Over/Under: Evan Longlorious

March 18, 2009

Longo batted .272, with 27 HR’s, 85 RBI’s, and 7 SB’s

Prediction: Over

I feel that now with a year under his belt Evan should feel more adapted to the Majors now. Hopefully a year of seeing Major League pitching will help improve his eye and his ability to lay off those pesky out of the zone 2 strike sliders. With Pena and Burrell giving Longo protection in the order, he should receive better pitching to hit. Also, the possibility of RBI’s should definitely rise having Upton and Crawford in front. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a ball in the TBT Deck from Longlorious this year.

Predicted ‘09 Stats .292, 31 HR’s 103 RBI’s and 6 SB’s

-B.B.


Over/Under: James Shields

March 18, 2009

14-8. 3.56 ERA, 3 CG, 2 SHO, 215 IP, 160 K’s

Prediction: Push

Shields put up his best season of his career and was the ace of the staff last year. He will be looked upon to do the same to start this season. Often times last season, he would get into trouble early but it was his ability to shut it down after that kept the Rays in ball games. Shields has all the tools to continue his success: good command on the fastball, a devastating change, and will mix in breaking balls to throw off the hitters. Not to mention he is a fiery pitcher when he’s on the mound and prides himself in being the workhorse of the staff. All those things should lead to a basic repeat of last season (barring any injuries or a complete mechanical meltdown) in which he should easily make it over 200 innings and toss a few complete games. While it’s realistic with good run support he could surpass his win total, the opening two months for the Rays are going to be tough so I see his record being similar to ’08.

Predicted ’09 Stats: 14-7, 3.60 ERA, 2 CG, 2 SHO, 220 IP, 165 K’s

-A.M.


Over/Under: Carl Crawford

March 17, 2009

Today’s Hitter is Carl Crawford

Carl hit .273 with 8 HR’s, 57 RBI’s, and 25 SB’s in ’08

Prediction: Over

The main reason of this being B.J Upton in the lead-off spot. Mr. “I will never bat out of the two spot in the line up” needs someone with more of a threat on base so he receives better looks at the dish. Carl will need to become more of a team player this year if B.J does lead off. This means actually doing something called bunting and moving runners into scoring position. Also, lets hope that nagging leg injury doesn’t flair up again. We all want to see Carl’s pit crew more active this year.

Predicted ’09 Stats: .280, 11 HR’s, 65 RBI’s and 40 SB’s

-B.B.


Over/Under: Scott Kazmir

March 17, 2009

Scott Kazmir

12-8, 3.49 ERA, 166 K’s, 152.1 IP

Prediction: Over

The Rays leader in nearly every pitching statistic turned an overall average year this past season. He came off his injury last season pitching lights out but slowly began his decline. His biggest problem last season was high pitch counts, which can be attributed to the disappearance of his out pitch, the slider. If Scotty K is to have the breakout season we’ve all been waiting for, and finally blossom into the consistent and reliable number one, he’s going to need to regain his feel for the slider. If he can do this, he can keep his pitch counts lower and return to the strikeout king he was back in ’07. Just maybe then, in his fifth full season, he can be the guy to carry this club into October. While I don’t think it’ll show too much on paper, Kazmir will play a bigger role in the success of the team this year.

Predicted ’09 Stats: 15-6, 3.30 ERA, 215 K’s, 200 IP

-A.M.

Over/Under: B.J. Upton

March 17, 2009

Over and Under is used to determine how we feel returning Rays will do compared from last year.

Our first player is B.J Upton.

B.J batted .273 with 9 HR’s 67 RBI’s and 44 SB in 2008

Our Prediction: Over

The man almost hit as many home runs in the playoffs as he did in the season with a torn labrum. He has the natural ability to put up M.V.P type stats. Only question that really lingers from last season is the hustle factor. Maddon pulled Upton out from multiple games due to lack of hustle. But after the showing B.J put up in the postseason it should not be a problem. Also Upton’s stats may vary if he is put in the leadoff spot. Which could help Crawford see more fastballs because of Upton’s speed. B.J in the leadoff role could lead to more run production early in the game for the Rays.

Predicted 09 Stats: .285, 20 HR’s, 90 RBI’s (varies due to where he bats) 45 SB

-B.B.