Ehsan Kassim’s Bold Predictions for Miami Marlins 2014 Season

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Mar 4, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) at bat against the Minnesota Twins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Giancarlo Stanton will hit 47 home runs

Last season I predicted that Stanton would hit 45 home runs, but due to health issues and a lack of pitches to hit, Stanton only hit 24 home runs in 504 plate appearances.

This season, I expect Stanton to be able to find a way to stay on the field and find the stands at a better pace. No longer will Stanton have to worry about Placido Polanco hitting behind him, but rather he’ll have a platoon of two strong hitters against opposite hand pitchers.

For his career, Jeff Baker has a .375 wOBA against lefties and Garrett Jones owns a career .355 wOBA against right handers. This duo hitting behind Stanton will give pitchers a pause before they think about deciding to pitch around Stanton, likely giving him a few more pitches in the zone to hit. Also, with Christian Yelich hitting in front of him, Stanton could come to the plate with a runner on for him a good number of times.

While I believe lineup protection to be a myth, I do believe it does have some effect on a player’s numbers. The better lineup around Stanton will allow him to break Gary Sheffield‘s single franchise mark of 42 home runs.