Padres News: Vegas Releases San Diego Padres Win Projections

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As if the San Diego Padres 2015 hype machine needed more ammunition, on Monday Las Vegas released their latest over/under win totals as reported by the UT’s Dennis Lin and put the Padres at a nice 85.5 wins. Getting to 86 wins of course would be the highest win total for the Padres since 2010 when they won 90 games and failed to make the playoffs going down to the last weekend of the season. This win total for them would put them at the seventh most wins in MLB for 2015 and a game ahead of the Giants for second place in the NL West. 

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If you were wondering about how the Padres had favored historically, if you had bet the OVER on the Padres over the last six seasons you would’ve gone 4-2 and only missed the over by two wins last season. All in all – not too bad – but of the four times they beat the line the highest the line was 74.5. So the challenge has certainly been tossed for this team to overachieve beyond what they have done in the past. The critics point to other recent examples of team overhauls that the Padres went through like the Blue Jays and Marlins and how it never panned out. In general, when you look at the Giants, Royals, and Cardinals as recent playoff success stories, that the team building was gradual over time, not in lump sums like the Padres built this 2015 squad.

Yet pitching and in particular the bullpen has been the core of the Padres for several years and that seems to have remained intact. Joaquin Benoit is set to retain his title as closer in the final year of his contract, and if he fails, Kevin Quackenbush seems more than ready to take over as the closer already, let alone next year when Benoit will likely be gone.

The rotation is more solid than ever, with potentially three pitchers who could claim an ace tag in James Shields, Andrew Cashner, and Tyson Ross, who was the best Padres starting pitcher in 2014. The outfield features All-Stars Justin Upton and Matt Kemp and a recent Rookie of the Year in Wil Myers. Yes, there is concern about their defense, but they also do have defensive-minded Will Venable on the bench and Cameron Maybin, who if healthy can cover ground in center field as well.

The infield still has some question marks to be sure, but catcher Derek Norris brings an All-Star bat and defense behind the plate, with former stud prospect Will Middlebrooks trying to bring consistent offensive numbers to a third base position that has been lacking for some time in San Diego. Homegrown second baseman Jedd Gyorko looks for a bounceback season and has much more protection in the lineup now to help him achieve that goal. First base at this point, looks like a Tommy Medica / Yonder Alonso platoon, but I look for one of those two to step up and own the position.

Bud Black is no rookie manager either, or a dramatic change in philosophy in a season that is seeing dramatic changes in the general manager and ownership group. His steadying hand will be vital in bringing these different players together and making them a team. The odds certainly seem to be in the Padres favor to have a great season, just how far they can go now is up to them.

Next: Should the Padres Be Interested In K-Rod Or Soriano?

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