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Ray's 2015 Bold Predictions: American League Edition

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Ray offers up a bold prediction, or two, for every American League team for 2015. These predictions are BOLD.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Kantecki kicked off Bold Predictions week at Fake Teams on Monday, and yesterday, I offered up my National League edition of bold predictions. I like to offer up bold predictions as a way to show how unpredictable baseball can be from season to season.

And that is one of the reasons that the game is so great.

Onto my 2015 American League bold predictions:

American League East

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles recently signed shortstop Everth Cabrera, and more than likely he will play more second base than shortstop with J.J. Hardy set at shortstop. I predict that he leads the American League in stolen bases with 47 this season.

Orioles starter Kevin Gausman has a breakout season winning 16 games with 207 strikeouts and a 3.08 ERA.

New York Yankees

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez is old, but he shows he still has one more good year in him hitting .260 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI playing some third base, first base and designated hitter.

Yankees starter Michael Pineda has a breakout season, ending the season as a top five starting pitcher, winning 18 games with a 2.78 ERA and 195 strikeouts.

Toronto Blue Jays

Young reliever Miguel Castro leads the team in saves with 24, after Brett Cecil is ineffective in May.

New Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson disappoints fantasy owners, hitting just .243 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI

Boston Red Sox

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has a Hanley Ramirez-like season hitting .310 with 27 home runs and 90 RBI, ending the season as the top fantasy shortstop.
No Red Sox starting pitcher wins 10 games, and the Red Sox finally cave in to the demands of Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr., dealing catching prospect Blake Swihart and pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez for Phillies ace Cole Hamels.

Tampa Bay Rays

New Rays outfielder Steven Souza underwhelms fantasy owners hitting just 254 with 12 home runs, 51 RBI and 9 stolen bases, a far cry from the 20+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases some have projected for him.

Jake Odorizzi is the Rays best starter in 2015, winning 14 games with a 3.25 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 195 innings.

American League Central

Cleveland Indians

I have been beating this drum all offseason, and Michael Brantley makes me look good, as he disappoints hitting .265 with 9 home runs, 58 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Indians young starter Trevor Bauer has a breakout season and the the team's best starter, winning 15 games with a 2.88 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 33 starts.

Detroit Tigers

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has the worst season of his major league career, hitting .281 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI. The end of season stat line is solid, but falls short of fantasy owners' expectations.

Third baseman Nick Castellanos has a breakout season, hitting .300 with 26 home runs and 85 RBI, ending the season as the top third baseman in the American League.

Chicago White Sox

New designated hitter/first baseman Adam LaRoche hits 34 home runs, five more than first baseman Jose Abreu. LaRoche enjoys the change in ballparks and new lineup, driving in 94 runs to go with his 34 homers.

Micah Johnson wins the White Sox second base job and finishes the season second in the American League in stolen bases with 44.

Kansas City Royals

Now that I don't own him anywhere, first baseman Eric Hosmer finally has an MVP season, hitting .305 with 26 home runs, 98 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
The Royals bullpen disappoints with Kelvin Herrera leading the team in saves with 18 after Greg Holland loses the closer job in early June.

Minnesota Twins

Outfield prospect Byron Buxton has a bust of a season hitting just .230 with 8 home runs and 12 stolen bases, and drops

Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia hits just .238 but hits 32 home runs and drives in 84 runs, finishing in the top five in home runs in the American League.

American League West

Seattle Mariners

Second baseman Robinson Cano has the worst year of his career, hitting just .260 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI.

Catcher Mike Zunino ends the season as the top fantasy catcher, hitting .285 with 25 home runs and 82 RBI.

Los Angeles Angels

Outfielder Mike Trout can't cure his strikeout problem as he leads the American League in strikeouts, striking out in 33% of his plate appearances, but still manages to hit 31 home runs and steal 34 bases.

First baseman Albert Pujols hits 30 home runs by the All Star break, and finishes the season with 44 home runs and 115 RBI.

Oakland Athletics

Shortstop Marcus Semien has a breakout season in his first full season in the big leagues, hitting .287 with 22 home runs, 79 RBI and 19 stolen bases.

Starter Jesse Hahn is the A's best starter, winning 15 games with a 2.71 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 185 innings.

Houston Astros

I have a #mancrush on outfielder George Springer, you know that. But he exceeds even my wildest expectations, hitting .287 with 45 home runs, 120 RBI and 28 stolen bases.

Dallas Keuchel finishes the season as a top ten starter in the American League, winning 18 games with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.

Texas Rangers

Shin-Soo Choo puts up a normal Choo season, hitting .300 with 20 home runs and 22 stolen bases, and driving in 76 runs.

First baseman Prince Fielder ends the season as a top 3 AL-only first baseman, hitting .298 with 35 home runs and 110 RBI. He even adds 9 stolen bases after he shed weight in his offseason conditioning program.

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