My version of David Schoenfield 12-7 SweetSpot rankings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.