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MLB Odds To Win Both Of The AL And NL Pennants In 2014: 5 Best Value Plays

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant.  The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year's lineup, and have decent pitching.  Boston is the reigning champs - and will be part of the race before all is said and done.  Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant. The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year’s lineup, and have decent pitching. Boston is the reigning champs – and will be part of the race before all is said and done. Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rays are finally listed where they should be on the betting board.

3 teams start play today tied in the AL East in the Rays, Yankees and Jays.  Baltimore has struggled along with Boston.

I think it is way too early to shovel dirt on the Red Sox season.  While I think they may not take down another pennant, they are my 2nd favorite play in the AL Pennant Odd list for return.

The Yankees are my favorite odds pick right now with a +900 mark.

Yes they have injuries to old guys are their team, but the guys in the lineup can mash right now, and particularly at Yankee Stadium. Read the rest of this entry

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 3 MLB Baseball 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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A little rant before the power rankings this week

Well, another 7 days has passed in baseball for this year.

There are no more home openers, attendance is down, fans are scattering about their Easter business and the NFL Draft is around to swing its mighty sword on the sports landscape. Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

The SkyDome was opened in May of 1989.  For the championship ERA, the club drew 4 Million fans each per year.  In recent years, it was tough for the club to draw 2 Million fans.  In 2013, with the promise of a new club mantra, based on Free Agent signings, the team held the best year to year attendance boost in 2013.  I doubt they will be able to do this again in 2014.

The SkyDome was opened in May of 1989. For the championship ERA, the club drew 4 Million fans each per year. In recent years, it was tough for the club to draw 2 Million fans. In 2013, with the promise of a new club mantra, based on Free Agent signings, the team held the best year to year attendance boost in 2013.  If the Jays can’t spring out of the gate fast in 2014, I think the Walkup single game tickets will be tremendously affected negatively.  Toronto has not made the playoffs since winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993, and only them and Kansas City hold that dubious honor since the Player Strike/Lockout ensuing seasons of 1994 – 1995.

By ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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The Toronto Blue Jays have been a franchise in question for over 20 years.  This floundering franchise has gone through 11 manager changes since winning the World Series in 1993 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. 

2 of those managers in Cito Gaston and John Gibbons have been hired twice! The 2013 season was supposed to be the year the Jays went all the way. 

GM Alex Anthopolous numerous moves acquiring major pieces to what was supposed to be a contending team.

R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, Mark Buehrle, and Melky Cabrera.  Despite these additions via trade or signing….same story, different season! Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings MAR 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Okay, not much has changed in the last month.

They are about 20 unsigned Free Agents left in the open market pool, Baltimore inked Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez – and Chris Capuano is with the Red Sox, Paul Maholm replaces him LA for the 2014 campaign.

Of note of the things I am watching in Spring Training.  The Dodger Blue is also experiencing many injuries – and Yasiel Puig showed up to camp overweight.

LA is talking about not sending Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to Australia in a few weeks.

I can understand with the RHP because he was yanked after four pitches last week, but withholding your star ace from the season opener, and possibly the North America starter the following week. Read the rest of this entry

The Top Remaining Free Agents Left In The MLB 2014 Season + The Rest

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With the latest signings (by Baltimore) of Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez, there is now just 3 Free Agents who come with the price tag of your 1st RD pick (or 1st available pick if you have been busy already this winter).

SS Stephen Drew is still on the open market despite several rumors about the Big Apple,  DH/1B Kendrys Morales is on the board, with teams dwindling in interest, and SP Ervin Santana rounds out the list.

Agents of these gentlemen are now threatening to hold out their players until after the MLB Amateur Draft (when the Draft Pick is no longer forfeited), in order to turn the leverage back to their guys.

I am not sure that is such a great idea, particularly in the cases of the hitters, who are not likely to warrant more than 3 year deals apiece. Read the rest of this entry

The O’s Add Nelson Cruz + The AL Beast Just Got Stronger!

Nelson Cruz is 34 - and has a long history of injuries -  and now of PED use.In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once.  Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 - before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  Will he go to Seattle, another AL team, or is the NL going to be his final destination for next campaign.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.

Nelson Cruz is 34 – and has a long history of injuries – and now of PED use. In the last 5 years, he has only played over 128 games for the season once. Now he was on pace to top that in 2013 – before his PED suspension from the Biogenesis Scandal.  I thoroughly believe he should just be a permanent DH.  He will likely be used in that role with the O’s.  With a full season of AB, this slugger should probably hit between .260 – .270, with 25 – 30 HRs and range from 80 – 90 RBI.  To sign this guy to a 1 Year Deal – worth $8 MIL, when he was already given the Qualifying Offer by Texas is a fantastic acquisition for the Orioles.  It also comes in the same week they picked up Ubaldo Jimenez and Korean chucker Suk-Min Yoon.  Baltimore just entered back into the Division race!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Dan Duquette has announced his presence with authority this week.

From Suk-min Yoon (3 YRs/$5.6 MIL), Ubaldo Jimenez (4 YRs/$48 MIL), to then flat out rob Nelson Cruz for a 1 YR/$8 MIL deal, the GM has served notice that the franchise is here to compete.

Frankly, this was a long time coming.  The team has now thrust its name into the conversation with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.

On the clock is the Toronto Blue Jays!! Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Home Run Leaders in 2013

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his AL and MLB leading 53 HRs and 139 RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals?  The Baltimore franchise must consider 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run.  After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 even in Arbitration - before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016.

Chris Davis was awarded a 1 YR/$3.3 MIL contract in Arbitration for 2013, but based on his AL and MLB leading 53 HRs and 139 RBI. exactly what stratosphere of money will he enter based on those totals? The Baltimore franchise must consider 2014 to be their best chance for a deep playoff run. After this year, Davis will be making megabucks in 2014 and 2015 even in Arbitration – before hitting the Free Agency Market in 2016.  Can he duplicate his feats in 2013?  We will find out in about 9 and a half months.  I think with his swing, and playing in the AL East, he will have a chance to finish in the top 5 in HRs again in 2014 – if not take the crown again.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It is time to start preparing for upcoming fantasy leagues.  While I don’t participate in them anymore, I will do some top 5 and top ten list in order to aid you in your quest.

I will stick with the main categories.  Over the next few weeks this site will be tackling Saves Leaders, Holds, Stolen Bases, Wins, and we may sprinkle in a few others.

In addition, Active Lists for top players in offensive and defensive stats are to be presented.  This is done so we can see who is close to making the mark historically.

Well, I guess we don’t have to worry about Alex Rodriguez breaking anymore historical records in 2014, so hallelujah!

Chicks Dig The Long Ball

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Ortiz Is Almost Done Playing: Who Will Be The Next Great DH Among The AL Clubs??

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs - trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups - why aren't teams focusing on the DH position more.  Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles.  In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if "Big Papi" is hurt or struggling.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston is in contention perennially because he put up great #s compared to his competition. With all of the teams imploring several employees to scouting staffs – trying to find advantages to bring to Major League Lineups – why aren’t teams focusing on the DH position more. Ortiz has been a full time DH since joining the Red Sox, and has been instrumental in the club bringing home 3 World Series Titles. In fact, the only time the team has struggled in the last decade, was if “Big Papi” is hurt or struggling.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox has won 3 World Series Titles in the last 10 years because they have had the quintessential DH in the American League.

While other teams have used the position as a rest stop for aging players, or stop-gap measure for players with defensive faulty, clubs have not seemed to have stressed emphasis on the slot in the lineup.

My question is why?  With everyone always searching for an edge in today’s game, you have one sitting right in front of you, that equates to over 600 AB a year.

David Ortiz (Post Season Heroics 2013)

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The Toronto Blue Jays Players, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

The Blue Jays have been trading away all of their top prospects in recent years, and so far, not one of the players has come back to burn them.  Unfortunately, the veterans brought in via trade haven't pushed them over the top either.

The Blue Jays have been trading away all of their top prospects in recent years, and so far, not one of the players has come back to burn them. Unfortunately, the veterans brought in via trade haven’t pushed them over the top either.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

The Blue Jays have invested a great deal of their future in trades in recent years.  First they traded away several prospects to acquire Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and John Buck.

The 2nd move was to also trade Travis d’Arnaud and Buck for R.A.Dickey.  However the moves backfired on them in 2013.

What is worse for the team, is the franchise has not been able to develop their own talent over the last several years.  Their best players on the club were all brought in via trades.

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were absolute steals for the guys they doled out to reel them in (Robinson Diaz, never played in the Majors for Pit in the Joey Bats deal, and they originally acquired in the Scott Rolen traded to Cincy.  He was selected off of waivers by Oakland, before he came to the club via Free Agency.

Jose Bautista 2013 Highlights

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The Disaster That Was The Blue Jays 2013 Season: State Of The Union

Following the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous made some noticeable moves, to seemingly re-invent Canada’s team.  Jay’s fans everywhere were ecstatic and pumped for the upcoming season, thinking that playoff baseball would finally return to Canada after 20 long seasons.

Following the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos made some noticeable moves, to seemingly re-invent Canada’s team. Jay’s fans everywhere were ecstatic and pumped for the upcoming season, thinking that playoff baseball would finally return to Canada after 20 long seasons.

By ‘Special Guest  Blue Jays Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Another Season, Another Disaster.

The off-season started with a boom, with the signings of Maicer Izturis (3 yr-$9 million), and Melky Cabrera (2 yr-$16million).  This was followed by acquiring hard throwing Esmil Rogers from Cleveland.  

They weren’t done yet.

On November 14th, Anthopoulos completed a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins, receiving pitchers  Josh Johnson  (2-time All-Star)and Mark Buehrle (4-time All-Star), short-stop Jose Reyes (4-time All-Star, 2011 NL Batting Champion),   catcher John Buck,  utility man Emilio Bonifacio, and $8 million in cash in exchange for pitcher Henderson Alvarez, short-stop Yunel Escobar, catcher Jeff Mathis, and prospects.  

It was a steal.  Toronto then sent John Buck and prospects to the New York Mets, for reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and a prospect.   

Odd makers out of Las Vegas named the Toronto Blue Jays as the favorites to win the 2013 World Series.  Too good to be true right? Pretty much.

Munenori Kawasaki – See You Tomorrow

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 21

42 - 8, 25 - 3, 19 - 1, 10 wins in a row.  These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988.  No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez.  Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

42 – 8, 25 – 3, 19 – 1, 10 wins in a row. These are all significant numbers put up with a team with deep pockets, the ability to outdraw everyone for park attendance, and owners willing to do whatever it takes to bring home the 1st World Series Title since 1988. No one can touch these guys right now. Best 3 Starters in the NL and hottest 2 NL Hitters in Puig and Ramirez. Oh yeah, the Bullpen has been lights out for the last 50 contests!

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions (AL East, AL West and NL Central are starting to tighten up, while the NL West, AL Central and most notably NL East are looking to be foregone conclusions

The Braves have rattled of a 18 – 3 stretch, and have been ousted by the Dodgers for the #1 spot in the MLB Rankings .

The Rangers are trying to ricochet off of a couple of great deals, in order to flame down the Oakland Athletics.

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Toronto Blue Jays Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Friday, August.16, 2013

Jose Bautista is one of the  power threats in the line up for Toronto. He has rebounded nicely this season, after injuries cut his 2012 season short. He has a .261/.357/.857 triple-slash in 2013 with 27 HRs and 72 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He has 51 extra-base hits on the season, with 115 hits overall to go along with 220 Total Bases. He fares better against right-handers with a .263 batting average in 350 at-bats against them, while he is just hitting .256 facing southpaws. Bautista is still a threat with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .301/.410/1.002 triple-slash with 6 HRs and 45 RBIs in this situation. He is still solid with two outs and runners in scoring position with a .306 batting average and 17 RBIs. They need him to stay healthy to contend in 2014.

Jose Bautista is one of the power threats in the line up for Toronto. He has rebounded nicely this season, after injuries cut his 2012 season short. He has a .261/.357/.857 triple-slash in 2013 with 27 HRs and 72 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He has 51 extra-base hits on the season, with 115 hits overall to go along with 220 Total Bases. He fares better against right-handers with a .263 batting average in 350 at-bats against them, while he is just hitting .256 facing southpaws. Bautista is still a threat with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .301/.410/1.002 triple-slash with 6 HRs and 45 RBIs in this situation. He is still solid with two outs and runners in scoring position with a .306 batting average and 17 RBIs. They need him to stay healthy to contend in 2014.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Toronto Blue Jays have not had the greatest of seasons with them dead last in the American League East division. They trail the Boston Red Sox by 15 games and the chances of them being a Wild Card team are slim at best.

One of the reasons that this season has been a nightmare for the team that made plenty of noise during the offseason is with their pitching. They have allowed 590 runs this season, and only the Houston Astros have allowed more runs at 633 this season.

J.P. Arencibia Toronto Blue Jays Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Audio Version

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Monday, Aug.12, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Patrick sits in as the Producer and only representative of the Big Ticket Show – and Chuck Booth joins him to break down all 30 current rankings, plus what the clubs are up to.

To listen to the audio for this Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY logo or past the Triple Play Logo. 

If you want the written version of these rankings click here Read the rest of this entry

MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 20

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Sunday Aug.11/2013

Texas has fought off a July slump - and are 9 - 1 in their last 10 games.  They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza.  If they can just hold the course - and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team.  The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week - going from #10 - #4

Texas has fought off a July slump – and are 9 – 1 in their last 10 games. They have added reinforcements in the way of Alex Rios and Matt Garza. If they can just hold the course – and win the AL West, they have the horses and experience to challenge every other team in October. The club was the biggest mover upwards in our rankings this week – going from #10 – #4.  It was not too long ago that the Rangers were sitting at just a half – dozen games above .500 – and behind the playoff bar.

Audio Version Of These Power Rankings

Audio Monthly Rankings – Aug

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in,

The races for the Divisions in the NL are becoming less competitive every week.  The NL East and NL West look to be done.  The Pirates are within weeks of ending a 20 year playoff drought.

The Braves rattled off a 14 game winning streak – and should cruise to the NL East crown.

The Athletics are in big trouble with some of their talented offensive players not putting up numbers like they did in 2012.  They now find themselves in 2nd place in the AL West.

Adrian Beltre 2 HR day in July

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Blue Jays Outlook For 2014 Season: 2013 Not A Total Loss Either

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Thursday, August.08, 2013

Jose Reyes is a key component to the Blue Jays offense. They will need him to stay healthy going into next season for the club. He has a .312/.370/.842 triple-slash in 199 at-bats with eight HRs and 25 RBIs on the season for Toronto. He has stolen 11 bases, while only being caught four time to go along with having 62 hits on the season. He has a batting average of .311 against right-handers, and is hitting .313 facing left-handers. He does well with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .269 average and .701 OPS in this situation. He is most dangerous in the 5th inning this season, with a .478/.538/1.191 triple-slash.

Jose Reyes is a key component to the Blue Jays offense. They will need him to stay healthy going into next season for the club. He has a .312/.370/.842 triple-slash in 199 at-bats with eight HRs and 25 RBIs on the season for Toronto. He has stolen 11 bases, while only being caught four times to go along with having 62 hits on the season. He has a batting average of .311 against right-handers, and is hitting .313 facing left-handers. He does well with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .269 average and .701 OPS in this situation. He is most dangerous in the 5th inning this season, with a .478/.538/1.191 triple-slash.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

When the Toronto Blue Jays made a splash last off season by making a flurry of moves to improve the team, plenty was expected of the club coming into this season.

It’s safe to say that this season has been a major disappointment for the team.

Toronto is currently last in the American League East division with them trailing the Boston Red Sox by 16 games.

The Blue Jays chances of making the post season are slim at best, but the season has not been a total loss for the team.

Toronto Blue Jays Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 19

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Sunday Aug.04/2013

The Braves have charged out of the ALL - Star Break at a pace like they did to start the year. an 11.5 Games Lead, most of their offense is starting to click have helped the team hold down the fort now that the pitching has had vast injuries

The Braves have charged out of the ALL – Star Break at a pace like they did to start the year. They have an 11.5 Games Lead in the NL East over Washington, and most of their offense is starting to click -  which have helped contributed to the team hold down the fort now that the pitching has had vast injuries.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in.

How unfortunate it is for the Indians and the Royals to have the Tigers winning 9 of their last ten – to fend off their those absurdly hot AL Central counterparts?

The good news for the KC and CLE teams is that the AL East are beating up on each other in the last month, while Texas will see a Nelson Cruz suspension dampen their odds of making the Post Season.

Check out the Show we did on AL and NL Rankings Here on the 2 And A Hook Podcast


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Blue Jays Looking To Make Moves At The Deadline

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Wednesday July.31/2013

The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season hasn't gone as planned after the winter that they had. Picking up names like Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A Dickey to go along with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion you would think they would be in contention for a division title. That is not the case as they are last in the American League East. The question now is if they will trade some of the big names at the deadline at 4:00 EST today.

The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season hasn’t gone as planned after the winter that they had. Picking up names like Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A Dickey to go along with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion you would think they would be in contention for a division title. That is not the case as they are last in the American League East. The question now is if they will trade some of the big names at the deadline at 4:00 EST today.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):

Today at 4:00 EST is the trade deadline. It is one of the most exciting days of the Major League Baseball season because you find out if your favorite team traded for a superstar.

If you don’t have a favorite team but a favorite player you find out if he has a new home as well. The players might think about it differently but for us fans it is exciting. 

The Toronto Blue Jays made a blockbuster trade this winter picking up Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Emilio Bonifacio. It hasn’t worked out as planned and they are looking to move some players according to reports.

Let’s not forget they also signed Melky Cabrera and R.A. Dickey this past winter. According to reports the biggest name from the Jays that has the possibility of getting moved is Bonifacio. Let’s not forget about Buehrle as well. He also has a chance to be moved. 

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The Kings of Pop: Who Are The Five Best Home Run Hitters In Each League?

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Wednesday July 24th, 2013 

Crush Davis

The Home Run might be the most exciting aspect of baseball, and this year we have some players who are definitely spoiling us with the shows they have been putting on so far. One of these players is Chris Davis. Davis lead the American League in Home Runs at the All-Star break but he is not the only player who has enjoyed going yard numerous times this season. Who are the best Home Run hitters in the league right now? Here’s my thoughts:

By Dan Wanser (MLB Reports Writer) 

Whether you’re a casual fan who just enjoys watching whatever games on or you’re a diehard who eats, sleeps, and breathes the game we can all agree that everyone loves the longball.

This season, numerous players are entertaining us by showing off their power whenever they can with some mid-game fireworks.

From the big names like Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera to the rising stars in Yoenis Cespedes and we definitely have some powerhouse hitters who are fun to watch.

So who are the best Home Run hitters in the game today? Lets rank them:

Chris Davis 2013 Home Runs:

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2 And A Hook Podcast #10: All Star Chat, Yankees, Dbacks + Trade Deadline Talk

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Friday, July.12, 2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

’2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

Guests On The Show

Im back & ready after being off during the 4th of July week to give you all another baseball packed podcast. On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I star by paying respect to the great Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard on the 3 year anniversary to the day that he passed away…

I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment!  16 Minutes in and a 31 Minute Segment

Chuck makes some notions about the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman needing to risk it all for this year – for the legacies of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano.  Plus whether the club can trade Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – and maybe acquire a bat. Read the rest of this entry

Top MLB Teams 1 – 30: Monthly Rankings + (Top 200 Stats For Reading And Fantasy Baseball)

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Thursday July.11/2013

The Giants have gone 9 - 23 in their last 32 Games and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series.  Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots.

The Giants have gone 9 – 23 in their last 32 Games – and are in danger of having a brutal campaign just one year after capturing the World Series. Key injuries and overlogged pitchers have been the main point of contention. They lost 8 Ranking Spots this past time.  Should they also become sellers at the Trade Deadline,  Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence could fetch a few players in return.  The Giants are currently 40 – 50 and 6.5 Games behind the NL West Leading DBACKS – but are in last in the NL West.

 

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The time has come for the July Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during these weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture.

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Blue Jays’ Was It Worth The Risk?

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Thursday, July.11, 2013

Dickey is not the same pitcher he was with the Mets a season ago. He had a 2.73 ERA in 233.7 innings pitched with 230 strike outs and a 1.05 WHIP. He was third in WAR for pitchers, with it at 5.8. This year for Toronto he has a 4.77 ERA in 122.2 innings with a WHIP of 1.28.

Dickey is not the same pitcher he was with the Mets a season ago. He had a 2.73 ERA in 233.7 innings pitched with 230 strike outs and a 1.05 WHIP. He was third in WAR for pitchers, with it at 5.8. This year for Toronto he has a 4.77 ERA in 122.2 innings with a WHIP of 1.28. The opposition is hitting .245 against him, with right-handers hitting .238 , and left-handers hitting .251. When runners are in scoring position this is where he has issues, as teams are hitting .333 with a .996 OPS. When its two outs, it gets even worse, as teams  hit.347 facing him with a 1.090 OPS.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season has not panned out how many envisioned it would. They made a flurry of moves to bring new players to the team. The reason was that their General Manager Alex Anthopoulos saw an opportunity and was willing to take a risk.

He traded away a bevy of prospects to the Miami Marlins, and some more to the New York Mets for proven players that have done well in their careers. The team on paper looked like they could win the American League East division and contend for a World Series title.

Jose Bautista 2011 Highlights- So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Potential All – Star Candidates For All 30 MLB Teams:

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Saturday, July.06/2013

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will have be host to the 2013 ALL - Star Game.  It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was.  The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL - will all be revealed in a matter of hours.  MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog

Citi Field is one of the newest Ball Parks in the Majors and will be host to the 2013 ALL – Star Game. It is light years ahead of where Shea Stadium was. The home club should have the Starting Pitcher and Third Baseman for the NL, who else will be picked for the NL and AL – will all be revealed in a matter of hours. MLB Reports gave its candidates and choices in this blog.  Citi Field also modified its fences last year in hopes of hosting this event.  This is the RF cavernous portion that used to be what Right Field was.  I took this photo in 2009 – during its 1st season in existence.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am doing this list based solely on whether the player is a viable candidate or not.  I don’t care if the fans vote someone else in – although they have done a decent job.

This website’s stance on Yasiel Puig is known by know – if you are reading this for the 1st time.  We feel the man belongs based on his numbers.  He has numbers comparable to Bryce Harper – and his BA and OPS is far above and beyond.

In a recent article our Dodgers Correspondent also mentioned Hanley Ramirez deserves a shot to make the team.

Ordinarily, I would say no – but Troy Tulowitzki is hurt.

Han- Ram might be a victim of all teams needing to be represented as the Padres best candidate is definitely Everth Cabrera – unless Bochy takes Jason Marquis to replace him.

I think behind Bochy should take Ramirez behind David Wright and Pedro Alvarez at 3B.  With Segura, Cabrera and Desmond taking spots at SS. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (June 23rd) – Updated Yearly “WOB” Standings

 (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Matt Harvey’s shutout masterpiece was cut short after only 72 pitches because of a rain delay. But that doesn’t short change his six shutout innings with only 2 hits, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts, leading the Mets to an 8-0 win over the Phillies.

Justin Ruggiano homered in the first and in the ninth, driving in 3 of the Marlins 7 runs as Miami won the series against the Giants by a final score of 7-2.

Edwin Encarnacion went 3-5 with a homer and four runs batted in including a two run shot in the second inning as the Blue Jays clobbered the Orioles 13-5.

Joe Blanton pitched and unexpectedly wonderful game, letting up only one earned run in 7 1/3 innings against the Pirates. Unfortunately the Angels bullpen collapsed and Pittsburg prevailed 10-9 in 10 innings.They all owned baseball on June 23rd, 2013.

My explanation for “Who Owns Baseball” can be found here.

At the end of the year, we will tally up who owned baseball the most individual days and see how it compares to the final MVP and Cy Young vote.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON.

To View The List of just the nightly winners (WOB dedicated Page) starting from Mar.31/2013 – today click here Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 13

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Monday June.24/2013

EE continues to show his metal this year - by clutching up for 21 HRs thus far .  He has a 3 Slash Line of .274/.355/.900 for the year.  EE had an OPS of 1.326 with 3 HRs and 3 Doubles over the last 6 games.  He was part of key rallies that led to the clubs 6 - 0 week.  Encarnacion is now tied with Miggy Cabrera with 63 HRs since the start of the 2012 year.  He is the MLB Reports hitter of the week!

EE continues to show his metal this year – by clutching up for 21 HRs thus far . He has a 3 Slash Line of .274/.355/.900. EE had an OPS of 1.326 – with 3 HRs and 3 Doubles over the last 6 games, and also scored 7 Runs. He was part of key rallies that led to the clubs 6 – 0 week. The 1B only Struckout 1 time for the 6 Games.  Encarnacion is now tied with Miggy Cabrera with 63 HRs since the start of the 2012 year. He is the MLB Reports hitter of the week!

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week -  Edwin Encarnacion (See Picture Above).

Runners up were: Chris Davis (BAL) – (1.357 OPS, with 4 HRs and 10 RBI), Nelson Cruz (TEX) – (.379 BA, 3 HRS and 11 RBI) and Miguel Cabrera (.536 BA, 20 times reached on base in 7 Games, 15 Hits – with 2 HRs and 6 RBI).

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekMax Scherzer – who went 2 – 0 with a 2.08 ERA in 2 Game Starts and 16 SO in 13 IP.

Runners Up were: Casey Janssen (1 – 0, with 3 Saves – while only yielding 1 Hit and 1 Walk in 4 IP), Jarrod Parker 2 GS (1 – 0, with a 0.79 WHIP in 14 IP.)

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Toronto Blue Jays Organizational Charts: Payroll, Depth Charts And Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Saturday, June.14/2013

The Blue Jays have played better baseball of late, are now 30 - 36.  They sit in last place in the AL East.  Mark Buerhle was great in a 8 - 0 win versus Texas Fri.

The Blue Jays have played better baseball of late, are now 30 – 36. They sit in last place in the AL East – 9.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox. Mark Buerhle was great in a 8 – 0 win versus Texas Fri.  The two teams continue a Series today.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Blue Jays Organization click here

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 11

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Tuesday June.11/2013

David Ortiz is providing the kind of difference at the DH position that is an automatic advantage for the Boston Red Sox.  The 37 Year Old has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .314/.395/1.018 - accounting for 13 HRs and 48 RBI in his 46 Games.  The DH position was created for one dimensional players like '''Big Papi", however teams are not imploring awesome players for the slot.

David Ortiz is providing the kind of difference at the DH position that is an automatic advantage for the Boston Red Sox. The 37 Year Old has hit for a 3 Slash Line of .314/.395/1.018 – accounting for 13 HRs and 48 RBI in his 46 Games. The DH position was created for one-dimensional players like ”’Big Papi”, however teams are not imploring awesome players for the slot.  Most teams use the Designated Hitter for position players that are nursing injuries.  The Red Sox have seen their best run in franchise history with the big man.  Later in this article, I will post a link on how valuable DH’s have been in the last 20 years in Major League Baseball AL Pennant Winners.  More often than not, you need a great DH.  Ortiz is signed through 2014 at $13 MIL for the next 2 campaigns.  One of the better deals signed in the offseason

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week – David Ortiz has come up clutch in leading the Bo Sox to a season – high 15 games over .500 with many game changing hits like last week. 

Having the best offensive DH is a decisive difference compared to the rest of league.  If everyone remembers, the 2012 Red Sox actually skirted near .500 until ‘Big Papi’ went down with his injury.

DH article from 1992 – 2011 here

Runners up were: Howie Kendrick, Josh Donaldson, Adam Lind, all had strong weeks – especially for Batting Averages, but Ortiz had late inning heroics that changed the outcome for his team out of his 3 HRs and 9 RBI.

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The Week – Jarrod Parker

The Oakland A’s Chucker went 2 – 0, with a 1.35 ERA.  He has thrown 6 Straight Quality Starts – and has won 5 of his last 6 decisions after starting the year 0 – 5.

Runners Up were  Jeremy Hellickson and Clay Buchholz,

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #12 – Interview With MLB Fancave Dweller Aaron Roberts, Astros Chat + Lids

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Sunday, June.09, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Thomas Aaron Roberts (25 Minute Mark and a 17 Min Segment) (Former MLB Reports Dodgers Correspondent and 1 of 7 MLB FanCave Dwellers left in New York)

Richard Perez (www.strosbros.mlblogs.com and 1 of our 3 Astros Correspondents from there – (4 Minutes in and a 20 Minute Segment)

Guys (Frank and Carmen) from the @mydopehatgame (44 Minutes In and a 10 Minute Segment)

To Keep Reading and Listen to this Podcast click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY or scroll past the Triple Play Logo

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Top Teams In The MLB 1 – 30 + (200 Best Stats For The Last Month)

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Thursday June.06/2013

Chris Davis was the hitter of the month for the MLB Reports.  The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season - after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days.  The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256.  Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI - and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played.  He is on pace for a 50 HR/ 50 Doubles Season.  "Crush" is due for Arbitration after this year - and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

Chris Davis was the AL hitter of the month for the MLB Reports. The guy has 20 HRs and 20 2B on the season – after hitting 11/11 for both columns in the last 30 Days. The Orioles slugger also hit for a 3 Slash Line of .385/.448/1.256. Davis also Walked 11 Times, drove in 22 RBI – and collected 40 Hits in just 24 Games Played. He is on pace for a 50 HR/50 Doubles Season. “Crush” is due for Arbitration after this year – and will garner a considerable payraise from the $3.3 MIL he will earn this season.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The time has come for the June Power Rankings with Stats Edition.  There will be one each for May, June, July, August, September – and then a special playoff edition Power Rankings will be done in October.

I will not do a weekly Power Rankings during this weeks, because in essence, these are the weekly rankings done on a much larger scale.

These Reports are done with a heavy thought to how the teams project by the end of the season – along with how the clubs have fared so far.

I will point out who has had great months for the all 30 MLB Teams.  I reward the good performances in these rankings – and leave the poor ones for the Podcasts or future articles. CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or scroll past the video and picture

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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Miguel Cabrera Is the Best Hitter In The Universe

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Tuesday, June.04, 2013

It is only a matter of time before we start talking about the historical significance of Miggy Cabrera.  He is on pace to crush about 50 HR and drive in over 190 RBI.  Modern day players rarely possess all 3 categories prowess in order to win a Triple Crown.  Improving on his first decade of MLB Baseball is incredible.  By the time he is done, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer

It is only a matter of time before we start talking about the historical significance of Miggy Cabrera. He is on pace to crush about 50 HR and drive in over 190 RBI. Modern day players rarely possess all 3 categories prowess in order to win a Triple Crown. Improving on his first decade of MLB Baseball is incredible. By the time he is done, he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

By Chris Lacey (Featured Baseball Columnist)

Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera Best Hitter in the Universe

The game of baseball has had great hitters like Frank Robinson, Chuck Klein, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Medwick, and Lou Gehrig. These players were all great hitters and they also have another thing in common, this is they are all former Triple Crown winners.

However, there is one thing that all these great players never accomplished in their career, and that was they never earned the award in consecutive seasons. The history of baseball has not had any player ever accomplish this.

Miguel Cabrera’s monster 3 Homer Game versus the Texas Rangers May.19/2013

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Why Is He Hitting Second? – The MLB Has Had A Changing Of What The 2 Hitters Role Is

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Tuesday June 4th, 2013

 Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances.  Why not flip him to the  3rd spot, move EE to 4th with - and put a hot - hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bautista, hitting second for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, is hitting .268 with 12 HR and 29 RBI.These are not exactly the numbers that a person expects to come out of the two-hole hitter. In a lineup, the two-hitter should have some pop and should be able to drive in runs, but is really supposed to just get on base. The team is really sacrificing him some RBI chances. Why not flip him to the 3rd spot, move EE to 4th with – and put a hot – hitting Lind (.323/.410/.937) in the 2 hole?

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Why is [insert name of team’s best hitter] in the two-hole?—a question many confused fans are asking about their team’s lineup. It is interesting. A few teams—the Yankees for some time, the Blue Jays, the Twins, and the Angels are slotting a player who people would normally see in the three-hole as the number two hitter. I’ll take a look at the Blue Jays first.

One can make the case that Jose Bautista is the best hitter on the Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnacion had a great year last year and is staying on that pace, but ‘JoeyBats’ has been consistent for the past few years.

The two-hitter should mostly make contact and move runners over if needed.  Them also being Left-Handed enhances the chance to hit one through the hole created by the First Baseman holding on the Leadoff hitter -  if on base.

He also needs some speed. Bautista definitely has the pop part, but you will not see him lay down a bunt to get the leadoff guy over. I know the Blue Jays are struggling, but should he really be hitting in the two-hole?

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