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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 4 MLB Baseball Apr. 2014

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are now at the 10% pole of the MLB year.  The American League looks to have some serious battles taking place in the divisions, while the National League has teams who are separating from others.

Kansas City put themselves back on the map with a 5 – 2 week, and now have a tie for the AL Central lead.

The Yankees started the week winning 4 straight, before dropping the last contests with the Rays, but look good for the long haul.

The Rays officially lost Matt Moore for the year, and Alex Cobb is gone for a while too.

Albert Pujols is bouncing towards 500 HRs, but his Halo’s are in the midst of a tough 3 city road trip.

The Nationals are learning once again that nothing is handed to you. Read the rest of this entry

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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

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

Atlanta Braves State Of The Union 2014: The Hitters

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team.  Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers.  In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI.  2013 saw him make his 1st ALL - Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 - with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team. Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers. In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI. 2013 saw him make his 1st ALL – Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 – with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Braves won 95 Games in 2013, and the NL East was a runaway by 9 games over Washington.

This was done even though of paltry numbers posted by Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, and a half year with Jason Heyward hitting underneath the Mendoza Line.

The game changer for the offense was a surprise performance by 3B Chris Johnson, who contended for the NL Batting Title for the better part of the whole year.

Evan Gattis and Brian McCann also hit near 20+ HRs each for just about a seasons worth of Plate Appearances out of the Catchers position.

Justin Upton charged out of the gates in April with 12 HRs, and then after going cold in the next 3 months. bounced back in August to take a run at it again.

The younger brother to B.J., had stretches were he carried the club. Read the rest of this entry

The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with Read the rest of this entry

Master List Of All Free Agents Signed In 2013 Winter – Heading Into 2014 MLB Year

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It has been a record setting year for contract $ doled out for players.  When you factor in the player extensions, we are talking about 7 contracts registering in the top 50 Player contracts in the history of the game.

Robinson Cano, Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Freddie Freeman, Shin-Soo Choo and Homer Bailey have inked deal for between $105 MIL to $240 MIL.

Now there is word the Angels are working on an extension with Mike Trout, to the tune of 6 YRs/$150 MIL,  from 2015 – 2020.  This would be the 22nd highest contract in MLB History.

For the record, Trout’s deal for 2014 is already set at $510 K, and any extension wouldn’t have Luxury Tax Ramifications until his new deal would start in 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Young Guns To Watch In The MLB For 2014

“Hard Cheddar” – with ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Young Guns to Watch in 2014

The 2014 season is fast approaching.  With spring training just around the corner, there are many up and coming players who are on the brink of making it to the majors. Who knows!

It may also be the beginning of hall of fame careers for some of these guys.  There are also a couple of players, who are already in the majors, and look to continue their success. 

I’ve profiled 5 hitters and 5 pitchers for your reading pleasure.  Some of these guys may be a little under the radar; however I believe they have a tremendous upside, and are fun to watch.  Let’s take a look.  Read the rest of this entry

The Top 50 Contracts Of ALL – Time IN MLB: Freddie Freeman Is 29th With His New Deal – But It Makes Sense

Freddie Freeman Highlights 2013 – Mature Content – Parental Guidance is Advised

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Freddie Freeman is worth the money he just signed for when it comes to his talent level, age and production thus far.

Yesterday, the 24 Year Old First Baseman inked a 8 YR deal worth $135 MIL with the Tomahawk Choppers.  As someone who was just entering the 1st year of Arbitration Eligibility, he was bought out of that negotiation.

The Braves will pay more money in the short – term, but will make up for it in the long run – by not having to dole out 200+ MIL bucks for the guy once he could have hit Free Agency. Read the rest of this entry

Atlanta Braves Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season.  When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins.  With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014.  Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash - to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves.  Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again.  These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season. When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins. With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014. Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash – to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves. Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again. These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart/Payroll Expert)

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The ‘Tomahawk Choppers’ have 2 players that are killing them for Free Agent signings this winter.

B.J. Upton is only in the 2nd year of his 5 YRs/$75 MIL – and underachieving Dan Uggla  is still on the  books for 2 more years.

Between these 2 gentleman, they will bring down $26.25 MIL in 2014.  The Braves are hoping for more than under the ‘Mendoza Line’ Batting Averages – and an occasional big fly.

The Braves are also headed to Arbitration with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel.  This is certainly bound to cost the organization a pretty penny.

In fact, those 3 players will likely exceed the amount of the B.J Upton and Uggla contracts.

Craig Kimbrel 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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The Atlanta Braves State Of The Union – Fall 2013: Part 1

2013 was not an easy road traveled either. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

2013 was not an easy road traveled for Atlanta. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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At the point after Eric O’Flaherty went down, many of us Braves fans began to panic and wonder how Fredi Gonzalez would get the ball to arguably the best closer

in all of baseball Craig Kimbrel. What happened after that? The Braves would still go on to post the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and on top of that set a franchise record for the same mark.

Jason Heyward missed significant time as did Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list and still drove in over 100 runs on the season.

BJ Upton and Dan Uggla struggled throughout most of the 2013 season and BJ was one of the players expected to make a huge impact when he signed with the Braves this winter and it just never happened.

Other players stepped up and young players assumed roles that were well beyond the original expectations of them in 2013.

No one panicked and no one quit and as a fan I am appreciative of the heart and effort this team always put forth.

The Dodgers Celebrate winning the NLDS Series versus Atlanta (At Turner Field)

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Braves May Have The Medicine To Cure The “Blue Flu”

The Braves are National League Eastern Division champions and for that they deserve a large amount of recognition. When you think back to the start of Spring Training and look all of those “expert” predictions that said the Washington Nationals would win the East this year you have to realize that despite the busy off season activity the Braves were still labeled as under dogs in their own division.

The Braves are National League Eastern Division champions and for that they deserve a large amount of recognition. When you think back to the start of Spring Training and look all of those “expert” predictions that said the Washington Nationals would win the East this year you have to realize that despite the busy off season activity the Braves were still labeled as under dogs in their own division.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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Despite injuries and struggles on the offensive end from highly paid players such as BJ Upton and Dan Uggla the Braves still manged to dominant the Eastern Division.

By “dominate” I mean they were in 1st place every single day of the season except for April 4th and they held at least an 8 game lead every single day for the final 60 of the season. If that’s not dominance I don’t know what is.

Besides the incredible season – and all that was achieved, the Braves did fail to secure the number one seed in the National League for the post season – which would have secured them home field throughout the playoffs and allowed them to play the winner of the Wild Card “play in game.” rather then having to face the Dodgers in the N.L.D.S.

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The Braves Win The NL East For The 1st Time Since 2005: The Team Is Way Different From Early 2013

The Braves won 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 - 2005, that culminated in 5 World Series Visits, with cashing in for the Trophy in 1995, however other than a Wild Card Berth (2010), and a Wild Card Play In Game (that they both lost), the club has not seen playoff success for the past 14 years.  The Bravos will have a full NLDS Series to claim another chance at a NLCS Pennant, for the 1st time since 1999.

The Braves won 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 – 2005, that culminated in 5 World Series Visits, with cashing in for the Trophy in 1995, however other than a Wild Card Berth (2010), and a Wild Card Play In Game in 2012 (that they both lost), the club has not seen playoff success for the past 14 years. The Bravos will have a full NLDS Series to claim another chance at a NLCS Pennant, for the 1st time since 1999. Atlanta is still duking it out with the Dodgers and Cardinals for overall home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and have a 0.5 Games Lead over St. Louis (2 game lead over Los Angeles) with just 5 games left.  This would be extremely ‘vital’ to the club – as the team sports a (MLB best) record of 53 – 23 at Turner Field – compared to 40 – 41 on the road this season.

By Hayley Howell (Featured Baseball Writer + Braves Enthusiastic Fan)  

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The first fourteen years of my life (1991-2005) the Braves won consecutive division titles (the best run in MLB to date). They were the first team in the NL to go from last place to first place the next year (“Worst to First”).

They went to the World Series. (1991 was the first time that the home team won all 7 games of the World Series-too bad Atlanta wasn’t the home team).

On my first trip to the local library after moving downtown twenty minutes from home I quickly discovered there were only two Braves books in the whole four floors:

The Miracle Season and a book by John Smoltz that I wish I could remember the title of because I read that thing like it was a holy canon that summer.

I know the Braves beat the Astros 6-5 a few hours after I was born, and I think, in baseball astrology terms, that meant I was destined to become a Braves fan.

The first World Series I was alive for was the Braves and the Twins, not as if I could remember it, but I know that people still argue over the bad call that supposedly caused the Braves to lose, as if one call among thousands could determine a game much less a series.

And for fourteen years consecutively the Braves won their Division (of course the 1994 Season was cancelled, negating the only time the season ended, without them atop the NL East Standings – Montreal was leading that year).

Braves Clinch The NL East

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The Braves Keep On ‘Chopping’ Despite Several Key Injuries

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year.  They have lost Venters, O'Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time.  If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year. They have lost Venters, O’Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time. If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, the injury time on the DL for Brian McCann, Brandon Beachy – and even Evan Gattis, plus the retired Chipper Jones having been departed from the 2012 squad, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!  Atlanta currently owns the best record in the MLB – with a 77 – 50 mark, 14 games clear of the 2nd place Washington Nationals in the NL East. Also, please stop inadvertently injuring our players New York Mets!

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

The word “injury” has plagued this 2013 Braves team all season long.

The injury bug didn’t take long to hit as Jonny Venters the teams premier set up man was unable to throw a single pitch this regular season.

Then it was Eric O’Flaherty who was hit with a season ending injury. At this point in time it was about mid May and many were in panic mode over what would become of this feared and revered Atlanta Braves bullpen.

It wouldn’t take too long to find out the answer to that question. After a little mixing and matching Fredi Gonzalez found the right guys to plug into those critical 7th/8th inning roles and they have been nothing short of spectacular.

Jason Heyward Hit In The Face – Not For The Weak Of Heart, You Have Been Warned!

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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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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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Who Owned Baseball Yesterday (July.28th) – Updated Yearly ‘WOB’ Standings

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

David Ortiz made up for a humiliating ejection on Saturday with an electrifying Sunday. He went 4-4 with a home run, two RBI and a pair of runs scored, leading the Red Sox to a 5-0 victory in Baltimore and catapulted Boston back into first place.

Ubaldo Jimenez dominated the Texas Rangers with 8 masterful shutout innings letting up only 2 hits and 3 walks. He got the 6-0 win as the Indians swept Texas.

Jason Heyward  homered in the third and drove in another run in the go ahead 6th inning rally, propelling the Braves to a 5-2 victory and a three game sweep of the Cardinals.

José Fernández was brilliant through 8 innings. He let just 5 hits, walked none and struck out 13 Pirates and picking up a rare win for the Marlins, 3-2. 

 They all owned baseball on July 28th, 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

Atlanta Braves Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Tuesday, July.23, 2013

Craig Kimbrel is one of the best young closers in baseball. He has saved 27 games this season for the Braves and with only three blown saves. The hard-throwing righty has a 1.49 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 13 walks in 36.1 innings pitched. He has a WHIP of 0.99 and 14.1 SO/9. The opposition is just hitting .181 against him, and he is holding right-handed batters to a .140 average. He is holding opposing teams an average of just .129 when runners are in scoring position. They  fare a little better with runners on and two outs with a .176 average.

Craig Kimbrel is one of the best young closers in baseball. He has saved 27 games this season for the Braves and with only three blown saves. The hard-throwing righty has a 1.49 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 13 walks in 36.1 innings pitched. He has a WHIP of 0.99 and 14.1 SO/9. The opposition is just hitting .181 against him, and he is holding right-handed batters to a .140 average. He is holding opposing teams an average of just .129 when runners are in scoring position. They fare a little better with runners on and two outs with a .176 average.

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

The Atlanta Braves have a comfortable lead in the National League East division with them ahead 6 ½ games on the Philadelphia Phillies. This division is having a down year, with no team a legitimate threat to catch Atlanta.

The Braves have a high-powered offense that only a few teams in baseball can match. They have the 3rd best offense in the NL with them scoring 425 runs this season.  Atlanta has a play style that is more suited to the American League than the NL.

Atlanta Braves 2012 Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

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

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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Braves Trade Deadline Talk


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Sunday, July.07/2013

The Brothers Upton are not living up to expectations.  With the exception of an MVP type like April, Justin Upton is hitting right where B.J. Upton has for the year.

The Brothers Upton are not living up to expectations. With the exception of an MVP type like April, Justin Upton is hitting right where B.J. Upton has for the year.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I’m sometimes hesitant to even put out an article about the trade deadline because the last thing the internet needs is more rumors and theories floating around, most of which never even come close to materializing.

However there is something to be said about the anticipation of the trade deadline as it’s almost the summer version of the winter meetings in which it allows teams to make that one final push towards their ultimate goal of winning a World Series.

And while some fan bases will have renewed hope or further reassurance that their team is in it to win it, other fan bases will suffer the harsh reality that their team is no longer a contender and that they will be more or less packing it in for the rest of the season.

Over the winter meetings the Braves put themselves in kind of tricky spot, possibly without even realizing it.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 14

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Monday July.01/2013

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 - 30.  You have to think that the club will put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak - with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining.  Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season.  At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB - and have reached #2 in our power rankings

The Bucs have won 9 straight games and now possess a record of 51 – 30. You have to think that the club will finally put the nail in the coffin on its 20 year losing streak – with just needing to win 31 of their 81 games remaining. Better yet, ESPN has them listed as a 88 Percent chance to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1992 season. At the halfway point in the season, the Bucs have the best record in the MLB – and have reached #2 in our power rankings.

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

Another Week has come and gone in the MLB.

Week Stats Ending – June.29/2013

(MLB Reports) AL Hitter Of The Week -  Jason Kipnis (CLE – He reached base 24 times in the 8 games (14 hits, 9 Walks and 1 HBP) – with 3 HRs, 6 – 2B, 9 Runs and 11 RBI.  He hit .519 for the week).

Runners up were:  Miguel Cabrera (DET – OPS of 1.583, with 4 HRs and 7 RBI), Dustin Pedroia (BOS – .560 BA, 14 hits), and Raul Ibanez (SEA – OPS of 1.455 – 3 HRs and 5 RBI.)

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The WeekR.A. Dickey (TOR – 2 hit CG Shutout versus the Tampa Bay Rays.)

Runners up were: Koji Uehara (BOS – 3 Perfect Saves) and Joe Blanton LAA (1 – 0, with a 1.88 ERA in 2 GS). Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #8: Dodgers (Puig Especially), White Sox + Braves Talk With Awesome Guests!

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Thursday, June.20/2013

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 )

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly The Bench Warmers, I talked with MLB Reports Braves correspondent Bob McVinua (www.braveschoptalk.wordpress.com) about the Atlanta Braves season so far, what’s to come for them the rest of the season plus other things…

Then I talked to MLB Reports Dodgers correspondent Enrique Rivera about their phenom Yasiel Puig, if the Dodgers somehow can get back in the playoff race amongst other issues…

Also I interviewed MLB Reports White Sox correspondent Brian Madsen about the White Sox offensive struggles, is their farm system producing any future ball players & other stuff…also I do my Stats & Facts segment as usual so check out this baseball podcast that talks baseball like it outta be!!! SPREAD THE WORD!! Thank you all for your support!!!

People in this Podcast:

Bob McVinua (MLB Reports Guest Braves Correspondent – About 9 Minutes in and a 21 Minute Segment)

Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports LA Dodgers Correspondent – 31 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent- 53 Minutes In and a 17 Minute Segment) 

(Stats and Facts done by James at the 1 Hour and 10 Minute Mark for 20 Minutes and for the 1st 9 Minutes.)

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Atlanta Braves Organizational Charts: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.20/2013

The Braves are right up there with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for best run organizations over the last 25 years.  Some would say that Atlanta's brass is the king at organizational bang for the buck from drafting a trading. The team reeled off a professional record 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 - 2004.  They made it to 6 World Series, unfortunately only winning 1 of them.

The Braves are right up there with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for best run organizations over the last 25 years. Some would say that Atlanta’s brass is the king at organizational bang for the buck from drafting a trading. The team reeled off a professional record – 14 straight Division Titles from 1991 – 2005. They made it to 6 World Series, unfortunately only winning 1 of them in 1995.

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 Braves Organization click here

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 12

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Monday June.17/2013

Adam Dunn has finally put together an awesome week this year.  He hit for a 3 Slash Line of .389/.455/1.510 - with 4 HRs and 8 RBI.  His efforts didn't stop the team from losing 4 straight, however he is the MLB Reports AL Hitter of The Week!

Adam Dunn has finally put together an awesome week this year. He hit for a 3 Slash Line of .389/.455/1.510 – with 4 HRs and 8 RBI. His efforts didn’t stop the team from losing 4 straight, however he is the MLB Reports AL 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 – Adam Dunn (See Picture Above).

Runners up were: Teammates Evan Longoria, (.305, 4 HRs and 6 RBI) and Matt Joyce (385, 4 HRs and 5 RBI), plus Adam Lind (.407, 2 HRs and 6 RBI.)

(MLB Reports) AL Pitcher Of The Week – Corey Kluber

Kluber threw in 16 IP, featured a 2 – 0 Record on back to back 8 IP starts – including a 0.56 ERA.

Runners Up were: Bartolo Colon (2 – 0, 1.38 ERA,) Jim Johnson (4 Saves in 4 Opportunities) and Miguel Gonzalez (2 – 0, 2.54 ERA).

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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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MLB Team Power Rankings

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Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

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

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

We’re A 1/3 Of The Way Home: 10 Braves Questions To Ponder For The Last 2/3

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Friday, May.31/2013

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division,  The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs.  Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla's power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division, The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs. Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla’s power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May and that baseball season is almost a 1/3 of the way over already. It’s been a fun two months and I’ve enjoyed cheering for and stressing over these Bravos for the past almost 60 days.

I thought that this was a good time to assess what I think the Braves have and what they don’t have. And moving forward what this team will have to do in order to be successful.

As usual I don’t want to bore anyone with stats, I may throw a few in there for reference points but I’ll try not to over load anyone. I can’t stand the fact that you can’t even read an article on baseball without it looking like a math problem.

Past the Read Entry Tag – or youtube clip – as there are the 10 questions to be answered in the last 108 Games.

Read the rest of this entry

Current Top 5 MLB Home Run Leaders in the AL + NL: Home Runs Hit May 20th

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Tuesday, May.21, 2013

Robinson Cano is leading all Second Baseman + is tied in the AL with Chris Davis for HRs with 13.  In a sign of what he might do this year, in his last 163 Games since last year, Cano has a 3 Slash Line of .310/.374/.952 - with 42 HRs and 110 RBI.  This type of season would land Cano a deal similar to the one Prince Fielder received a few years ago (9 Years/$214 MIL)

Robinson Cano is leading all Second Baseman + is tied in the AL with Chris Davis for HRs with 13. In a sign of what he might do this year, in his last 163 Games since last year, Cano has a 3 Slash Line of .310/.374/.952 – with 42 HRs and 110 RBI. This type of season would land Cano a deal similar to the one Prince Fielder received a few years ago (9 Years/$214 MIL)

DH on our home site pages – Stands for Daily HR Hitters in the Majors.

We are going to run the gauntlet on the previous days HRs for all MLB Players.

I loved it when MLB XM Radio used to do a running total every night on their Roundtrip with Mike Ferrin (Laser Show).  So I am bringing it every day on this website.  To view every nights big boppers for the whole year (from May 8th on) visit the DH page!

Click beyond the Youtube link or click  the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to see who hit yesterdays big flies.

Miguel Tejada Mix of Highlights:

[]http://youtu.be/a0wc3W6wmzA Read the rest of this entry

MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7

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Monday May.20/2013

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup.  Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around.  Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race

The Padres have played great baseball since they plugged Chase Headley back in the lineup. Players like Yonder Alonso, Will Venable, Everth Cabrera and even Kyle Blanks have bashed the ball around. Since a lot of the NL West clubs have not run away with the Division, the San Diego club has entered the picture for the Division Race.

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

The Rangers are #1 again based on the Division lead they currently possess, plus the fact they play all of these teams a total of 76 Games this year.

The Braves (rose their division lead to 2.5 Games with a 4 – 2 week), and Padres (18 – 13 in their last 31 Games and have been clubbing the ball lateley) were the biggest movers up for the week standings by climbing 6 spots apiece. 

The biggest drops were the San Francisco Giants (hate their Starting Pitching right now – except for Madison Bumgarner) and the Baltimore Orioles (late inning magic might be dying – and still need a DH + a Veteran Starter or 2).

The Los Angeles teams keep losing ball games – and the Blue Jays lost 2 straight versus the Yankees just when they looked to be on track.

Cleveland is still ranked outside the top ten because I don’t have faith in their strength of schedule in the next month starting May 21st:  2 vs DET, 4 @BOS, 2 vs CIN, 2 @CIN, 2 vs TB, 3 @NYY, 3 @DET, 3 @TEX, 3 vs WSH and finally 3 vs KC.  If they are above .500 after this stretch, I will be impressed.

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MLB Monthly Power Rankings May 2013 (Podcast Version)

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Sunday, May.05/2013

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)

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

One month down in the MLB season and that means it’s time for some Power Rankings! Chuck Booth the czar of MLBreports.com joins us in studio to rank every team from worst to first. Where does your team rank? Read the rest of this entry

2 And A Hook Podcast Episode #4: The Blue Jays Are Finished in 2013 + The Angels Are Close

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Friday, May.02/2013

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

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

People in this Podcast:

Chuck Booth – Guest (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran) 

’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..)

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly (The Bench Warmers Show), I had Chuck Booth talk for over an hour about a  bunch of topics.

We started off with the horrible season the Toronto Blue Jays have had thus far.  We also talked about the Angels, what Robin Ventura is thinking – hitting Adam Dunn #4 still and how the Braves must regret paying B.J. Upton $15 MIL a year – while they are ecstatic about paying Justin Upton only about half of that. Read the rest of this entry

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