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Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2015 MLB Preview – Day 5 – NL East

Welcome to the Gigantic Sox and Dawgs 2015 MLB preview. Over the next few days you will get a team by team look at its key players, new faces, their potential MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year candidates, their possible starting lineup and rotation as well as a quick summary.

SOX & Dawgs 2015 MLB Preview - NL EastWe will also select a MVP candidate and Cy Young candidate for each team no matter what their predicted team outcome is.

And once again this year is some home stadium information along with dates the teams will play against the Boston Red Sox. The red shaded games are at Fenway; the blue shaded games are road games.

I hope you enjoy this look at the upcoming season.

Yesterday we looked at the AL Central, Sunday was the NL West, Monday was the AL West, Tuesday we previewed the NL Central and today it’s the NL East.

To continue reading, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

National League East

This division is Washington’s to lose, the Nationals are head and shoulders better than any of the other four teams and could win 100 games. Look for significant improvement by the Marlins and the Mets as they battle for second place, while the Braves end up fourth and the Phillies could lose 100 games.

  1. Washington – Manager Matt Williams (2nd year)

Matt Williams is looking to go 2 for 2 on division titles as a manager and he should do it with ease. Dominant pitching with free agent signee Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister, a very solid and balanced lineup and good bullpen despite trading away Tyler Clippard to Oakland.

CF Denard Span (abdomen) and LF Jayson Werth (shoulder) are expected to start the season on the DL, OF Nate McLouth is questionable for the start of the season and RP Erik Davis is expected to miss most of the season.

Projected Record: 99-63

Home Field: Nationals Park; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 2008; Capacity: 41,418

2014 Attendance: 2,579,389 (7th in NL)

Key Players: RF Bryce Harper; LF Jayson Werth; 3B Anthony Rendon; SP Jordan Zimmermann; SP Max Scherzer

MVP Candidate: RF Bryce Harper

Cy Young Candidate: SP Max Scherzer

ROY Candidate: CF Brian Goodwin

Key Additions: SP Max Scherzer; RP Heath Bell; 2B/SS Yunel Escobar; RP Casey Janssen

Possible lineup:

  1. Span CF
  2. Rendon 3B
  3. Werth LF
  4. Harper RF
  5. Zimmerman 1B
  6. Desmond SS
  7. Ramos C
  8. Escobar 2B

Adjusted lineup:

  1. Escobar 2B
  2. Rendon 3B
  3. Harper RF
  4. Zimmerman 1B
  5. Desmond SS
  6. Frandsen LF
  7. Ramos C
  8. Taylor CF

Possible rotation:

  1. Scherzer
  2. Zimmermann
  3. Strasburg
  4. Gonzalez
  5. Fister

Games against Red Sox in 2015: April 13-15

  1. Miami – Manager Mike Redmond (3rd year)

The Marlins are getting better and there will be improvement on the 77 wins of last season. They made some great acquisitions in the off season getting Dee Gordon, Martin Prado and Mat Latos and even if Dan Haren forces his way out of Miami they should be fine in the rotation with Jose Fernandez returning hopefully around the mid point. They also strengthened the bench with Ichiro Suzuki, Scott Sizemore and Reid Brignac.

SP Jose Fernandez is expected to miss 2 months of the season.

Projected Record: 86-76

Home Field: Marlins Park; Playing Surface: natural grass/retractable roof; Opened: 2012; Capacity: 36,742

2014 Attendance: 1,732,283 (15th in NL)

Key Players: 2B Dee Gordon; LF Christian Yelich; RF Giancarlo Stanton; SP Mat Latos; SP Henderson Alvarez

MVP Candidate: RF Giancarlo Stanton

Cy Young Candidate: SP Mat Latos

ROY Candidate: C J.T. Realmuto

Key Additions: 2B Dee Gordon; 1B Michael Morse; 3B Martin Prado; SP Mat Latos; SP Dan Haren; OF Ichiro Suzuki; RP Aaron Crow; RP David Phelps; 2B/3B Scott Sizemore; IF/OF Reid Brignac

Possible lineup:

  1. Gordon 2B
  2. Yelich LF
  3. Stanton RF
  4. Morse 1B
  5. Prado 3B
  6. Ozuna CF
  7. Saltalamacchia C
  8. Hechavarria SS

Possible rotation:

  1. Fernandez
  2. Latos
  3. Cosart
  4. Alvarez
  5. Haren

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Latos
  2. Cosart
  3. Alvarez
  4. Haren
  5. Koehler

Games against Red Sox in 2015: July 7-8; August 11-12

  1. New York – Manager: Terry Collins (5th year/ 11th overall)

Terry Collins has gone from hot seat to safe as the Mets are finally starting to see some upward movement in the team. Now is the time for them to strike too as both the Braves and Phillies, once division giants, are on the downside. Mets pitching should be strong it’s the lineup that will hold them back. I don’t think they did enough this off season as I still feel the need for improvement at catcher, short stop and first base for this team to truly challenge the Nationals.

RP Bobby Parnell is expected to miss a few months and SP Zack Wheeler tore his UCL and is expected to miss the season.

Projected Record: 81-81

Home Field: Citi Field; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 2009; Capacity: 41,922

2014 Attendance: 2,148,808 (13th in NL)

Key Players: 3B David Wright; CF Juan Lagares; RF Michael Cuddyer; SP Matt Harvey; SP Jacob deGrom

MVP Candidate: 3B David Wright

Cy Young Candidate: SP Matt Harvey

ROY Candidate: SP Noah Syndergaard

Key Additions: RF Michael Cuddyer; RP Sean Gilmartin; 1B/OF John Mayberry Jr.

Possible lineup:

  1. Lagares CF
  2. Murphy 2B
  3. Wright 3B
  4. Duda 1B
  5. Cuddyer RF
  6. Granderson LF
  7. d’Arnaud C
  8. Flores SS

Possible rotation:

  1. Harvey
  2. Wheeler
  3. Colon
  4. deGrom
  5. Syndergaard

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Harvey
  2. Colon
  3. deGrom
  4. Neise
  5. Syndergaard

Games against Red Sox in 2015: August 28-30

  1. Atlanta – Manager Fredi Gonzalez (5th year/9th overall)

We could be looking at the worst Braves team in quite sometime and only the Phillies who are atrocious will keep them out of the basement. The off season additions haven’t been very significant other than getting SP Shelby Miller from the Cardinals in the Jason Heyward trade. They signed RF Nick Markakis to a 4 year contract and a week later he had neck surgery, they’ve brought in role guys OF Jonny Gomes and C A.J. Pierzynski and added arms to the bullpen but it’s more about what they lost or moved this winter. Heyward, C/OF Evan Gattis, OF Justin Upton, RP David Carpenter, RP Anthony Varvaro, RP Jordan Walden and 2B Tommy LaStella were all traded. IF Emilio Bonafacio, and SP’s Gavin Floyd, Kris Medlen, Earvin Santana and Aaron Harang were all lost to free agency and Mgr. Fredi Gonzalez could be gone by year’s end too. It won’t be pretty in Atlanta this summer.

CF Melvin Upton Jr (foot) will miss the first 4-6 weeks of the season and SP Mike Minor (shoulder) is questionable for the start of the season.

Projected Record: 71-91

Home Field: Turner Field; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 1996; Capacity: 49,586

2014 Attendance: 2,354,305 (11th in NL)

Key Players: 1B Freddie Freeman; SS Andrelton Simmons; SP Julio Teheran; SP Mike Minor; RP Craig Kimbrel

MVP Candidate: 1B Freddie Freeman

Cy Young Candidate: RP Craig Kimbrel

ROY Candidate: 2B Jose Peraza

Key Additions: SP Shelby Miller; RF Nick Markakis; 2B Alberto Callaspo; OF Jonny Gomes; C A.J. Pierzynski; OF Zoilo Almonte; RP Jason Grilli; RP Jim Johnson; C Eli Whiteside; RP Josh Outman; SP Manny Banuelos; OF Dian Toscano; SP Mike Foltynewicz

Possible lineup:

  1. Markakis RF
  2. Callaspo 2B
  3. Freeman 1B
  4. C. Johnson 3B
  5. Simmons SS
  6. M. Upton Jr. CF
  7. J. Gomes LF
  8. Bethancourt C

Adjusted lineup:

  1. E. Young Jr. CF
  2. Callaspo 2B
  3. Freeman 1B
  4. C. Johnson 3B
  5. Markakis RF
  6. Simmons SS
  7. J. Gomes LF
  8. Bethancourt C

Possible rotation:

  1. Teheran
  2. Minor
  3. S. Miller
  4. A. Wood
  5. Foltynewicz

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Teheran
  2. S. Miller
  3. Wood
  4. Foltynewicz
  5. Banuelos

Games against Red Sox in 2015: June 15-16; June 17-18

  1. Philadelphia – Manager Ryne Sandberg (3rd year)

This team is a disaster and it starts with GM Ruben Amaro Jr. who has severely over valued his veteran players and has done the team and the fans a huge disservice. I felt Amaro should have been let go after last season but surprisingly the ownership kept him on and now they’re truly paying for that mistake. The only player he brought in that you could say has any significance is SP Aaron Harang and he isn’t the pitcher he was 5-6 years ago. They finally dealt off SS Jimmy Rollins but 2B Chase Utley refuses to waive his no-trade and 1B Ryan Howard’s contract as well as closer Jonathan Papelbon’s are albatrosses that Amaro refuses to eat part of in order to improve the team with younger players. His one true commodity is SP Cole Hamels and he has steadfastly refused to make a deal with the rumored 3,4 or 5 teams who are willing to take him on. The Bank will be an ugly place to watch a game in 2015 and something needs to happen to shake this team up.

SP Cliff Lee (elbow injury) is expected to miss at least two months of the season.

Projected Record: 63-99

Home Field: Citizens Bank Park; Playing Surface: natural grass; Opened: 2004; Capacity: 43,651

2014 Attendance: 2,423,852 (10th in NL)

Key Players: CF Ben Revere; C Carlos Ruiz; 2B Chase Utley; SP Cole Hamels; SS Freddy Galvis

MVP Candidate: CF Ben Revere

Cy Young Candidate: SP Cole Hamels

ROY Candidate: 1B Maikel Franco

Key Additions: IF/OF Odubel Herrera; RP Andy Oliver; IF/OF Chase d’Arnaud; OF Jeff Francouer; OF Xavier Paul; SP Kevin Slowey; SP Ben Lively; SP Aaron Harang; SP Chad Billingsley; OF Jordan (J.C.) Danks

Possible lineup:

  1. Revere CF
  2. Utley 2B
  3. Ruiz C
  4. Howard 1B
  5. D. Brown LF
  6. Sizemore RF
  7. Asche 3B
  8. Galvis SS

Possible rotation:

  1. Hamels
  2. Lee
  3. Harang
  4. Buchanan
  5. Slowey

Adjusted rotation:

  1. Hamels
  2. Harang
  3. Buchanan
  4. Slowey
  5. Williams

Games against Red Sox in 2015: April 6, 8-9; September 4-6

Tomorrow, in Day 6, we will preview the AL East.

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