Baseball is back. The pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training. I have loved baseball for ever since I can remember. I grew up going to Padres games and playing and coaching baseball. It is by far my favorite sport and the sport that I have the most intimate knowledge of. Because of that I am going to take a look at every team before this season starts in April and make predictions based on their projected starting lineups.
Today I am going to start in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays had a down year last year going 77-85 and finishing 4th in the AL East. They traded away their best pitcher David Price to Detroit. The rays are not resplendent with talent, they have one superstar in Evan Longoria. Alex Cobb is an up and coming pitcher, who could be a superstar. The rays biggest addition this offseason was Asdrubal Cabrera, who is a good shortstop, he has had a couple of god years recently. Besides Cabrera and Longoria and on his good day James Loney, this lineup won’t strike that much fear into the heart of the opposing pitchers.
If the Rays want to make the playoffs this year they will have to rely heavily on their pitching. The competition is very stiff in the AL East, there is not much room for error.
My prediction is that the Rays struggle to produce that much offense but their pitching will help them out a bit but not enough to do anything spectacular. I predict their record will be 70-92 and they will finish in last.
On Tuesday I will preview the Toronto Blue Jays.