerts SS
9.Christian Vazquez/Blake Swihart/Ryan Hanigan C

Or this one.

1.Rusney Castillo CF
2.Shane Victorino RF
3.Dustin Pedroia 2B
4.David Ortiz DH
5.Mike Napoli 1B
6.Pablo Sandoval 3B
7.Hanley Ramirez LF
8.Xander Bogaerts SS
9.Christian Vazquez/Blake Swihart/Ryan Hanigan C

Maybe put Victorino 7th.

1.Rusney Castillo CF
2.Dustin Pedroia 2B
3.David Ortiz DH
4.Mike Napoli 1B
5.Pablo Sandoval 3B
6.Hanley Ramirez LF
7.Shane Victorino RF
8.Xander Bogaerts SS
9.Christian Vazquez/Blake Swihart/Ryan Hanigan C

Now I talk about the possible players.

Christian Vazquez

Vazquez did do well as a rookie last year, and should most likely continue through this year. However, I could see Blake Swihart or Ryan Hanigan being a good catcher filling in for Vazquez so I don’t expect to see Vazquez play every game. I say have Vazquez be the starter, but let Blake Swihart or Ryan Hanigan fill in every few games. They could both be great prospects for the team.

Blake Swihart

Last year Swihart was a top catching prospect for the Red Sox. I say after that, have him stay and let him play some. What happened to Anthony Rizzo and Hanley Ramirez after being traded away as prospects. They became stars, enough even for Ramirez to be signed to a contract with Boston again this year. Swihart should see plenty of time on the field this year.

Ryan Hanigan

See Blake Swihart, because Hanigan is a very similar story. They just have to decide who to keep on the roster in the majors.

Mike Napoli

He nearly guranteed himself the spot at first again this year. Hey, Brock Holt might back up for him though. You saw what Holt did last year that surprised everyone. I expect they’ll keep him backing up for people in the infield. Maybe he’ll even play at shortstop for Bogaerts or Hanley Ramirez. Napoli will continue to be a big hitter and play first, he’s not going anywhere else but first base for the Boston Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia

It might take some time for Pedey to come back from last year’s injury, but that’s where Brock Holt comes in. Holt will start the year for Pedroia, then Pedroia will take over a few games in and start to make his way back to being the great player he was before for this team.

Xander Bogaerts

Definitely could see him or Ramirez at shortstop this year, but after Bogaerts’ struggles from last year, I could see Brock Holt playing this position for some of the year as well, so definitely keep Holt on the roster, in case Hanley Ramirez plays outfield instead. Bogaerts might do well as he starts the year while Holt starts at second for Pedroia, maybe he won’t need much of Holt’s help to have shortstop stay secure, and protect it from being the Sox’s target weakness.

Brock Holt

Keep Holt on the roster as a backup or shortstop because you heard how much we might need him to jump around from position to position. He’ll back up any infielder on any day, so I say keep him on the roster is the most important thing for the infield this year. However, Mookie Betts could be another option if they don’t need him for the right field job, with Shane Victorino, maybe even Hanley Ramirez already there.

Pablo Sandoval

Panda’s only problem right now is being possibly too big, but the Sox again have Brock Holt if that becomes a problem. He may not be as much of a star, but if not, they can have Panda take spring training time on exercise equipment rather than with batting or fielding equipment.

Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez could be all over the place this year, as a backup outfielder, a starting left or right fielder, or a starting or backup shortstop. I think Ramirez will jump around, with infield support of Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts and outfield support of Allen Craig and Shane Victorino, meaning players that can fill in for him at different positions.

Allen Craig

Craig may not be the starting left fielder, but he will have some sort of backup outfield job otherwise. Craig can fill in for left and right fielders well, although I wouldn’t see him playing center field if Rusney Castillo needs to have a day off.

Rusney Castillo

I see a lot of potential in this rookie center fielder who ended last season by starting there. I expect to see him continue as starting center fielder throughout the season. Could Castillo be the new Jacoby Ellsbury for the Red Sox, after seeing Ellsbury join the Yankees? No, not the base stealing part, the fielding, speed running and lead off hitting parts of his job, although he could make a decent base stealer.

Shane Victorino

This is who we’ll most likely see in right field if Ramirez can’t play right. However, Mookie Betts could fight him for the position but John Farrell said he shouldn’t lose his job just because he’s returning from an injury, so he wants to see him start in right field or maybe even backup Rusney Castillo in his position of center field he had with the Phillies three years ago.

Mookie Betts

Could see something from Betts this year, being in the field. They were so bad when he started playing that the times were hard to remember, even watch then. He might get past Victorino for the right field job, but John Farrell says not. He can be a sub this year practically anywhere, but I see outfield or second base being best for him.

David Ortiz

Don’t forget Big Papi, who will still be a star hitter for the Red Sox. I don’t see him going anywhere, at least not for these next few years. He will stay in the MLB a little longer, and hopefully, but most likely stay with the Red Sox. It would not be good to lose the hitting power of David Ortiz.

So, here’s what I see the non pitching roster being for Boston, I don’t see many pitchers staying on the 25 man roster.

Mookie Betts
Xander Bogaerts
Rusney Castillo
Allen Craig
Ryan Hanigan(maybe not)
Brcok Holt
Mike Napoli
Daniel Nava (I didn’t mention him, but maybe)
David Ortiz
Dustin Pedroia
Hanley Ramirez
Pablo Sandoval
Blake Swihart
Christian Vazquez
Shane Victorino

These are the players who will go up and down from the minors to the majors.

Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bryce Brentz
Garin Cecchini
Sean Coyle
Ryan Hanigan
Daniel Nava

These players will spend most of the time in the minors

Travis Shaw


Here’s what I think will be the starting rotation.

Justin Masterson
Rick Porcello
Joe Kelly
Wade Miley
Clay Buchholz

Now I will talk about each of the guys

Clay Buchholz

Buchholz was once an ace, but he got injured in 2013. It ruined him and now he stinks, but maybe he’s finsly fully recovered, fully back. Part of me thinks that he will become an ace again this year, the team ace the Sox are missing, although the rotation is good the way it is.

Joe Kelly

Kelly also has some ace qualities, and I expect him to be a good part of the rotation, even after picking up three great pitchers in the off season. They don’t have Lester or Hamels, so that leaves room for Kelly to do well.

Justin Masterson

I could see a lot out of an also former, but new Red Sox pitcher. Masterson was good on the Indians and I could see him being even better now that he’s back on his old team, the Boston Red Sox. So, I could even see him being at the top of the rotation this year and be much improved.

Wade Miley

Miley was a pitcher I had no idea about until he came to the Red Sox, when I realized he had been a star on the Diamondbacks. However, the D-Backs will stink even more this year with the loss of Wade Miley. I don’t see him being quite as good on the Sox though, but he will be something for the rotation still. Maybe after being the Diamondbacks star, he is going to be the Red Sox’s new ace.

Rick Porcello

Porcello is a good pitcher. However, they need more if they give up Yoenis Cespedes for him. They did need more pitchers that were good and to clear out the outfield a bit so they didn’t have to send stars to the minors though.
Porcello will do well on the Sox though, and would be a good second man in the rotation.

Here’s who I think will remain in the bullpen:

Craig Breslow
Edward Mujica
Alexi Ogando
Robbie Ross
Junichi Tazawa
Koji Uehara

I’m not going to talk about them today, but I will wrap up by telling you the pitchers that will come up and down from the minors and which pitchers will stay in the minors

Up and Down
Matt Barnes
Edwin Escobar
Heath Hembree
Tommy Layne
Anthony Varvaro
Brandon Workman
Steven Wright

Eduardo Rodriguez
Zeke Spruill

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson To Attend Rangers Spring Training

The Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson may have a chance for victory after a loss in football’s national championship. Wilson has decided to attend spring training in baseball! But, it might be the wrong team he chose. The Texas Rangers will hold Wilson at spring training as he enters the MLB as a second sport. Wilson has a good chance to have a comeback in sports this year, and become a multi-sport athlete. As spring training opens over the past two and next three days, there are other rookies and non-roster invited players to have a chance in the MLB. I could see players like Kris Bryant and Rusney Castillo having good years for their teams. Spring training coming also makes me feel like spring is getting closer. Want to see hat kind of season I think spring training will lead up to? See my pre-spring rankings. Also see my post series throughout April if you want to see revised scouting reports after spring training wraps up and the season gets started.

Ranking The Teams 6-1:My Version

Today I will finish my MLB rankings with the 6 best teams, the best of them being the Nationals AGAIN.

6.St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals are beginning to slow down after being good for many years. Joe Kelly left the team, and AJ Pierzynski, backup catcher. However, they still have a decent rotation including Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Adam Wainwright and John Lackey. Jon Jay, Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday remain in the lineup, along with Mark Reynolds and Jhonny Peralta joining the team. But, some of them like Carpenter or Peralta can’t do too much, and they have a hole at second base and backup catcher, along with backup infielders. But, they are still pretty good otherwise and I could still see around 90 wins, the division win and playoff berth from them. The Cardinals might not be that much worse this year.

My Prediction:91-71

5.Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are going to stay a playoff team for a while now that they got in. Mike Trout stays strong, and Josh Hamilton may have an even better year. Albert Pujols can also still hit well. Jered Weaver will also help keep the rotation in shape. Some off season acquirings have also helped, as they signed Matt Joyce and CJ Wilson. They have plenty of players who have at least some potential whether they contribute to the batting skills or fielding skills of the team. In the rotation, they have Andrew Heaney who wasn’t worth who they gave up for him, but should help a little, plus Garrett Richards in the rotation. It hurt to lose Howie Kendrick for Heaney however, leaving them a hole at second base. But Chris Ianetta, Erick Aybar, Kole Calhoun, even Collin Cowgill along with hitters I’ve already listed, if they can all contribute at least a little bit of their skill to the 2015 Angels, the Angels can make up for Kendrick. They can get at least 90 wins I bet.

My Prediction:91-71

4.Texas Rangers

I may have at some point overrated the Rangers but I don’t know why they were higher than this so I moved them down, I mean, I’m not sure if the Rangers can win the AL West, I have a strange feeling the Angels are a tiny bit better. I mean, last year what happened is everybody got injured and everybody thinks they didn’t even have the right players in the first place. They have some support in the rotation from Derek Holland and Yu Darvish if they’re healthy, which is the big division decider. Tanner Scheppers isn’t bad, and Anthony Ranaudo will help their improving prospect choices. They still have the same infield, Jurickson Profar, Adam Rosales and most importantly Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder. Mitch Moreland at designated hitter, and Sin-Soo Choo to support the outfield. Wait, the outfield is their weakness. Choo will help, but they have no right fielders what so ever and their ceneter field guy is on the 60 day disabled list. If they can stay healthy and get some good outfielders in the draft or in trades, they can get a playoff spot or even win the AL West. I see a potential of possibly having 95 wins.

My Prediction:94-68

3.Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers will still be good even after losing Matt Kemp. Everyone except Nick Punto in the Red Sox and Doders trade of 2012 was worth it. Josh Beckett has joined the starting rotation, and Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford helped the lineup. Them joining Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in the rotation plus Yasiel Puig in the lineup makes a good team. Well, maybe they need a few more components in the lineup after the loss of Kemp. They also have Brandon McCarthy in the rotation in case Beckett can’t come back from the disabled list, but I expect Beckett to do well and stay injury free. Never mind what I said about the lineup. They’ve had an active off season. They got Howie Kendrick from the Angels, Jimmy Rollins making the Phillies even more hopeless this year missing him and John Mayberry Jr., Darwin Barney from the Cubs, well that was 2014’s offseason, all in the infield with Adrian Gonzalez. Andre Either will also continue to support the outfield. So, the Dodgers don’t have many holes on their team this year, which makes it a pretty good team when they stay healthy, which I think they’ll have better luck on than previous years. However, catcher is one weakness to keep your eye on. I expect between 90-95 wins from LA this year.

My Prediction:94-68

2.Kansas City Royals

These world series runner ups stayed active in the offseason. They signed Rangers right fielder Alex Rios, and designated hitter Kendrys Morales. They kept two good catchers, Erik Kratz and all star Salvador Perez at starting catcher. Although they didn’t resign James Shields, they have Yordano Ventura, Jeremy Guthrie, Brandon Finnegan and Danny Duffy in the rotation. Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar fill their infield well while Alex Gordon, Jorge Bonofacio and Alex Rios fill the outfield. However, they do need backup support and it would be nice to have a player who’s experienced in center field as two right fielders and one left fielder are the three outfielders right now. A centerfielder could make and outfield rotation possible, leaving one man to rest each game. So, the Royals have filled their roster well, and should have a good, maybe even division winning team this year.

My Prediction:95-67

1.Washington Nationals

The Nationals are just unbelieveable. Their rotataion is the best, with Stephen Stratsburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark, some of them newly signed. Although they lost Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rendon is the only one left guarding the infield, they still should do well with that ace rotation. They also have a great bullpen, holding Matt Thornton and Drew Storen. Although they need to be flexble in centerfield, Jayson Werth, Nate McLouth, Ryan Zimmermann, Scott Hairston, Michael Taylor, and especially ready to have his best year yet, Bryce Harper leads the outfield and is a star hitter. It looks like although they have their holes, they have star hitters and aces in the rotation to help them dominate the MLB.

My Prediction:97-65

So, those are the end of my MLB rankings this year. Comment if you have a different opinion.

Ranking The Teams 12-7:My Version

My version of David Schoenfield 12-7 SweetSpot rankings.

12.Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati could be a whole lot better this year. Billy Hamilton may top the of his first year. Todd Frazier doesn’t have to rest, he can play third base and put Joey Votto back at 1st. One prediction for the Reds in 2015 I made is that Joey Votto will go back to being the all star hitter he was before his injury last year. Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce will also return to the Reds. All stars recovering from injuries will make the Reds improve greatly this year. Also, they’ll have Aroldis Chapman all year, being injured to start 2014. Johnny Cueto is another pitcher, a starter, to keep an eye on. Cueto will improve for 2015 and continue being a star pitcher for the Reds rotation. So, I could see the Reds being in this year’s wild card race. They will improve by far, and possibly even make playoffs.

My Prediction:88-74

11.San Francisco Giants

I’ll tell you right away, losing Pablo Sandoval to the Red Sox hurt, and badly. They still have some stars they held on to though. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence are also big hitters. Pitching should be good, with Tim Linecum and Madison Bumgarner in the starting rotation, along with Jake Peavy, who despite having an unbelieveably bad 2014 with the Red Sox as well, had won a world series title with them the previous year. Yes, the Giants will begin to slow down this year after losing Sandoval, but they still have a fair chance in the wild card race this year, and could make playoffs again.

My Prediction:88-74

10.Chicago Cubs

Some people may be shocked to see them up so high right now. The Cubs have majorly rebuilt. Dexter Fowler. Anthony Rizzo. Starlin Castro. Jake Arrieta. Travis Wood. And especially, JON LESTER. Lester will really make the Cubs improve greatly, along with new addition Dexter Fowler, plus previously Cub players Jake Arrieta, Travis Wood, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. They have so many rising prospects that could make a big impact on this team. I think they’ll surely be in the wild card race late in the season, maybe even make the playoffs, or even win the division. The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t that good anymore. So, it looks like the Cubs could make the playoffs. Maybe they’ll even make the world series, like in Back To The Future 2’s version of 2015. Yeah, that’s 30 years since Back To The Future 2 released. I watched it just two years ago. I doubt that they’ll be against the Marlins, who are in the same league, NL, in that also like the movie. So, the Cubs look like they have a good chance to get back to the playoffs.

My Prediction:89-73

9.Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox. Our team. They have improved SO MUCH since a 2014 season below the 75 win mark. They were one of the most active teams this off season. They traded Yoenis Cespedes for Rick Porcello. They traded Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster to get D-Backs star starter Wade Miley. They signed Justin Masterson through free agency, along with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. They are building a great team again, I think they have a chance to make the world series this year, only a chance though. Their rotation is missing one thing, a clear ace, buthave a decent rotation, made up of Wade Miley, Justin Masterson, Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly. Buchholz was an ace in 2013, even dealing with an injury that may have slowed him down forever. It would really help if Buchholz could have a bounce back year and become the team ace again. I could see at least a slightly lower ERA in 2015. They have a decent bullpen, with Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Burke Badenhop, along with star closer Koji Uehara. OK,maybe not quite a star anymore, but I could see improvement in Koji too. They still have Xander Bogaerts, who should also be better, using Big Papi hopefully as a role model. Although they lost Middlebrooks in the infield, they have plenty of prospects as backups for potential stars starting. I am talking major improvement for the Red Sox.

My Prediction:90-72

8.Detroit Tigers

The Tigers had a decent off season, but will not budge due to a good record in 2014. They got Yoenis Cespedes, still have Jose Iglesias, and Ian Kinsler should help a lot. However, Miguel Cabrera could sit the first few weeks, not good. But don’t worry, the up and down rotation may help. It will hold Anibal Sanchez and David Price. Uh oh, that’s it. The Tigers could be in big trouble to start the year, are they the new Rangers? Maybe. I’m not so sure these Tigers wil fare well in 2015. It doesn’t look good, but the Nats sure stocked up on past Tigers stars, owning Doug Fister and Max Scherzer along with Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Stratsburg. Hear more about those darn, Nats, who were originally second but I’ll probably move them back to first for the second consecutive unbelievably well projected year, in my version of the 6-1 rankings. Back to the Tigers, I don’t though if they’ll make playoffs as tough competition begins.

My Prediction:90-72

7.New York Yankees

The Yanks continue to rebuild, I disagree with what others have said. The Yanks are going up, not down. They have some key players in the lineup and rotation. Even with Derek Jeter retiring, Stephen Drew might play short for the Yanks. Chase Headley will also secure third base. The rotation is also a key, holding Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Chris Capuano. Andrew Miller is also a newly signed reliever on New York. I also expect Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury to have better years. They were stars on their old 2013 teams. I expect Beltran will stay in right field as Mark Texiera plays first base. Alex Rodriguez returning is also a huge factor. I expect A-Rod will play designated hitter most days for New York. I don’t expect to see him in the field much anymore. So, the Yankees have key players due for better years that will boost them to the lead of the AL East.

My Prediction:91-71

Ranking The Teams 18-13:My Version

These are my 18-13 rankings, and are nothing like Schoenfield’s.

18.Oakland Athletics

The Athletics lost a ton last year, with Yoenis Cespedes and all. Now they lost Jonny Gomes and Jon Lester too. They even lost Josh Donaldson, although they did receive Brett Lawrie. They have completely started to fall apart after an amazing start to 2014. The A’s are no longer a huge division threat, becoming a mellow team. I mean, Josh Reddick, Nick Punto. that’s it besides Coco Crisp? Come on. Did I even mention they no longer have Brandon Moss. All they have is former Red Sox that mot of them aren’t even that good. However, pitching should remain decent, as the Athletics have held on to a strong starting rotation. The Athletics aren’t a bust, but don’t expect that Oakland will have a monster year.

My Prediction:83-79

17.Seattle Mariners
Seattle has lost players, please note that. But I’m not failing to predict them as badly as I did last year. I learned that Robinson Cano really is huge for the team. However, they lost Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders to the Blue Jays. Dustin Ackley stuck around though. Cano will surely help too. Don’t forget Felix Hernandez! He had a monster year in 2014 and should have an almost as good one this year. The Mariners have some underrated stars by me from last year. They should be just over .500 in 2015, worse than what they really did last year, but way better than my 2014 prediction for them.

My Prediction:84-78

16.New York Mets

The Mets are going slightly upward towards a better season. If they have good days, they can have star hitters, and Matt Harvey already is a star pitcher. They also have new signings Troy Tulowtski, Michael Cuddyer, and John Mayberry Jr. to help. Daisuke Matsuzaka, former Red Sox, should also help the pitching staff. If David Wright and the potential big hitters can have a really good year, I could see some potential in the Mets in 2015.

My Prediction:84-78

15.Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates will be hard to predict this season. They still have Andrew McCutchen, who in my opinion is a top 10 outfielder this season. They have a good rotation including Francisco Liriano. But, they have no other noticeable stars to boost them. Good question here, what happens to a team that has a few good stars and the rest stinks? A decent, but not good enough result. I say they’ll be slightly over the .500 mark, even vs a tough division in 2015. I think it could be good or bad for Pittsburgh, as they never are just in the middle, even with such a middle ground power ranking.

My Prediction:84-78

14.Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays have had an up and down offseason, so, they stayed about the same. They picked up Josh Donaldson from Oakland and still have star hitters Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarncion to help. They however lost Adam Lind, Juan Francisco and Melky Cabrera. I think Toronto should be better compared to the division, but not vs the MLB. They did also lose Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie, but got Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders from Seattle! They have a large chance to pass the RAYS in the division standings for goodness sake, and they were ranked 14th. So, maybe the Jays will be better vs the MLB, but especially vs the AL East. It comes to show that at least the bottom teams of the AL East are not so good for near 3rd place teams, and not bad enough for 5th place teams. That could be good and bad signs for our Red Sox.

My Prediction:85-77

13.Cleveland Indians

I can see a lot of potential in Terry Francona and is Indians. They have a great lineup with Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher, Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn. They also, even losing Justin Masterson, have been piling up on good pitchers and all types of free agents. I could see potential in Paul Kasmir, Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber, even Mike Aviles. The Indians just continue to stack up on players who have plenty of potential, and that will get them very far. They are no longer stuck in the middle, and are trending in one direction and one direction only, and it’s the right direction, up. I can’t go overboard with change on Cleveland though, so I don’t expect playoffs, maybe they’ll be close in the wild card race though. The Indians good be really good this year, who knows.

My Prediction:86-76

Ranking The Teams 24-19:My Version

I was making agreements with the start of Schoenfield’s rankings but these next two portions were different from mine. Here’s my version of Ranking The Teams 24-19.

24.Miami Marlins

The Marlins have gotten better, but what other teams can be worse than them this year? Salty was a bust last year, and all they have is Stanton and two decent pitchers. I don’t have much to say about a team with so many youngsters I’ve never heard of. That’s why they are slightly better, and will one day become pretty good, but I’ll tell you not right now.

My Prediction:75-87

23.Colorado Rockies

I originally said “The only reason the Rockies are in third place is because the Padres and D-Backs stink.” That is mostly true, but however, it is not the only reason, but it is the main reason, and the Padres and D-Backs, especially the D-Backs, will stink. But, there are some key Colorado players. Troy Tulotwski would’ve surely helped by having an all-star like season again, and Khris Davis needs to do their job in the outfield. There are some players with potential across the Rockies ball club, they just have to find it if they want to get better soon.

My Prediction:76-86

22.Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore was a playoff team last year. Whatever they had last year, they don’t have it this year. They always had Manny Machado and didn’t make playoffs. Nelson Cruz is gone. Losing Nick Markakis won’t help much either. The Orioles are really trending down. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll be that much worse. They still have Matt Wieters, Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Manny Machado in the lineup. The decent pitching staff they had last year also for the most part, stuck around. Baltimore still has some key players that will really help. I could see a record around .500 coming on for the Orioles. Something between 75-81 wins.

My Prediction:77-85

21.Tampa Bay Rays

This is the third AL East team in a row. You might be wondering, “What is it with all the AL East teams?”, “Do these rankings go by division now?” They don’t, it’s just that the bottom of the AL East is very tightly squeezed projected record wise. The Rays lost David Price is the answer. That really hurts. They also lost Wil Myers and Jose Molina, desperately in need of a catcher. Wil Myers plays outfield and catcher. They didn’t lose Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist though. They still have the rest of what made an ace rotation once. If the rest of them can stay healthy unlike last year, that would be good. They also need their big hitters to have monster seasons. Only if both of those happen will the Rays have a record over .500. I don’t think so, but they’ll be close. They’ll be just under .500 according to my prediction below.

My Predcition:80-82

20.Milwaukee Brewers

The Brew Crew hasn’t changed much since having a similar record last year, and they could have just lost Jonathan Lucroy for 4-6 weeks. They’ve been near silent in the off season, keeping the same basic team. There’s not much to say with zero or little change to a team. I think they’ll have between 75-81 wins again.

My Prediction:80-82

19.Atlanta Braves

The Braves are not going far this season. They gave up all their stars, BJ and Justin Upton, like, the two best players in the lineup. Craig Kimbrel will continue to star, but what’s the point if the rest of the team is a bust. Why not give up Craig Kimbrel Braves? Go for a good 2016 draft pick. However, they have a chance to break the .500 mark, why not go for that? Why release a pitcher when baseball has no salary cap, although it should? Why not go out there and at least try to do well? It’s a thought. The Braves need to decide whether to tank for a pick, or try for a title.

My Prediction:82-80

Ranking The Teams 30-25:My Version

I will have my MLB in detail posts in April again, but this is just a sneak peak at my rankings, not lists, I have more to say.  I will be doing detailed monthly rankings this year. I like ESPN blogger David Schoenfield’s of ranking teams worst to best six at a time. He released his 30-25 today. My 30-25 rankings are below.

30.Arizona Diamondbacks

I totally agree with David Schoenfield on this one.  Trumbo and Goldschimt aren’t the best in the world.  Their rotation is a bust without Wade Miley.  Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, former Red Sox pitchers won’t make up for him.  Some teams have way more than they do is the point.  Every team this year has some good players, just teams some won’t have enough or that good of players.  They will surely get wins, but they aren’t going to have enough out of just two key hitters in only Paul Goldschimt and Mark Trumbo.

My Prediction:64-98

29.Houston Astros

The Astros will start to get better, but very slowly. Losing Dexter Fowler isn’t going to help very much. The Astros also have to tough of a division they’re facing to move upward that much. They play majority of their games against the Rangers, Angels, Mariners, and Athletics, all teams that should be over the .500 mark this year. This is too tough of a league for the Astros this year. In October 2013, I would pick the Pawtucket Red Sox over the Astros. The Astros aren’t going very far with the rotation they have, and a some holes in the lineup. Sadly for Houston fans, I don’t have much hope for the 2015 Astros, but just wait, in 10 years, they could be a playoff team.

My Prediction:64-98

28.San Diego Padres

Please note that this is my Padres prediction prior to yesterday’s post on them. I can’t count on the Padres being any better than the worst, because they may be the hardest 2015 team to predict. Infact, you can help me predict farther Padres predictions by commenting on them and answering my poll on them. They’ll have a monster outfield and decent rotation with James Shields in it. I can’t expect anything out of the Padres if I just don’t know, that’s the point. Below is my prediction as of now and a poll for me to hear your 2015 Padres prediction.

My Prediction:64-98

27.Minnesota Twins

I don’t expect much from the Twins again either. They have Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer in the lineup, Kurt Suzuki catching. No key pitching, and only three even decent hitters. That doesn’t sound like a Twins team that wins a lot of games. This is making the same point as Arizona. They might have like, one or two, maybe, just maybe thre good innings a game because of these guys but they can’t score runs every time they come up to the plate, sometimes not even hits. So, I really just can’t expect much of the Twin Cities in baseball this year.

My Prediction:65-97

26.Chicago White Sox

Being ranked this low does NOT mean the White Sox stink. they will be ahead of the Twins by a good amount of games. Chris Sale will still have a good year, and newbie Melky Cabrera isn’t the only hope. Remember that Cuban rookie that starred here in 2014? He hasn’t gone anywhere unless it was to get more experience that is. They haven’t changed much since last year, just lost Alejandro De Aza and got Melky Cabrera. That means they should have a similar record. I’m visioning between 70 and 75 wins for them. They’ll get better than that sometime soon though, because they have the right guys to do it, they just haven’t showed up enough yet.

My Prediction:73-89

25.Philadelphia Phillies

I also agree, just like with the Twins and D-Backs, that the Phillies are a bottom six ball club in the MLB. They have a lot of veterans who will do something, but they’re just to old to create a team above .500. I learned from last year that I had my expectations too high for Philly. Don’t you Phillies fans get your hopes up too high, either, even after the slow rebuild thing I was wrong about last year. There was a reason nobody else noticed, it was a fraud. Other bloggers would notice if they were rebuilding. However, Cole Hamels keeps the rotation at least decent. They will still win some games as their players have plenty of experience, but they’re getting too old to have good MLB days every day. They need to get young, and when they do, they just might become good again.

My Prediction:74-88

MLB Update:Padres Sign Shields, Was I Wrong About This Team?

The Padres just signed former Royals star pitcher James Shields.  I have been so stupid not to notice that the Padres are majorly rebuilding, and were ever since they lost Chase Headley, when I first thought they were going to be screwed.  James Shields can join already Padre players Ian Kennedy, Brandon Morrow, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross in the starting rotation.  However, batting skills may be a weakness in Shields after being in the American League, moving to the National League.  However, the Padres have new lineup additions too to make up for Headley and make themselves even better.  They already had Yangervis Solarte and Derek Norris in the lineup.  They already had a decent lineup.  But with three monster free agents in the Padres outfield, they get good.  Guess who took Justin Upton from the rebuilding Braves?  San Diego of course.  What about the Rays Wil Myers?  Also the Padres.  Not to mention the Dodgers Matt Kemp, the Dodgers I predicted to have more wins then the Padres had losses, by only one.  99 Los Angeles wins, 98 Padres losses.  But that prediction may no stand now.  Those three outfielders and James Shields on a decent 2014 team?  That may make my predictions change greatly.  They could have 75 wins, even more, and pass the Rockies.  If the Mets have a slight playoff chance, San Diego would have one, although I thought the Mets would be better.  The point is, I didn’t think about all these free agency pickups when I made my record projection for the Padres.

Double Post Package: Lester Impacting Cubs? AND MLB 2015 Preview

Lester Impacting Cubs

The Cubs are making some offseason moves that will rebuild their team back into the playoffs.  Jon Lester, ex-Red Sox and Athletics starting pitcher, has even increased their world series odds from 1 in 50 to 1 in 12.  I think along with Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta, Lester will help make the Cubs rotation one of the best in the entire MLB.  The starting lineup has some big hitters like Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, and they added Dexter Fowler.  Joe Maddon being the Cubs new manager will also help, after experiencing manager position for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.  The Cubs may soon have one of the best teams in the MLB.  So, if you want to see how they compare to the rest of the MLB based on my current 2015 predictions, read the second post in this double post package.

MLB 2015 Preview

AL East

1.New York Yankees 91-71

2.Boston Red Sox 90-72

3.Tampa Bay Rays 80-82

T4.Toronto Blue Jays 77-85

T4.Baltimore Orioles 77-85

This division will fix their previous mistakes.  The Yankees will move to the top, rebuilding throughout the offseason, making themselves playoff worthy again.  The Yankees are back to being those old Yankees you can never seem to beat.  Although they have been quiet in free agency, they have A-Rod coming back from his steroid suspension, who will probably become a full time designated hitter and have Chase Headley at third for a full season, rather than just 2 months of one.  The Red Sox also rebuilt well and will fight the Yankees for the division title, earning themselves a close 2nd place.  The Rays won’t budge much, actually getting worse, with the loss of David Price, star pitcher.  The Rays still have the ace rotation they’re known for.  They even still have Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist, but lost Jose Molina to the Nationals.  That puts them in the middle, at 80-82.  The Jays will also stay put.  Although they added Josh Donaldson and now have a decent lineup and rotation, they’ve had losses and weaknesses too.  The Orioles move to last.  Nelson Cruz really was a big booster and mot of the reason the O’s won the division.  With another loss in Nick Markakis, the Orioles could be in trouble, but no worse than Toronto.

AL Central

1.Kansas City Royals 95-67

2.Detroit Tigers 90-72

3.Cleveland Indians 86-76

4.Chicago White Sox 73-89

5.Minnesota Twins 65-97

This division holds little change.  The Royals won themselves the division this time as Detroit is getting both weaker and stronger at the same time, Kansas City is going mostly nowhere but up.  The Tigers stick at 90-72 losing Max Scherzer but having Price for a full season.  Their rotation is still good but lineups are only decent, having Miguel Cabrera.  The Indians start to move away from the middle getting better.  They have Swisher, Kipnis, Bourn and Brantley, come on.  The White Sox go up and down getting Melky Cabrera from Toronto but losing Alejandro De Aza, but getting better rather than than worse, slightly.  The Twins will stay one of the worst in the MLB, with only big hitters in Kurt Suzuki, Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier, and practically no good pitching.  So, not much is different from 2014 in the AL Central.

AL West

1.Texas Rangers 95-67

2.Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 91-71

3.Seattle Mariners 84-78

4.Oakland Athletics 83-79

5.Houston Astros 64-98

This division would be a wreck predicting who gets last place if it wasn’t for the Astros joining the division.  The Astros have nowhere to go but better, but they won’t get much better.  Their prediction has gone up by 13 wins since their real 2013 record of 51-111.  The Rangers will bounce back after a massive rebuild starting in September last year, with only 70 wins that season.  The Angels remain good for 2nd place, keeping an outstanding lineup and decent starting rotation from last year.  The Mariners do not change much after a bounce back year with Robinson Cano, but slightly worse without Justin Smoak, now on the unstoppable Nationals as well.  The Athletics get worse, now without Yoenis Cespedes, Jonny Gomes and Jon Lester plus Josh Donaldson, nobody from the trade left.  Could Oakland absolutely stink?  Are they completely rebuilding?  Looks like that may be true, as their record just barely reaches over .500.  The Astros obviously still have last place, but they’re slowly getting better and could be a lot better in years to come, making this division very hard to steal.

NL East

1.Washington Nationals 97-65

2.Atlanta Braves 82-80

3.New York Mets 76-86

4,Miami Marlins 75-87

5.Philadelphia Phillies 74-88

The Nationals will CONTINUE to add stars to their team and are just getting better and better.  They remain in 1st place at 97-65 for a record.  The Braves however, gave up Justin Upton and more stars, and will not qualify for any more than one win over .500.  Craig Kimbrel is really their only hope left after free agency begins to wrap up.  The Mets, Marlins and Phillies are all close to each other with win amounts in the mid 70s.  The Mets take third having a decent amount of good players like Matt Harvey and David Wright.  The Marlins continue to pile up on good prospects and will finally make big improvements and steps forward.  The Phillies take last and are just too old to be good anymore.  Starting a prospect rebuild will boost the Phillies like it did to the Chicago Cubs making them so much better this year.  This division is what I would call lowly except for those amazing Washington Nationals, one of the 2015 MLB’s greatest threats.

NL Central

1.St. Louis Cardinals 91-71

2.Chicago Cubs 89-73

3.Cincinnati Reds 88-74

4.Pittsburgh Pirates 84-78

5.Milwaukee Brewers 80-82

This division may be one of the best ever, almost nobody under .500, Milwaukee making the mark with one more win.  At the top, the Cardinals have got to remain there, even if they won’t have the best season ever.  A close second in the Cubs is because of three new additions, Dexter Fowler in the infield, Jon Lester added to the starting rotation, and Joe Maddon managing.  Lester and Maddon along with Fowler and already Cubs stars, Chicago will improve greatly from last year’s benchmark.  The Reds won’t be far behind, as long as they stay healthy unlike last year.  The Reds stunk last year because they lost Aroldis Chapman, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to injuries.  Thank god at least rookie star Billy Hamilton stuck around, or they really would’ve been screwed last year.  Hopefully, all four of those guys will have better, healthier, seasons this year boosting Cincinnati back into the playoffs.  The Pirates will stay near the same as they did last year, but with several more losses and missing the playoffs, the Cubs taking over as San Francisco or even Cinci’s wild card opponent.  The Brew Crew just misses the .500 mark, even after the start of last year.  I just don’t see enough potential for playoffs in this team, I don’t know why but I haven’t had much faith for them since I became an MLB follower.  So, this division will be very close, intense, good, and somewhat different from past years.

NL West

1.Los Angeles Dodgers 99-63

2.San Francisco Giants 88-74

3.Colorado Rockies 76-86

T4.San Diego Padres 64-98

T4.Arizona Diamondbcaks 64-98

This division has little change to it.  The Dodgers remain with some great stars, one of the best MLB teams, maybe even the best this year.  San Francisco again gets a chance at the wild card game, facing the Reds to get into it against the Chicago Cubs.  The Rockies take third only because the Padres and D-Backs stink, sitting at 64-98, losing some great players like Chase Headley and Wade Miley.  So, I really don’t have much to say about this division, let’s move on to playoff predictions.  Wait, that’s a whole different post.  See it soon, and that’s all for now.