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2015 Tampa Bay Rays Season Predictions | MLB Betting Preview & Odds

2015 MLB Team Season Previews – Rays

Perhaps no team in the Major Leagues went through more changes this past offseason than the Tampa Bay Rays – from the front office to the product on the field the Rays will be a much different team than the one that has contended virtually every year the last decade.

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Gone are manager (Joe Maddon), their General Manager (Andrew Friedman), their staff ace (David Price), one of the most underrated players in baseball (Ben Zobrist) and an OF with enormous potential (Will Myers) – just to name a few. In are catcher John Jaso, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and pitcher Drew Smyly who is supposed to take over from David Price (ya right).

On paper it looks as though everything that was good in Tampa Bay is gone (except for the ball park!!!). So will the Rays be able to overcome all the changes and get back on the competitive track in 2015? Let’s take a look.

2015 MLB Team Previews – Tampa Bay Rays

AL East: +700
American League: 33/1
World Series: 66/1

Here’s a peek at the projected batting order first. Not known for scoring a ton of runs, the Rays look like a weak spot again heading into 2015.

Desmond Jennings will likely lead off- he’s been durable but is hardly viewed as a serious threat to set the table on a consistent basis for the Rays, John Jaso is slated to hit second- he like Jennings is OK – not great. Jaso’s power won’t wow you and his career batting average of .259 won’t jump off the page but a .359 On-Base-Percentage is certainly intriguing.

Evan Longoria, a former MVP absolutely has to get back to form after a brutal year in 2014 (.253 batting average and 22 homers). Longoria is the best hitter by far in this lineup – the question remains whether or not he will see any pitches with the weak cast around him!

The last hitter really worth mention in the lineup is cleanup hitter James Loney who hit .290 last year but had only nine home runs – hardly clean-up hitter worthy!

The rest of the Rays batting order leaves a ton to be desired! Nobody will scare any team. Kevin Kiermaier, Asdrubal Cabrera, Rene Rivera and Nick Franklin are expected to be in the lineup every day – not all that flattering.

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The pitching rotation has long been Tampa Bay’s strength – no reason to think differently about this upcoming season despite losing David Price last year. Alex Cobb figures to be the #1 guy.

He was 10-9 last year with a very good 2.87 ERA – he gave up two or fewer runs in 12 starts last year and looks poised to take the next step. Chris Archer is a very solid second guy in the rotation – he may turn out to be the best pitcher in the rotation! Newcomer Drew Smyly came over in the David Price deal and has some big shoes to fill.

Not only is Smyly a cheaper piece of the puzzle he went 6-0 last year with a 1.47 ERA against the AL East!

Jake Orodozzi and Alex Colome will battle it out for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation.

If each guy in the rotation can simply realize their potential the Rays have a chance to be a top third pitching staff in the American League. The arms are impressive indeed – Matt Moore – another solid arm could be back in the fold in June!

2015 Tampa Bay Rays Season Predictions:

The Tampa Bay Rays have made a habit of getting the absolute most out of the team that they put on the field but Joe Maddon was at the helm. It is hard to fathom that 37 year old rookie manager Kevin Cash will be able to motivate the guys like Joe.

The GM is gone, their ace pitcher is gone and their brightest prospect was shipped out of town. I can’t see the Rays being able to recover from those body blows!

The pitching should be fine but an underwhelming batting order threatens to sink what was a low-scoring team before the departure of Zobrist, Joyce and Will Myers.

The Rays take an inevitable step back this season and win 75 games at most – good (or bad) for fourth in the AL East.

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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