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Marlins morning news: Stanton favored to lead league in home runs

Marlins' sluggers odds are at 8-1 according to Vegas, tied with Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Plus links on Reed Johnson, the new dynamics of the Marlins' lineup and a prediction by Bovada on how many games the Fish win this year.

Will Giancarlo Stanton finally crush 40 HRs in 2015?
Will Giancarlo Stanton finally crush 40 HRs in 2015?
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins News

With an apparent lack of gargantuan power from anyone not named Giancarlo Stanton in the National League, the Marlins' right fielder should hit the most home runs in the NL if he plays a full season. But where does he stand compared to American League players? Vegas likes his chances of pacing the whole league in round-trippers.

The Marlins' starting outfield is set for 2015 and Ichiro Suzuki will serve as the fourth outfielder. However, the competition for one of the bench spots just heated up as the Marlins have brought back outfielder Reed Johnson on a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

The starting lineup for the Fish this year will have various new dynamics to it. Dee Gordon will provide the element of speed, Michael Morse brings his power-bat to Miami and Martin Prado can be effective from any spot on the batting order.

After all of the off-season additions, the Marlins are confident that they can compete for a postseason berth in 2015. Bovada disagrees though, predicting that the the team only wins 81.5 games this year, good enough for eighth in the National League.

Roger Dean stadium, the site of Marlins home games during Spring Training, is offering early entry to watch batting practice on game days. If you would like to watch Giancarlo Stanton hit 500 foot bombs while standing on the same field, then $25 extra is all that it will cost.

Around the League

There were a lot of trades and signings involving National League teams this off-season, and there are numerous teams with high aspirations. Anthony Castrovince provides the final word on all 15 NL teams before pitchers and catchers report this Friday and he has encouraging things to say about the Marlins.

Was Alex Rodriguez's apology letter hand-written to make him seem more sincere? Either way, A-Rod has a point to prove this year - if he's able to win a starting spot that is. It seems to be DH or bust for Rodriguez after the Yankees locked up Chase Headley. Time will tell how he responds to third base being taken away from him.

Biogenesis "mastermind" Anthony Bosch was sentenced to 4 years in prison on Tuesday. Could we finally be nearing the end of the steroid-era in baseball?

The "ace" of the Yankees rotation, Masahiro Tanaka,  has begun throwing again after partially tearing his UCL and missing more than two months of last season. Tanaka avoided surgery after the injury, but it remains to be seen whether he starts on opening day.

At Fish Stripes

Baseball Prospectus ranks Marlins farm system as second worst in Majors - Fish Stripes

The Marlins' farm system has been seriously depleted in recent years after the big league call-ups of players like Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. Trading away prospects to contend now has also hurt the Fish after losing the likes of Andrew Heaney and Colin Moran.

Michael Morse: The Marlins' search for production - Fish Stripes

After a bad season from Garrett Jones, the Marlins were on the search for a new first baseman. They found what they were looking for in Michael Morse, but what can we expect to see from him in 2015?

Marlins will consider moving fences in - Fish Stripes

The talk of Marlins Park being too cavernous continues. With Stanton hitting 24 of his 37 home runs at home last year, there doesn't look to be an issue on the surface. Three years of data just isn't enough at the moment, but that doesn't mean that changes won't come in the future.

Marlins unnecessarily pursuing Francisco Rodriguez - Fish Stripes

Dan Jennings and the Marlins Front Office staff are still looking to improve the roster, with the bullpen now being the focus. High-profile free agents might not be the answer though, as Michael Jong writes.