Author Archives: MLB reports

Tampa Bay Rays Payroll In 2015 + Contracts Going Forward

Joe Maddon had a career Record of 781 - 729 (.522), but was 629 - 506 (.567) over the last 7 years  from 2008 - 2014.  He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact.  He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.  But he took his talents to Chicago, when he opted out for many more Million in the Windy City, and will be replaced by rookie skipper Kevin Cash

Joe Maddon had a career Record of 781 – 729 (.522), but was 629 – 506 (.567) over the last 7 years from 2008 – 2014. He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact. He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players. But he took his talents to Chicago, when he opted out for many more Million in the Windy City, and will be replaced by rookie skipper Kevin Cash

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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David Price is gone, Ben Zobrist is gone.  If you added up their 2 salaries of $20 MIL and $7.5 MIL respectively, it would have pole vaulted the Rays over $100 MIL in the upcoming season   Instead they were traded for younger players, and their total team cash is listed at somewhere near $80 MIL for their budget.

Leading the charge on the cash earnings is Evan Longoria.  While he has had a backloaded deal for years, his pact becomes a little more expensive this year.  In 2015, the longtime 3B will make $13 MIL.

Longoria, who people are lumping into conversations with Kris Bryant right now, because of the Cubs pending decision to hold out their prize prospect. inked a deal just days into his service clock, and has a 15 Year/$144.5 MIL deal he is still working through.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the Rays players salaries please visit here Read the rest of this entry

Kris Bryant Can Only Look To Himself Why He May Not Be On The Opening Day Roster

Kris Bryant is about as sure of a prospect there has been in the last 5 years.  Will the Cubs let him start the year in 2015, or will they send him down until the end of April to save service time.  All you need to know about the franchises desire to win it all this campaign may be based on this decision.  The young slugger had 40 HRs in the Minor League's last year.

Kris Bryant is about as sure of a prospect there has been in the last 5 years. Will the Cubs let him start the year in 2015, or will they send him down until the middle of April to save service time?. The young slugger had 43 HRs in the Minor League’s last year – and has also smacked 6 big fly’s in Spring Training so far.  But there are things to suggest that starting him off in the Minors is not such a bad idea.  The 23 Year Old is not the slickest fielder, has already experienced shoulder fatigue, and the team will play its 1st 9 games in cold weather too. (Hosting 6 games at home, and playing the other 3 in Coors Field.)  But really. he might have sealed  his fate for the opener by having Scott Boras as his agent.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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So the talks continue to mount on the Kris Bryant Opening Day watch.  With each passing day he hits a HR, or shows himself ready for the big leagues, the question will become even more serious.  But if he is ultimately not pulled up to Wrigley Field on Sunday Apr.5th vs Division Rival Cards, he has no one to blame by himself.

By having Scott Boras as his Agent, it has pretty much implanted in the Cubs brass, that the prize prospect will never sign an extension, and when his service time has him approaching Free Agency, he will indeed hit the open market and look for the top bidder.

I don’t even blame Boras for this.  He is a phenomenal representative of his players, and always seems to get the max dollar for the highest percentage of the time compared to other agents.

Perhaps it will serve as a deterrent to future awesome young studs, that Boras has been sticking it to team owners for years.  Maybe they should opt for a different agent, as this man has shown his playing cards on too many occasions.  The executives all know Boras will lead his client to the open market.

Even having said this, if the man was not under the direction of the Boras Corporation, the Cubs should not start the clock on him anyway.  The talk of the Cubs contending in 2015 is much over-hyped in my view. Read the rest of this entry

Baltimore Orioles Payroll In 2015 + Contracts Going Forward

One could say that even in the most abysmal of circumstances last year, Davis still almost hit hat total last season, clubbing 26 Bolts in 127 Games Played.  Look for him to crush between 35 - 42 HRs this season.

One could say that even in the most abysmal of circumstances last year, Davis still almost hit hat total last season, clubbing 26 Bolts in 127 Games Played. Look for him to crush between 35 – 42 HRs this season.  The big 1B is among several key figures that are in contract years after the season concludes, including more than half of the Bullpen’s becoming Free Agents following this campaign as well.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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The Orioles have had a quiet off season, but where that not amount too much in terms of adding talent to their 2014 Roster, a lot of it has to do with some of their players maturing in salary via Arbitration.

I am sure there is a degree of urgency for the O’s brass, since they have a plethora of pending Free Agents after this year.

The franchise is slated to dole out about $120 MIL in team money this campaign.  While that places them in the top half of the MLB, they only register 4th in the AL East.

With Chris Davis, Matt Wieters and Wie-Yin Chen all hitting the open market after this season, maybe the club should take a run at acquiring some guys for their World Series plight half way through this year.

If those aforementioned O’s aren’t enough, Chris Tillman, Darren O’Day, Bud Norris. Tommy Hunter, Alejandro De Aza, Ryan Webb and Steve Peace are also free to sign with all 30 clubs beyond 2015.

Past this campaign the team still has solid building blocks instilled with having Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Zach Britton and Jonathan Schoop under Team Control for years to come, but still the time to strike is right now.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the O’s players salaries please visit here.

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Player Futures Bets In 2015: Player Performance Props

What are your best Over/Under Bets for player performances in the upcoming campaign.  We delve deep into the numbers and have given you our selections.  Its time to throw down some cabbage!

What are your best Over/Under Bets for player performances in the upcoming campaign. We delve deep into the numbers and have given you our selections. Its time to throw down some cabbage!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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Fantasy Playes are dusting off their notes, and getting ready for the 2015 year.  If we did not accompany a guys total with a picture and quick blurb, it means we think the total is fair. Injuries may play a factor, as a guys age and surrounding teammates, or the Division he plays in.

Some guys have contracts to play for, or have shown up out of shape. 

Total by Cole Hamels (PHI)
Over 11½ Wins +100
Under 11½ Wins -130

Total by Adam Wainwright (STL)
Over 14½ Wins +100
Under 14½ Wins -130

Total by Andrew Cashner (SD)
Over 10½ Wins +105
Under 10½ Wins -135 Read the rest of this entry

2015 Odds To Win MLB Divisions: Best And Worst Value Bets

Buck Showalter's club are the Rodney Dnagerfield act "They Get NO RESPECT.  Having Baltimore not closer to Toronto for the AL East Division is not wise.  Take advantage of this odd while it presents itself.  Remember that Boston did only win 71 games last year while the 2014 AL East champs did take home 96 victories.  Their odds should vaguely resemble each other heading into the 2015 campaign.  Jonathan Dyer - USA Today Sports

Buck Showalter’s club are the Rodney Dangerfield act “They Get NO RESPECT”. Having Baltimore not closer to Toronto for the AL East Division is not wise. Take advantage of this odd while it presents itself. Remember that Boston did only win 71 games last year while the 2014 AL East champs did take home 96 victories. Their odds should vaguely resemble each other heading into the 2015 campaign.
Photo Credit – Jonathan Dyer – USA Today Sports

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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The forthcoming season has seen the gambling establishments starting to post their opening lines for Division play.  I like the way they constructed the AL West, NL West (except San Diego) and NL East.  They are pegged perfectly, and would not advise in plunking any money down for those.

The real good bets are within both Central Divisions, and of course the Baltimore Orioles. 

Part of being a good handicapper is watching and predicting the trends as they go up and down. 

Red Highlighted Picks are my favorites

Blue Highlighted Selections are odds to stay away from

Parenthesis is slated from 1 – 5 designation for best/worst value by color

AL

AL East

Boston +190

Toronto +250

New York +425

Baltimore +375 (2)

Tampa Bay +700 (3)
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MLB Shutout Survivor 2015: Which Team Do You Have Last To Be Blanked This Year?

2014's Shutout Survivor Winners.  The club nearly made it all the way to Memorial Day before they were shutout last year.  The team had a great offense, and rode it to an MLB Best record last year.  I would still put the Jays, Red Sox and O's.

2014’s Shutout Survivor Winners were the Angels. The club nearly made it all the way to Memorial Day before they were shutout last year. The team had a great offense, and rode it to an MLB Best record last year. I would still put the Jays, Red Sox and O’s ahead of them in 2015 with those team’s respective lineups all being strong, and playing in a less pitcher friendly Division with the AL East.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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Last Year the D’Backs, A’s, Braves and  Cubs were the 1st teams to be blanked before March was even over.  To their credit, Arizona was in their 3rd game while the others were in their season openers.

The winner of the competition last year were the Los Angeles Angels who almost made it all the way to Memorial Day weekend without being bageled.

It was between them and the Rockies (NL Winner) for the overall win, and the Halo’s won out. 

Despite a depleted lineup early, the Rangers made it all the way to 3rd place in the category, and their pitching staff also took the most other clubs by hanging a zero on them.

In 2015, I still believe the favorites, if doing a betting line,  would have to be the Colorado Rockies again.  Not only do they play exceedingly well every first 6 weeks of the year, and they play at Coors Field, but they start the campaign at least with Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Runs Survivor 2015: 11 Different Run Totals For Each Team

Carl Crawford

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer)

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This should turn out to be quite fun.  A lot of gambling establishments have this sort of deal, and it will be fun to see the results.

What Runs Survivor is, a MLB team scoring 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10 or (10+) in different games throughout the course of the season.

Once a club has one of these run totals once, you cross it off and keep going until they complete the 11 different variations.  As the runs come in on a daily basis, we will keep erasing the numbers beside the team until the last team wins.  The Yankees lost the for the year, finishing much after August had started.  An obvious blight on their offense last year.

Last year the Giants were the 1st team to complete the 11 variation trek, so maybe their is a method to our madness after all.  The 1st AL club to do the 11 run totals were the Tampa Bay Rays. Who do you have to complete all 11 1st in 2015?

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The Toronto Blue Jays Payroll In 2015 + Contracts Going Forward

Alex Anthopoulos had done a nice job of assembling his club with players from other teams.  To construct a team with this type of caliber, it can be traced all the way back to the Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion brilliant extensions, while the Jays GM were able to break free from albatross contracts from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios.  He is close to the finish line, but with a flailing Canadian Dollar, and his many guys with 1 or 2 years left on the club signed, he must go one step further to gun for a championship.

Alex Anthopoulos had done a nice job of assembling his club with players from other teams. To construct a team with this type of caliber, it can be traced all the way back to the Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion brilliant extensions, while the Jays GM were able to break free from albatross contracts from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. He is close to the finish line, but with a flailing Canadian Dollar, and his many guys with 1 or 2 years left on the club signed, he must go one step further to gun for a championship.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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What a difference from just a few seasons ago.  Toronto is on the cusp of contention, and is yielding the best club they have probably since their 1993 World Series run.  The payroll has crept up incrementally – and they are in the top 10 of the game.

The only Canadian franchise is estimated to have a budget of $127.3 MIL this year.   This would slate them 10th in the Majors.  The clubs ahead of them include:  Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Nats, Angels, Giants, Rangers and Tigers. This total still only puts them 3rd in their own Division.

Having signed Russell Martin to a 5 YR deal worth $82 MIL jumps the teams salary big time, but one could argue he will help the team lower its ERA.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the Jays players salaries please visit here. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Holds Leaders In The MLB For 2015

joba chamberlain 2

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Holds is a category that is starting to garner more respect each and every campaign in the MLB.  Having said that, it doesn’t always mean the pitcher is throwing well if he owns a lot of them for the year.  It is just one stat that should be accompanied by others.

When searching to figure out who will have the most of these in a season, it is important to see the amount of games the guy will enter.

For the last several years, Tyler Clippard has dominated in the National League  With his trade to the American League, it opens up the leaderboard for this campaign.

It has been said, that the former Nationals Reliever will see some mop-up duty as a closer for the A’s to start the year.  Had Sean Doolittle been healthy from the start of the year, I would have placed a massive wager that Clippard would lead the MLB in Holds one more time.

Instead, I will go with his teammate Eric O’Flaherty to make the top 5 on the list.  I also don’t think it would be a foreign idea to see  Ryan Cook push the top Bullpen Holds Leaders by years end. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Closers In The MLB For 2015

Rodney had 48 Saves, 0.777 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in 2012, to place 5th in AL Cy Young Voting and was an ALL-Star.  2013 wasn't as kind (although he did win the WBC) with a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.335.  The Mariners not armed with many better Options, brought in the 37 Year Old, to a 2 YR/$14 MIL deal.  Rodney did feature a career best 11.1/SO Per 9 IP rate last year, but he also walked 4.9/Per IP as well.  His work translated better in the AL West, where 2/3rds of his games are in Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland.  Rodney led the AL in both Saves (48) and Games Finished in 2014 (64) - while having a 2.85 ERA, but a high 1.342 WHIP.  The latter is right near his career totals.  Still expect more of the same in 2015, with the M's having one of the better clubs this campaign.

Rodney had 48 Saves, 0.777 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in 2012, to place 5th in AL Cy Young Voting and was an ALL-Star. 2013 wasn’t as kind (although he did win the WBC) with a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.335. The Mariners not armed with many better Options, brought in the  then 37 Year Old, to a 2 YR/$14 MIL deal. Rodney did feature a career best 11.1/SO Per 9 IP rate in 2013,  but he also walked 4.9 /Per IP as well. His work translated better in the AL West during 2014, where 2/3rds of his games are in Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland. Rodney led the AL in both Saves (48) and Games Finished in 2014 (64) – while having a 2.85 ERA, but a high 1.342 WHIP. The latter is right near his career totals. His Walk Rate was 3.8, but that is less than his 4.4 clip for his lifetime.  The man fashioned a 10.3/9 IP SO rate.  I expect more of the same in 2015, with the M’s having one of the better clubs this campaign.  There will be more arrows slings after games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With the fiasco that is the Detroit Tigers Bullpen. I look for these guys to roll through several different Closers in 2015.  Joakim Soria would be the 1st one to attempt after Joe Nathan fails.

I also think the Yankees are going dually use Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller depending on the situational maneuvering matchups.  New York will be hard pressed to make the playoffs, but I do think they will net one of the higher team Save totals.

The same could probably said for the Boston Red Sox.  I think the near 40 year old Koji Uehara will have a tough time staying healthy for 100% of the opportunities, however he will be just outside the mark.

St. Louis may end up using someone different from Trevor Rosenthal, because we are due for them to change 9th inning guys. Adam Wainwright, Jason Isringhausen Jason Motte, Ryan Franklin and Edward Mujica have all seen the mantle over the last several years for the RedBirds. 

Rosenthal has actually had one of the longer stints, however he really struggled at the end of the 2014 year (despite 45 Saves), and it carried over to the playoffs, where he featured 10 base runners, while only recording 11 outs.  I am thinking he will not have as many chances in 2015 as well. 

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Boston’s Management Strategy May Help Club Prevail Again In 2015 AL East

Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett.  He replaced them with saavy, playoff tested Veterans - on lower value, and year contracts.  His club won the 2013 AL East with the revamped squad - that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012.  Last season, the club suffered another last place finish, however he dealt away Jon Lester, for Yoenis Cespedes, and then turned that asset into Rick Porcello.  The club also was able to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval for this year, and have inked Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada since last summer.  The Red Sox are showing the way to handle a roster year to year.  If you are in it, spend the money, and when you are out, trade anybody of value not in your long term plans.

Ben Cherington pulled off the biggest salary dump in MLB History in 2012, with his clearing the deck of Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett. He replaced them with savvy, playoff tested Veterans – on lower value, and year contracts. His club won the 2013 AL East (and the World Series of course) with the revamped squad – that improved almost 30 Wins from 2012. Last season, the club suffered another last place finish, however he dealt away Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes, and then turned that asset into Rick Porcello. The club also was able to sign Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval for this year, and have also inked Rusney Castillo and Yoan Moncada to long-term deals since last summer. The Red Sox are showing the way to handle a roster year to year. If you are in it, spend the money, and when you are out, trade anybody of value not in your long term plans.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The terrible news of Marcus Stroman‘s ACL  earlier this week has dampened the chances the Toronto Blue Jays chances to really take a shot at the Division.

Let me qualify this more….

I think the Jays will compete all season, and may take a run at one of the Wild Card Spots for sure, it just at this time of the year, losing any pitching hurts big time.

Toronto is already lacking an ace, but that is not a cause for grave concern in this Division, with the AL East possessing exactly zero of them now, following the departures of Jon Lester and David Price in the last 9 months.  But they are in trouble when it comes to depth versus the other clubs. Read the rest of this entry

The Oakland A’s Payroll In 2015 + Going Forward: Beane Counting

The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) and Samardija (about the same in Arbitration), the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.     The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.

For the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn’t make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A’s payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015 (down about $10 MIL from 2014), and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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MoneyBall 1..MoneyBall 2… So we all have seen the movie or at least read the book – or heard about somebody referencing it all the time on the Baseball airwaves.  Beane does it a different way, and he keeps the rest of the landscape second guessing.

This website has been one of the frontrunners of dissecting his moves over the last few years, and have accurately predicted a lot of what would happen with the terms of the club.

As much as the MLB Reports has loved the movements the team has done, we have not picked them to advance in the postseason in any prognostications, but we have continuously marveled on how the GM keeps wheeling and dealing.

Chuck Booth likened him to a “Baseball Rounder”, using a nice analogy from the world of poker.

The A’s GM is the best at creating value to his team but exercising all of the freebies in the league, coupled with knowing how to maneuver when the time is right.

Trading Josh Donaldson may come back to haunt him, but he did receive a plethora of young talented throwers, and perhaps Brett Lawrie will emerge into his talent after all.

Being a “Baseball Rounder” is being the smartest guy in the room, and knowing your opponents moves before even they do.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the A’s players salaries please visit here

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The 2nd Wild Card Team In The NL For 2015 Could Be Right Near .500

The National League is a very top heavy league with the Nats, Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates having the best odds to qualify for the postseason in 2015.  With parity at an all time high in the Senior Circuit, we may a squad break the worst record ever to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card seed this campaign.

The National League is a very top heavy league with the Nats, Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates having the best odds to qualify for the postseason in 2015. With parity at an all time high in the Senior Circuit, we may see a squad break the worst record ever to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card seed this campaign.  The AL is not as big with the dominant clubs, and as such will have many teams hover around 90 wins that make the postseason.  With the AL winning the Interleague matchup for 10 years consecutive, you also have to factor in a few more W’s per team.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With all due respect to the rest of the Senior Circuit clubs, the Nationals and Dodgers are heads above the rest of the league.  I am also throwing in stalwart franchise St. Louis and Pittsburgh (94 wins and 88 wins in the last 2 years) as other teams that should lock down the NL Central and the other 1 to win the 1st Wild Card – to round out the top 4 seeds in the NL.

Then there are the rest of the clubs.

From the surface odds wise, the gambling pundits are saying the Padres and Giants would be next on the list for wins, followed by the Mets, Cubs and Marlins.

Just below those last 5 teams, you have the fight for competing coming from Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and finally the teams most thought to struggle this campaign are the Rockies, D’Backs and the Phillies.

I believe Washington is going to run away from the rest of the league – and near 100 victories. The Dodgers while not as talented as they have been the last few seasons, should not have a problem topping 90 wins again with their Starting Rotation being so strong.

The Pirates did lose Russell Martin and Edinson Volquez, but you have to think bringing A.J. Burnett back replaces Volquez, and the internal improvements from Gregory Polanco, and a return to power from Pedro Alvarez should be enough to compensate for that.

When it comes down to my final prognostication for the Division, I may just jot the Bucs down to win the Division.  Josh Harrison and Neil Walker at 3B and 2B, and if they receive anything from their Starting Catcher and Shortstop then look the hell out.

Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte also help Polanco round out the Outfield, and I think by the end of the year, they will be pronounced the best trio of players beyond the Infield, rather than the Marlins or Padres. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB 2015 World Series + Best Bets

Yu Darvish has exceeded expectations in his 1st 2 seasons with the club.  Based on his 6 YRs/$56 MIL contract, he is seriously underpaid in the last four years of his contract.  Based on that value created, the team was able to sign Fielder and Choo.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL Cy Young Voting with a 2.83 ERA and a AL Leading 277 in 2013.  But he has a torn UCL and will probably have to go under the knife for Tommy John Surgery, i call this a season ender for the Rangers playoffs chances even before we hit the MLB opener on April.5th

Yu Darvish had exceeded expectations in his 1st 3 seasons with the club. Based on his 6 YRs/$56 MIL contract, he was considered seriously underpaid in the last three years of his contract. Since that value created cash for other deals, the team was able to sign Fielder and Choo last winter, but those two sustained massive injuries in 2014 (along with the RHP – and about 57 others lin 2014) in what was a losing season, Darvish finished 2nd in AL Cy Young Voting with a 2.83 ERA and an AL Leading 277 for the 2013 season, but he has a torn UCL now – and will probably have to go under the knife for Tommy John Surgery, I call this a season ender for the Rangers playoffs chances even before we hit the MLB opener on April.5th.  Oddsmakers are on board with what I have said, with the team tied for the 22nd worst odd to win it all this campaign.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With yesterday’s grim news on the 2015 season of Yu Darvish. I think it is safe to say the Rangers will have a tough campaign this year as well.

It was one thing having all of their top players coming back from injury already, but now you lose one of the true aces left in the American League.  This is a doomsday special.  I don’t think Yovani Gallardo will take on Darvish’s type of role and thrive.  If anything, the Rangers might be able to flip him later in the year.

Jon Daniels should not trade for another pitcher either.  This Division is the best in baseball, and if he were to do that, it would be bad money spent.  Hopefully Prince Fielder and Shin-soo Choo can have bounce back seasons for you, and at least the future will look up beyond 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Projected Top 5 Home Run Hitters In The MLB For 2015

Giancarlo Stanton

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Fantasy Baseball is turning out to be a 365 day year proposition these days.  A lot of the talk over the airwaves centers around the best power hitters in the game right now.  I think we can all agree on that the game’s power has declined over the last few years – without the aid of PED’s/Amphetamine use.

Overall, there are several players who still possess sick power.  For anyone that watches batting practice at the games, a lot of the guys can all yak it over the fence at will when they know where the ball is going from their BP chucker.  Doing it in the game is another matter.

Last season’s HR winners were Nelson Cruz and Giancarlo Stanton, even though the latter missed the last month of the campaign when he was horrendously beaned in the face.  The OF formerly known as Mike, is back to claim the title again. Read the rest of this entry

10 Bold Predictions For The 2015 MLB Season

yoenis cespedes

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It is that time of year again for prognosticators to present their picks for the upcoming MLB Season.  Perhaps 2014 was the best season of forecasting I ever have done, so 2015 may come with a slight regression, but then again ride the wave until it slams you into the sea.

As you will see in the coming weeks I will be high on teams like Seattle, Washington and Pittsburgh, mostly because of youth talent and pitching, but I also see some of the old dogs sticking around to put up a fight like Boston, St. Louis, Detroit, San Francisco, and the Dodgers are always scary, but flawed at the same time,

One of my new favorite themes to harp on is staying away from injury riddled teams.  For this reason alone I don’t like the Padres, Rockies and Blue Jays.

Having said that about Toronto, they may playoff bound if they can stay between the white lines off the playing surface with the majority of their playing roster.  If they fail to make the postseason, it has to be curtains time for the Manager, GM, and Paul Beeston is already in the last year of his front office career. Read the rest of this entry

Dodgers Brass’ Is Brutalizing The 2015 Payroll ($267 MIL) With Dead Money + Injury Plagued Chuckers!

Since Andrew Friedman has taken over, he has shown a blatant disregard for payroll, by cutting pitchers that had guaranteed deals, while doling out cash to often injured chuckers, or players that have limited success on their resume.  The LA NL franchise is nearing $267 MIL, and are in the 3rd year of the Luxury Tax Penalty (40%).  The franchise located at Chavez Ravine, are looking at a $30 MIL stipend to pay the MLB for that infraction.  One certainly has to question their last 5 or 6 moves in accordance with payroll.  The Dodgers better hope that the forthcoming CBA doesn't throw the hammer down on high salary teams over the Luxury Tax - when the new CBA is put into place before the 2017 season.

Since Andrew Friedman has taken over, he has shown a blatant disregard for payroll, by cutting pitchers that had guaranteed deals, while doling out cash to often injured chuckers, or players that have limited success on their resume. The LA NL franchise is nearing $267 MIL for 2015 patyroll and are in the 3rd year of the Luxury Tax Penalty (40%). The franchise located at Chavez Ravine, are looking at a $30 MIL stipend to pay the MLB for that very infraction. Next year(9nd every year after till they drop under the Threshold once, they will rise to a 50% penalty/) One certainly has to question their last 5 or 6 moves in accordance with payroll. The Dodgers better hope that the forthcoming CBA doesn’t throw the hammer down on high salary teams over the Luxury Tax – when the new deal with the MLB and MLBPA is put into place before the 2017 season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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What the hell is Andrew Friedman doing?  Lets just eat the contracts on Brian Wilson and maybe Brandon League, while paying the freight on Dan Haren’s 2015 salary ($10 MIL) to play for the Marlins, and also  forking out money to Brett Anderson, Brandon Beachy and also coming to a theater near you soon. If that weren’t enough, they have signed perennially injured/malcontent guys in Erik Bedard and Dustin McGowan on Minor League deals.

The club will also digest half (or more) of Andre Ethier‘s remaining deal (3 YRs, $56 MIL) if another franchise will take them off of their hands.  Yes that was not the current front office’s deal, however the throwing away of money is still directly tied to their decisions now.

Pretty soon the entire total for the dead money in the Dodgers team salary will rival the contract marks of the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s if this trend persists.

The Los Angeles payroll was supposed to be reigned in – and not jumping to an ALL – Time record.

Even with losing the albatross contract of Matt Kemp, the Dodgers are sitting at nearly $266 MIL in projected team payroll.  Let’s add a 40% penalty for being a 3rd time offender to the mix, and you can kiss another $30 MIL out the door at Chavez Ravine.  Maybe the club should hope for a Zack Greinke opt out.

For a Full Player Breakdown off all Salaries in 2015 – and going forward click here . 

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I Understand The River Boat Gambler Mentality, But Preller’s Method To Build SD Into A Winner Will Fail

A.J. Preller has revamped the roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings.  Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year to round out their talent.  Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn't translate to immediate impact on the field.  The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad.  I think they will be far below that.  For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

A.J. Preller has revamped the roster of the Padres so much in the offseason, that I think it will take a full season for everyone to get used to their surroundings. Much like the 2012 Angels and Marlins, 2013 Blue Jays and 2014 Yankees, just when you thought they won the winter, it took them half to a full year to round out their talent. Having 10+ new faces on the roster usually doesn’t translate to immediate impact on the field. The Padres are listed as about an 84 win game club based on their squad. I think they will be far below that. For now, I have them ranked below the Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Cardinals, Pirates and Marlins in the National League.

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You are the San Diego Padres, and are looking at the Dodgers (north of $230 MIL in payroll the last 2 years and $267 MIL in 2015), and also the 3 times in 5 year champions (Giants) that also hail in your Division. Your franchise barely can scrape up enough dollars to crack the $100 MIL salary barrier, and you have 2 Pennants since your inception in 1969.

Petco Park’s attendance has been dropping since the park opened over a decade ago, and you needed to shake things up.  I get that.  Everyone and their grandma is calling A.J. Preller’s winter as a landmark win for any new executive that there has been.

Similar words were spoken in the winter of 2012 – going into 2013, when Alex Anthopoulos pulled off that mega trade with the Marlins, and everyone was casting them for the World Series (even the oddsmakers).  He based that trade with several components from Miami that were riddled with injury troubles in their career. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings March 2015

Once again, the National League is very top heavy. with the Nationals, Dodgers and Cards reeling in 3 of the first 4 rankings spots.

Once again, the National League is very top-heavy. with the Nationals, Dodgers and Cards reeling in 3 of the first 5 rankings spots.  The American League has more parity in the league this year. and could feature several new entrants into postseason play.  This includes the two longest playoff drought teams in the Toronto Blue Jays (the last team to make the playoffs since the Strike/Lockout in 1994 and 1995 – and the M’s haven’t since their 116 win campaign in 2001. The Marlins own the longest such dry spell in the NL<- with their last playoff berth coming in their 2003 World Series win.  You also have many young franchises like the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins having several of their young studs coming into the fold, and teams like the Rangers trying to be relevant again following a league record for DL Stints in 2014.  This will mean there are no easy wins on the J’unior Circuit’ this campaign.

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1.  Washington Nationals – This team is so far above the rest of the MLB, they should be everyones unanimous pick to win the best record in the MLB.  Their Division is weaker the NL West, and the teams in the NL Central are a lot closer in parity.

2.  LA Dodgers – Too many changes will take the club time to gel.  Emphasis on Joc Pederson to do well may be too much to ask.  Not enough is being said about the club losing the offense of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. Any club with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke as their top 2 starting pitchers will never be to far from the top ranking.

3.  Detroit Tigers – This is all based on the American League Central.  While I believe the team is not as strong as last year in the pitching department with Max Scherzer, they may be better in the lineup with Yoenis Cespedes. Read the rest of this entry

If ‘Cash’ Was Handled Right – The Yankees Could Get 2015 Payroll Under The Luxury Tax This Year

A few years ago, the Yankees were trying to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold just a few years ago, before they dished out $175 MIL over 7 years to Masahiro Tanaka.  Despite that, the club could have opted to get under last July by trading Kuroda, Suzuki and Gardner near the Deadline, instead of going for an ill-advised run at the playoffs.  At an estimated $211 MIL team salary so far, there are options to drop the mark under the limit yet again if the club struggles.  Should they not take advantage this time, they are completely dumb beyond recognition.

A few years ago, the Yankees were trying to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold just a few years ago, before they dished out $175 MIL over 7 years to Masahiro Tanaka. Despite that, the club could have opted to get under last July by trading Kuroda, Suzuki and Gardner near the Deadline, instead of going for an ill-advised run at the playoffs. At an estimated $211 MIL team salary so far, there are options to drop the mark under the limit yet again if the club struggles. Should they not take advantage this time, they are completely dumb beyond recognition.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Losing out on Yoan Moncada Sweepstakes

The Yankees fans let out a collective groan. but the cost of Yoan Moncada would be even more money than his $31.5 MIL signing bonus – and additional $31.5 MIL penalty.  How about tacking on another $15.75 MIL for part of their $50% Luxury Tax Penalty?

I agree with the Yankees not wanting to shell out nearly $80 MIL for an unproven teenager.  There are a numerous of examples of can’t miss prospects that won’t pan out.

The Yankees are estimated to have a payroll of near $221 MIL.  But the actual AAV is a little higher with the length of term bringing up the overall mark.  Alex Rodriguez makes $21 MIL in 2015, but he 10 year pact, was for an AAV of $27.5 MIL overall, so that is the number that brings up the clip.

If the Yankees are on pace to have spent $215 MIL in 2015, so  by July, that means they would have put out about $105 MIL at the ALL-Star Break.  This gives about $84 MIL worth of room, but you must take off around $27 MIL to fall under the limit.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the Yankees players please visit here.

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An 154 MLB Game Schedule Makes A lot Of Sense – Even For Separating The Record Books

Major League Baseball used to run on a 154 game schedule before 1961  In that year, the American League added two new franchises in expansion, with the Caliornia Angels and the Washington Senators.  The National League played one more season with the 154 games mark before they also converted to the new 162 game season.

Major League Baseball used to run on a 154 game schedule before 1961 In that year, the American League added two new franchises in expansion, with the California Angels and the Washington Senators. The National League played one more season with the 154 games mark before they also converted to the new 162 game season in the 1962 campaign.

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Nice Idea, Doubt It will happen anytime soon though

I have been a longtime advocate of a 154 game schedule. I believe you could draw back the clock and have an official record book for the 162 game schedule and also the 154 ame schedule.  Guess what that would do?  Set back the single season HR mark to 60 by Babe Ruth in 1927 again.

The idea has lots of merit at its starting point, but a lot of the big market clubs like New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, LA Dodgers, Philadelphia Philies, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and LA Angels would hate voting for this for sure, as it would cut into revenue’s based largely on attendance alone, but for the other clubs I could see them not dropping by much in attendance at all aggregate for the whole lump sum of a year.

I think it would only work if they increased the Post Season to a bet of 7 LDS Round once the Wild Card Winners were determined. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB 2015 League Pennants

american league

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Yesterday we went over the World Series Odds.  Since I have the Nationals as a heavy favorite, I think the best way to receive a win for any AL clubs, is to bet the team to win the Pennant.

The Angels are listed as the #1 favorite to win the American League at +500.  If you like them (even though I wouldn’t wager on them), this is a much better risk, than the +1000 mark for the World Series.  If the Dodgers or Nationals are their adversary in the Fall Classic, that is at least a +125 odd for the Halo’s to reel in their 1st Title in 13 years.

Since I love the Mariners more in the AL West, obviously I love the +700 odd they have right now to win the Junior Circuit. 

Pulling up the rear in the AL, are the Twins at +5000 to win the Pennant.  If you like the Royals to play good in 2015 as well, they are +1200 to win the American League in 2015 on this site, while bet365.com was offering just +1800 for a World Series triumph.  That is good value. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB 2015 World Series + Best Bets

 One of these years the absolute favorite of the preseason will take the home the World Series.  I think 2015 will be that year.  I am calling for the last 2 franchises not to make the Fall Classic, end up facing off in this year championship series.  That would make it Washington vs Seattle.  I believe the Nationals will win that series.

One of these years the absolute favorite of the preseason will take the home the World Series. I think 2015 will be that year. I am calling for the last 2 franchises not to make the Fall Classic, end up facing off in this year championship series. That would make it Washington vs Seattle. I believe the Nationals will win that series.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Last year’s opening 3 wagers for the World Series netted us an eventual winner.  I plunked almost $14 down on a 25/1 bet for the Giants (and failed with Rangers and Rays bets).  Throughout the year, I was able to secure odds of 50/1 and 80/1 for the Royals during down times, and then hedged those bets in the playoffs.  It was a thousand dollar profit year for the selections.

In the next few weeks I will finalize the Over/Under Best bets that I put down yesterday.  Again, last season I was 3 out of 3 for top Over/Under picks, and will likely pick the same 3 teams (KC and WSH over their opening regular season wins of 81.5 and 93.5, while I picked SD under 84.5) out of  the 10 total wagers I go for this campaign).

But this article is about the Fall Classic Winner in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

2015 Regular Season Win Over/Unders In The MLB + Best Bets

What are your best Over/Under Bets for the upcoming 2015 MLB Season?  We have selected our top 10.

What are your best Over/Under Bets for the upcoming 2015 MLB Season? We have selected our top 10.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Over/Unders for the year, based on odds given by http://www.bovada.com sports book

Arizona – 71.5 (over is -115) (under is -115)

I gotta go with the under.  San Diego, LA and SF are all much better, and even Colorado is tough on the road. Like them at just around 70 wins.  Is a rebuilding year, and they might fetch a heavy ransom if Mark Trumbo can have a bounce back 1st half.  2016 maybe the year the can contend again.

Atlanta – 73.5 (over is -115) (under is -115)

I like the over on this one big time.  This club lost a ton of offense, yet I like their run prevention more than ever.  Shelby Miller was a great acquisition, and they still have a nasty Bullpen.  I am not as bullish on the rest of the NL East as a lot of clubs are too.  Wouldn’t call this a best bet, however, like them to win 75 – 77 games. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow Interviews Indians OF Michael Bourn

bourn

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

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Haley Smilow is a lucky baseball fan/writer/reporter.  Recently last summer, she was able to interview Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.

Interviewing MLB Athletes is nothing new for our Junior Reporter.  Over the last few years, Haley has interviewed Curtis Granderson, A.J. Pierzynski, Cody Ross, Barry Enright, Justin Turner, Casey Janssen and 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

The MLB Reports is very happy with the hard work and dedication Haley puts forth for her interviews.  She has a great future in the business!

The MLB’ers like Haley because she doesn’t ask cookie cutter questions.  She asks them to delve into their own personal lives, and for this, she is able to crack up these guys from their usual monotanous answers. Read the rest of this entry

Dear Mr. Manfred: Shifts, Trying To Help Offense – How About 9 Fielders And 8 Hitters In Both AL + NL?

Under my proposed format of 9 fielders, with only 8 hitters - eliminating both the pitcher and DH from entering the box, having 8 batters only in every lineup would allow players such as Mike Trout a helluva lot more Plate Appearances in a full year.

Under my proposed format of 9 fielders, with only 8 hitters – eliminating both the pitcher and DH from entering the box, having 8 batters only in every lineup would allow players such as Mike Trout a helluva lot more Plate Appearances in a full year.  The National League would stand to gain almost a quarter of a run, and the American League would also knock off its worst hitter from each squad.  So how do you do this with the players union?  Offer a 26 man roster (with 25 activated for each game).  Creating 30 new jobs would be a better way than having the NL adopt the DH into their game.  That would not go well, and longtime would throw a conniption fit.  The best way to uniform both leagues is to go with a lineup of 8 guys.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I like the way Rob Manfred came out blazing Sunday on heels of his 1st 24 hours as commissioner.  I agree completely that we need more offense infused into the game.

Whether any of us like or not, the ;PED’ era while it was going, was at least fun to watch on the offensive side of it.  I have even talked to fans that in my shop that would love for them not to be illegal – so we could see that HR’s creep up again.  I can’t say I would go that far, but the recent trend of Runs scored on the decline is alarming.

I grew up in the 80’s, and if there were any season that has been similar to that timeframe, last season was. Pitching, speed, defense and clutch hitting was the key to winning in that decade, and there was a degree of parity that existed too.

I am still stunned that more people can tell the real reason why games take so long.  How about Strikeouts at an ALL – Time rate?  This is the biggest factor, and it is not even debatable.  You add in the “Moneyball” concept of taking a pile of pitches, combined with tonnes of pitching changes, instant replay, TV time out, and players going through per pitch rituals that would make golf’s Sergio Garcia seem like a speed demon in contrast, and no wonder why games take forever. Read the rest of this entry

Ichiro Suzuki Maybe Older, But He Is a Perfect 4th OF/PH

a a ichiro suzuki-3

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay so Ichiro Suzuki doesn’t possess as much speed as he once did, or even hit .320 like he routinely did for the Mariners.  Plus yes, there is virtually no power…however he hit .284 last season, and for a 4th OF or Pinch Hitter in the Senior Circuit, that would be much likened.

I was sitting there last month debating on whether the Mariners should give him a call for a return to Seattle, considering they tried signing   Franklin Gutierrez (hurt all of 2014, which was the biggest waste of a $MIL ever by M’s mgmt – considering the guy already burned the squad for 120 games missed in 2013) and employed friggin Endy Chavez for much of the 2014 year.

I am giving Jack Z. and the Mariners some chops for picking up Justin Ruggiano and Seth Smith instead in the last 30 days, but the point was, Ichiro may not have wanted to return to the PAC NW anyway even though he could have helped that club as they were constructed then.

Have you seen some of the 4th OF and PH that still have jobs in the Majors?  Heck yeah… give me a guy who can put the bat on the ball still.

Suzuki is a great contact hitter even at his age, and he will likely see some AB roaming the outfield for the Marlins this year.  I love Giancarlo Stanton, but it is not like he ever plays 162 games straight on the diamond. Read the rest of this entry

The MLB Reports Own State Of The Union (SOTU) – 2015 Address

Home Of Sully Baseball + #WOB, #WOO, #WOWS #SullyMetrics, Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written, Roster Trees, Salaries, Org. Depth Charts,+ Roster Trees + TJ Surgery Tracker + Wicked Daily Content,) +  We are not your Cutter" Website.  Also our motto is "THE TRUTH STINGS LIKE A CATCUS!"

Home Of Sully Baseball + #WOB, #WOO, #WOWS #SullyMetrics, Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written, Roster Trees, Salaries, Org. Depth Charts,+ Roster Trees + TJ Surgery Tracker  – MLB Park Roadtripping + Wicked Daily Content,) + We are not your Cutter” Website. Also our motto is “THE TRUTH STINGS LIKE A CATCUS!”

What We are Up To This Campaign + Going Forward

The MLB Reports will be updating lots of posts for the 2015 schedule as it sits right now for the next 2 weeks.  We will have all 26 weeks listed in 7 day increments from during the year.  I will try to update those as much as possible.

I will do an all 2430 game schedule on 1 page post once.  I will not update it that much though, this will be for mostly pre-season planning for most ballpark goers,

I will also compile a month to month schedule around the last week of each month.  The MLB or ESPN still need to follow in the nhl.com’s footsteps and make these possible.  I do like the ESPN 7 day module for any time frame.  I still think they should have a 179 days module and a month module.

We will also be featuring our Interleague Master Schedule with updated start times.  We already have a master grid of all 30 clubs and who they play in league versus league combat this season.  Keep in mind of the special 4 day window in which Interleague has 15 – 2 home and 2 away games against one other club from Monday June 15th to Thursday June 18th, 2015.  In essence a back to back – home and home series. Read the rest of this entry

Max Scherzer’s $185 MIL Deal (Inflation Pro-Rated) Puts Him 11th In MLB History For Top Contracts

Scherzer's 7 Year/$210 MIL deal is actually worth $185 against the cap, and we are giving him the same for the ALL-Time Contracts. This sum puts him just behind Derek Jeter for 11th in MLB History. Jon Lester and he are the only 2 men to enter the top 50 this year after 7 players made the cut last off year. Cabrera, Cano, Kershaw, Tanaka, Ellsbury,Trout and Choo all have made the chart since the end of the 2013 World Series.  The deal called for a $50 MIL signing bonus. The 2013 former AL Cy Young winner, will make $15 MIL in deferred salary for the next 14 seasons.  The 30 Year Old, will join the NL's best club of 2014, as far as wins are concerned, bringing in a 96 - 66 record.  The RHP has led the AL in wins the last 2 years (21 Wins and 18 Wins respectively), and has compiled a 55 - 15 (.786 Winning Percentage) since the start of the 2012 campaign.

Scherzer’s 7 Year/$210 MIL deal is actually worth $185 against the cap, and we are giving him the same for the ALL-Time Contracts. This sum puts him just behind Derek Jeter for 11th in MLB History. Jon Lester and he are the only 2 men to enter the top 50 this year after 7 players made the cut last off year. Cabrera, Cano, Kershaw, Tanaka, Ellsbury, Trout and Choo all have made the chart since the end of the 2013 World Series. The deal called for a $50 MIL signing bonus. The 2013 former AL Cy Young winner, will make $15 MIL in deferred salary for the next 14 seasons. The 30 Year Old, will join the NL’s best club of 2014, as far as wins are concerned, bringing in a 96 – 66 record. The RHP has led the AL in wins the last 2 years (21 Wins and 18 Wins respectively), and has compiled a 55 – 15 (.786 Winning Percentage) since the start of the 2012 campaign.

The highest contracts in MLB history (Red means Active Contract)

 1. Giancarlo Stanton, $325, 000, 000 (2015 – 2027)

*2. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)

*** With A-Rod’s suspension in 2014, he forfeited $22.13 MIL bucks, so it will now end up 10 YRs/$252.87 MIL for the duration of his deal.  You can’t tell me he will be worth 40% of what the Yankees will be paying him next year, and all the way till the end of 2017.

3. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)

*4. Miguel Cabrera $248,000, 000 (2016 – 2023)

Go see #25.  He has the 4th and 25th top contracts of ALL – Time.  This contract doesn’t start until 2016.

*5Albert Pujols, $250,000,000 (2012-21)

*6. Robinson Cano$240,000,000 (2014 – 2023) Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2015 World Series (Don’t Bet The Cubs Despite Of Back To The Future 2 Prediction)

Max Scherzer now is in the front of the best Starting Rotation in the National League in some time.  His signing has made the Nationals the leading favorite to win the 2015 World Series  This would mean the Expos/Nats franchise would make and win their 1st Fall Classic since Montreal joined the Major Leagues in 1969.  Only their franchise and the Mariners have yet to make an appearance in the World Series.

Max Scherzer now is in the front of the best Starting Rotation in the National League in some time. His signing has made the Nationals the leading favorite to win the 2015 World Series This would mean the Expos/Nats franchise would make and win their 1st Fall Classic since Montreal joined the Major Leagues in 1969. Only their franchise and the Mariners have yet to make an appearance in the World Series.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Max Scherzer has tipped the scale to the Nats being the World Series favorite, whereas we left them in December, with them being tied with the Dodgers as the lowest odds to win the Fall Classic in 2015.

Not only did he affect his new team, he affected his old team of the Tigers to drop from +950 to +1100 now.  The Mets also dipped from +3300 to +3500 on the news yesterday.

There is no doubt the Nationals are the best team in the National League now, and could very well improve on their 2014 win total of 96.  Look for them to continuously punch the Phillies in the neck this year, and should beat up the Atlanta Braves pretty well across the board too.

There is no doubt in my mind this should be Washington’s season to go to the dance.  I don’t think the Dodgers are as strong with their offense losing Dee Gordon and Hanley Ramirez, while adding Joc Pederson potentially, and stalwart 2B Howie Kendrick.

The Cardinals best 3 players of Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday are another year older, and one of these years someone will take them out in the playoffs.  When you add in all 5 NL Central teams being competitive, it could beat them up over the regular season a little,

After all, it also an odd year, do don’t expect the Giants to make the Post Season.  But seriously, San Francisco has lost Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse, while adding Nori Aoki and Casey McGehee.  I can’t see this being an upgrade at all.  Don’t forget the club also will not have Ryan Vogelsong either, while there are massive question marks surrounding the health of Matt Cain and pitching effectiveness of Tim Lincecum.

Tim Hudson is another year older, and Jake Peavy looked like he was hanging from a thread to finish the playoffs. Read the rest of this entry

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