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2015 Miami Marlins Season Predictions | MLB Betting Preview & Odds

2015 MLB Team Season Previews – Marlins

After years of penny-pinching and fire sales, many people around baseball are high on the Marlins, and with good reason.

MLB Lines & Matchup Insight

2015 MLB Team Previews – Miami Marlins

NL East Odds: +600
NL Championship Odds: 16/1
World Series Odds: 33/1

With the large multiyear extensions handed out to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, Miami showed that ownership might be finally serious about contending for more than one year. The prodigiously powerful Stanton and the multifaceted Yelich join 24-year old Marcell Ozuna, who might have the highest upside of the three.

The result? Miami has the best outfield in baseball. The outfield is a crucial section of the diamond for fielding not only athletic specimens but players that can produce at the plate.

The Marlins’ three starters give them those qualities in spades. Stanton has hit more homers than anyone in the National League over the past four seasons, trailing only Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera for the MLB-wide distinction.

Chicks dig the long ball, and so do employers, apparently: Stanton just re-upped for $325 million. Not a misprint.

Yelich brings slick athleticism, smart baserunning, elite defense and on-base skills to go with evolving hitting. He’s a real ball of tricks that can hurt you in a variety of ways at the top of the order.

Ozuna is intriguing, with baseball experts tagging him a star after his first breakout year. He cranked 23 dingers and 85 RBI in Miami’s pitcher-friendly park, he has a rocket arm and oodles of athletic ability, so you can expect him to improve quite a bit.

That will take care of the offensive side of things, while the run-prevention side of things will be truly bolstered with the return to health of ace pitcher Jose Fernandez. Still only 22, Fernandez was a Cy Young-caliber hurler before he needed Tommy John surgery.

GTBets

He should be back in mid-June and if he is dealing, it will make the whole pitching staff a lot better.

Miami also acquired Mat Latos, an excellent starter that battled ailments in 2014, but still put up a 3.25 ERA in 16 starts. He’ll be a perfect No. 2 starter when Fernandez is back healthy.

Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart and Tom Koehler also have their strong points; when they hold leads they can hand the ball to underrated relievers like Mike Dunn and closer Steve Cishek. In all, Miami has a much better pitching staff than most people think.

But just like Stanton with the long balls on offense, Fernandez is the engine that makes this car drive on the mound. If he makes a seamless transition back to the game as Miami’s ace pitcher, the Marlins are going to rack up a lot of wins – especially against divisional pin-cushions Atlanta and Philadelphia.

While Miami’s outfield is immense, its infield is average at best, though they made some moves this offseason to try and shore things up. The team got 2B Dee Gordon from the Dodgers, who had an All-Star campaign in the first half of 2014 before crumbling. At worst, Gordon offers game-changing speed.

Martin Prado, SS Adeiny Hechavarria and 1B Mike Morse are all flawed, but they also have their strong points. Prado can hit, Morse can bop and the Cuban shortstop Hechavarria can truly wield the glove.

It’s not the same forecast as the outfielders, to be sure, but it should still be enough for Miami’s offense and team defense to be functional.

The New York Mets are better and the Washington Nationals are otherworldly, so it will be tough going at the top of the NL East division. Miami could finish second or third in the division; if it’s the former, the Fish should be challenging for a wild-card spot in the NL.

With the fantastic outfield and enough pitching to ride the storm until Fernandez comes back – probably still shy of his 23rd birthday, don’t forget – I like Miami’s chances to grab second place in the division.

2015 Marlins Prediction: 87-75, 2nd NL East

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