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Why The Houston Astros Have The Brightest Future In Major League Baseball

Carlos Correa was the 1st overall pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft for the Houston Astros. He came up in early June and proceeded to win the American League Rookie Of The Year Award with a 3 Slash of .279/.345/.512 with 22 HRs (led all shortstops in the MLB) and 22 Doubles in just 99 Games. This type of production will change the complexion of the team for the next 6 years. He is just going to be 21 for all of next season - and he looks exactly like a young Alex Rodriguez. In his 1st postseason action, Correa smacked 2 HRs in that pivotal game 4 of the ALDS for Houston, staking them to a 6 - 2 lead before the Bullpen gave up the game.

Carlos Correa was the 1st overall pick in the 2012 Amateur Draft for the Houston Astros. He came up in early June and proceeded to win the American League Rookie Of The Year Award with a 3 Slash of .279/.345/.512 with 22 HRs (led all shortstops in the MLB) and 22 Doubles in just 99 Games. This type of production will change the complexion of the team for the next 6 years. He is just going to be 21 for all of next season – and he looks exactly like a young Alex Rodriguez. In his 1st postseason action, Correa smacked 2 HRs in that pivotal game 4 of the ALDS for Houston, staking them to a 6 – 2 lead before the Bullpen gave up the game.

Trey Rose (Featured Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com)  

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The Houston Astros had some very rough years from 2011 to 2013 (162-324 record).

While this was a tough time for the Major League Organization, their Minor League affiliates were thriving. Luckily for the Astros, a lot of their young talent has made their way through the minors and has finally landed in the big leagues.

This youth movement has helped the team drastically. Many baseball experts and fans didn’t predict the Astros to compete in 2015, but they proved them wrong.

In 2015, they made the playoffs for the first time since 2005. They accomplished this feat while having the 6th youngest roster in Major League Baseball (Average age of 26.7 years old).

If the Astros were this successful with a roster with so little Major League experience, then can you imagine what they will do once their talent matures throughout the next few seasons? Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

best odd value on the board this week.

best odd value on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Howie Kendrick signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past week, and the club has learned that Yasiel Puig has dropped 15 LBS in the offseason.

While I still peg the Dodgers for about 90 – 91 wins as of right now, they have the best odds on the board this week.

There is no doubt the San Francisco Giants lineup 1 – 8 is way better and Pitching Staff is also more rounded, however the gap between the two clubs is not a difference of +600.

I would put the Giants about 93 – 94 wins.  Their roster moves while decent this winter with Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Denard Span, they all come with a little question mark here or there. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings: Early Win Total Predictions For Spring Of 2016

Just because there is parity in the American League it doesn't mean that the Junior Circuit will not club the National League in Interleague this upcoming season. In fact, I am calling for them to be 50 games over .500 versus the Senior Circuit in the AL vs NL schedule. Most of that will be versus the weaker NL clubs, however the better NL clubs will not entirely dominate the whole AL either.

Just because there is parity in the American League it doesn’t mean that the Junior Circuit will not club the National League in Interleague this upcoming season. In fact, I am calling for them to be 50 games over .500 versus the Senior Circuit in the AL vs NL schedule. Most of that will be versus the weaker NL clubs, however the better NL clubs will not entirely dominate the whole AL either.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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There is parity in the American League and their is a growing distance between the good and the bad clubs in the National League.

One could argue that the top 6 teams (NYM/CHC/SF/WSH/STL/PIT) in all of the Majors reside in the NL right now, and you then you can counter that by saying they have the 6 worst squads as well (PHI/ATL/MIL/CIN/SD/COL).

The funny thing about this whole ordeal is that the AL is absolutely going to cream the NL in Interleague this forthcoming season.  On a 12 year win streak already,  I am predicting a 175 – 125 W – L for the games between both leagues. The AL speedbags the National League in my view.

Last year, the American League held a 167 – 133 mark over the National League so that prediction up there is not foreign by any means. 

Read the rest of this entry

All 30 MLB Park Home Openers With Local Start Times For 2016

Best Source of Information for all 30 MLB Ballparks - and network of stadium afficionado's

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst)

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The 2015 season is over and it is time to start planning for attending games in the 2016 year.  This is our third straight year of posting all of the Season Openers for all of the parks.

I have been fortunate enough to see home openers in 8 different parks already in the last 4 years.

We have updated the previous article on this because all of the home start times have been posted.

We have also provided 30 links to all of the best chaser guides for the stadiums.  This will aid you in making your travel plans for the 2016 season.

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Interleague 2016 Master Schedule With ALL Starting Times

AL vs NL

MLB Scheduling 2016

Day + Date     Away and Home, Times Start In EST

APR

WEEK 1 (Includes Season Opener Sunday Apr.3, 2016)

Sunday, Apr 3 (1 Game)

Mets @ Royals 8:37

Monday, Apr 4 (1 Game)

Cubs @ Angels 10:05 (Angel Stadium Season Opener)

Tuesday  Apr 5  (3 Games)

Mets @ Royals 4:15

Tigers @ Marlins 7:10 (Marlins Park Season Opener)

Cubs @ Angels 10:05
Read the rest of this entry

All 30 MLB Parks in 25 Days All By Ground

baseball-map-framed-with-plaque

Chuck Booth (BBBA President/Owner mlbreports.com) 

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For the last several years my buddy Josh Robbins and I have come up with ways to beat our individual world records for ballpark chasing.

My record is all 30 MLB Parks (every pitch) in just 23 Calendar Days.  I accomplished this feat in 2012.  You can read about that trip here.  After scouring the MLB Schedule for 2016, there is not even an attempt to try for the record this season.

Unless it changes, it will be another campaign I will sip (Gas Monkey Cinnamon Tequilla) as the world record holder for another year.

Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tied for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.  New York brought him back for at least another year, where he helped the Mets go 34 - 23 down the stretch.  Expect more of the same in 2016.  Mets are the best bet of the week for the 'Fall Classic' value wise.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tied for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. New York brought him back for at least another year, where he helped the Mets go 34 – 23 down the stretch. Expect more of the same in 2016. Mets are the best bet of the week for the ‘Fall Classic’ value wise.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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A couple of things have happened over the last week.  The Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes and no odd was changed after this.  Very strange indeed.

With adding the Cuban slugger, the Mets have almost assured their fanbase for another post season berth in 2016.  This club is more like it was in the last 2 months than it was in the 1st four months.

Even if the Nationals were to have an unbelievable year – the Mets should still make the postseason as the #1 Wild Card seed.

I have the Mets as a 96 win team after this move, with the Nats listed about 93 victories.  Had the Nats picked up Cespedes, I would have given Washington a 95 – 92 win advantage over New York. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 20, 2016

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PHOTO BY: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY

What teams can lay claim to “Team of the Decade” for the 2010’s?

What team can enter the conversation with a 2016 World Series win?

It is a long term legacy episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Dear FanGraphs On Your MLB Season Projections: I Wish You Ran A Gambling Site!

Talk about no respect. Back to back pennants and a projection by Fangraphs to finish tied for 12th in the American League with 79 wins, and 16 less than 2015 - even though the talent level is pretty much status quo. KC, STL and PIT are all projected to tank 15 games each from 2016 - 2015. No way fellas!

Talk about no respect. Back to back pennants and a projection by Fangraphs to finish tied for 12th in the American League with 79 wins, and 16 less than 2015 – even though the talent level is pretty much status quo. KC, STL and PIT are all projected to tank 15 games each from 2016 – 2015. No way fellas!

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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So I studied the recent FanGraphs projections for the upcoming 2016 MLB Year and was completely shocked at where these guys had the defending World Series Champions projected at for W – L Record….79 – 83 and tied for the 12th best record in the Junior Circuit??!!

Fangraphs, you are high if  you think that will actually take place.  For that, I wish you ran a gambling website to promote betting.  The sharps would have a field day on  a couple of these selections.  I would throw down some serious money on your totals.

Lets not entirely rule out Cleveland winning the AL Central as they have also prognosticated here, albeit at just 84 wins.  That victory total is about right for the Tribe – But how can you have all AL teams (except BOS) pegged between 78 – 86 wins? Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

By re-signing Alex Gordon - and then providing depth at the Starting Rotation, KC has cemented itself on a playoff spot in 2016. They are still 4 or 5 wins better than Detroit - but health could play a factor there. Still like them better than the AL East clubs cannibalizing each other at the top, and the AL West is a little up in the air between Houston and Texas. +1200 is still a fantastic odd for the team to repeat as World Series Champs.

By re-signing Alex Gordon – and then providing depth at the Starting Rotation, KC has cemented itself on a playoff spot in 2016. They are still 4 or 5 wins better than Detroit – but health could play a factor there. Still like them better than the AL East clubs cannibalizing each other at the top, and the AL West is a little up in the air between Houston and Texas. +1200 is still a fantastic odd for the team to repeat as World Series Champs.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Since we last chatted on these odds, the KC Royals have signed Alex Gordon and Ian Kennedy, the Baltimore Orioles have inked Chris Davis – and Detroit settled on a 6 year pact with Justin Upton.

The only club that budged on the odds were the Tigers going from +2500 to +2200.  For the record, I believe that both the Tigers and Royals are great value picks right now.

In doing these deals, both franchises have set themselves up nicely for a postseason berth in this forthcoming year.

I believe with the Upton deal that Detroit is now and 86 – 87 win team.  I firmly think that KC will be the only club in the American League to top 90. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 18, 2016

davisweb1s-web

SEAN M. HAFFEY/GETTY IMAGES

The Royals are aiming for their third straight pennant in 2016. If they do, they will join the Earl Weaver Orioles, Charlie Finley A’s, Bronx Zoo Yankees, LaRussa A’s and the Torre Yankees as three time pennant winners since Divisional Play began. The Torre Yankees are the only ones since the Wild Card.

It is a “Let’s Join Some Big Company” episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 16, 2015

lonnie_smith5

Today is part 2 of my conversation with 3 time World Champion Lonnie Smith.

This segment, we talk about his transition to Kansas City and his recollections of the blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.

Upon further review, please enjoy this episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Thanks to PastPros for setting up the interview.

Read the rest of this entry

Who Will Win The 2016 American League Divisions Polls

american league

Since it is the early part of January, we will offer these polls for all teams in all of the Divisions.

How To Stop Tanking Maneuvers In Order To ‘Rebuild’ MLB Teams

In the last year of the current CBA there may be a change to the new agreement that would stop teams from intentionally losing under the "integrity of competitiveness" clause. Teams such as Houston and Chicago have laid the template down, and now other teams are following suit.

In the last year of the current ‘CBA’ there may be a change to the new agreement that would stop teams from intentionally losing under the “integrity of competitiveness” clause. Teams such as Houston and the Chicago  Cubs have laid the template down, and now other teams are following suit like the Phillies, Braves, Reds, Padres, Rockies and Brewers.

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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How to stop Tanking?

Spearheaded by Jeff Luhnow – the complete ‘tank philosophy’ has taken off across sports which is a terrible thing for competitive balance.

Teams in other leagues such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Cubs, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Timberwolves and Indianapolis Colts have had completely terrible teams with the goal of landing the top selection in that draft(s).

Tanking has become much more widespread and is EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE. The problem is losing this badly leads to teams being terrible likely for long periods of time so they can be at the top of the draft and have a chance at elite players.

The differences in tanking differ by league though, in basketball if you don’t have the elite talent then you will never win and that talent is found almost always at the top of the draft.

In football you need a quarterback to be a super bowl contender and tanking will likely be just for the quarterback as the Colts did for Andrew Luck.

Hockey (like baseball) requires depth but top line players carry a huge premium and are available at the top of the draft and you defiantly need at least a few to be Stanley Cup contenders. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Nationals were 36 - 25 in the games that Denard Span appeared in for the 2015 year.  He is going to help some offense as a legitimate leadoff man in 2016 who can play a decent CF.  HIs pending departure will be felt significantly more if Jayson Werth has another injury riddled year - or if Michael Taylor can't take the next step in 2016.

The Nationals were 36 – 25 in the games that Denard Span appeared in for the 2015 year. He is going to help  the Giants offense as a legitimate leadoff man in 2016 and can play all 3 positions in the Outfield.  They have 3 decent starting players beyond the grass, and should be able to fill all 162 games with Belt and Blanco also being on the depth chart out there.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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I absolutely love the Giants Free Agent Signing of Denard Span.  This is a club that has extreme depth in all 3 OF positions now, and Span has worked the role of a Leadoff man brilliantly in the last several years.

Yes between he, Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan they have spent time on the sick bay over the last few years, but when you add that Brandon Belt could play LF, or Gregor Blanco who filled in admirably well in 2015, than you see that the roster just became stronger.

It is for these reasons alone I have finally taken the +900 odd off as one of my worst picks on the betsheet.  This signing definitely tips the scales back in San Frans favor over the Dodgers.

The 1 – 8 lineup looks nice with Span, Joe Panik, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt, Matt Duffy, Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan all capable MLB Starter.  I could see this squad leading the Batting Average in the Majors in the coming year.

While I love the club, the odd at +900 is bang on now. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

LA-Dodgers-logo

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Not that much has happened since we last checked into these numbers over the last 3 weeks.  The biggest jump on the board was the Giants going to favorites of the NL West after the Johnny Cueto signing.

The Dodgers have since countered and are making this race for the NL West that much better again.  It wasn’t long ago that the Los Angeles NL franchise were the favorites to win the entire World Series.

I think it is almost a dead heat right now between San Francisco and LA – and could come down to the transactions that are done in the next 8 months.

New York did pick up Aroldis Chapman but are still only listed as the 3rd favorite in the Division.  New York has the best Bullpen, the Jays the best offense – and Boston might be the best overall club in the AL East.

If you believe the Yankees will continue to spend $ like Washington is printing it everyday should they contend this coming season, that +200 for the Division is a good odd. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 1, 2016 (Includes All 30 MLB Teams Written New Years Resolutions)

NewYearCapture

Happy New Year. 2016 has begun and we will have 366 episodes this year.

As I do every January 1, I give a New Years resolution for each of the 30 teams.

Let old acquaintance be forgot on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings New Years 2016

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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(1) Chicago Cubs: Big additions of Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey.  Tonnes of young superstars only ging to get better.

(2) NY Mets:  Starting Pitching best in the Majors.  Offensive depth better in offseason.  Need David Wright to stay healthy.  NL East easiest bottom 3 teams in the bigs.

(3) Kansas City Royals:  Easiest Division in the Majors.  Back to Back AL Pennants and defending World Series Champs.  Look for some more mid year deals. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 31, 2015

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USA Today Sports

The last podcast of the year. So much can happen in 365 days. So many legacies can be changed. So many events not foreseen at the beginning of the year can totally be flipped.

Just think of Salvador Perez, ending 2014 as the man who popped up to end the World Series… and being the World Series MVP for 2015.

Think of Pariah Alex Rodriguez leading the Yankees back to the playoffs.

Lots of changes happened. Lots more will happen in 2016.

Be sure to listen to all of it on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The American And National League Pennants For 2016

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They should the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. As such, should be the favorite to win the AL Pennant as well. franchise has most of the core nucleus all heading for Free Agency before the 2018 season. If I were a fan of this club - I would be okay with the team rebuilding after this, but for now to throw all chips in and try to cash in on a chance for a small dynasty. Dayton Moore and the Brass should use any one of their Minor League Players to acquire the next piece or 2 to make that happen in 2016 and 2017.

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They should the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. As such, should be the favorite to win the AL Pennant as well.  They are truly the Rodney Dangerfield club when it comes to respect.  Keep it up fellas, and many gambling sharps will continue to pad their bank account.  Take the +1200 wager to win the American League all day long.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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Step right up and plunk down as much money as you can on the Royals.  Tied for 6th in the AL odds, and given what other sports gambling websites are giving the defending champs for a World Series odd, it is an ultimate no brainer.

I can’t wait to see if this gambling establishment also offers a over/under for the club.  It has been fun making money on the Kansas City squad over the last few years.

There is no way that the Indians and Tigers should have parallel wager odds with KC. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Yankees acquisition of Aroldis Chapman is great notion that the club will continue to make plans to acquire more players on the last year of their team control.

The Yankees acquisition of Aroldis Chapman is great notion that the club will continue to make plans to acquire more players on the last year of their team control.  I hope you cashed in on their +2000 odd last week.  If not, the +1500 mark is still fair to bet now.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Just as predicted, the Yankees odd went from +2000 to +1500 overnight with the Aroldis Chapman trade coming down.

If you had them with one of our own best bets last week, then you capitalized on the best odd you are going to get from the Bronx Bombers this winter.

So how exactly do the oddsmakers have so much faith in the Left Handed Reliever?  Well it has more to do with the masses betting on New York with given hope.

We outlined at the MLB Reports about their coming season.  With Chapman in the fold, forthcoming suspension withstood, the Yankees will have the man even for just 4 months.

The Yankees will won a ton of games if they are leading after 5 innings, and with the top 3 Strikeout ratio Relievers, these guys could come up huge in the playoffs for next campaign.

if you bet the Yanks, or believe they are not done shopping in the Free Agent Market yet, that +1500 odd is still not a bad wager. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The American And National League For 2016

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They should the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. As such, hould be the favorite to win the AL Pennant as well. franchise has most of the core nucleus all heading for Free Agency before the 2018 season. If I were a fan of this club - I would be okay with the team rebuilding after this, but for now to throw all chips in and try to cash in on a chance for a small dynasty. Dayton Moore and the Brass should use any one of their Minor League Players to acquire the next piece or 2 to make that happen in 2016 and 2017.

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They should the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. As such, should be the favorite to win the AL Pennant as well. This website has them listed as +1200 to win just their league championship.  This is the best odd on the board for the entire offseason, and I have plunked down $50 on them.  It baffles me how the oddsmakers still give this club no respect.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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I can’t express enough on the awesome value that the odds are singing to me right now.  The KC Royals at +1200 when most gambling establishments have this same odd for the World Series?!  Bet this all day long.

If you looked to the last post I did on the League Odds, you will see almost a perfect record of me dissecting the odds.

All 3 favorite odds clubs for the AL are ridiculous. Boston may be right on course for the top ranked Junior Circuit team, but at +450?  No way.  The Rangers and Astros are also not a given to be that high of an odd either.

Toronto is also an excellent odd to wager this week at +850.  Come on guys really. You have them listed at the same odd as the New York Yankees?

The Mariners, Twins and White Sox all have great odds listed for their League Championship totals.  I am not saying they will win, but all have a punchers chance.  Minnesota won 83 games in 2015, and the White Sox and M’s have decent winters thus far from acquiring talent.

Speaking about a shot based on value, the Marlins are listed as +3000 favorites to win the World Series on some sites, yet have been listed as +6000. Read the rest of this entry

New York Mets State Of The Union For 2016

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. Especially if they can coordinate a couple of trades (Pitching for hitters).

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. After tinkering with average players in acquisitions (other than Neil Walker – who is a comparable replacement for Daniel Murphy), it looks like GM Sandy Alderson is done constructing the offense for 2016.  I think this is a critical error.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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It has been a decent offseason for the New York Mets so far.  They have resigned Bartolo Colon, filled in the spot at 2B with an almost equal amount of talent for Daniel Murphy, while adding Asdrubal Cabrera is also a wise move.

The organization even resigned Jerry Blevins to the Relief Core.  There is still potential to add another arm or 2 for late innings in the Bullpen.

On Tuesday, it was announced the OF Alejandro De Aza has joined the club for a one year deal at $5.75 MIL (and $1.25 MIL in incentives).  This guy can play all 3 OF positions, but he really should be a 4th OF on a championship team caliber style of team. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 World Series

I agree that the recent signing of Johnny Cueto and the Dodgers failing to ink Hisashi Iwakuma leveled the playing field in the NL West, and might even slightly favor San Fran right now, but for the Giants to vault other teams that far up the chain is not right.  The 2nd best odd on the board should not be from the NL West.  The Mets, Nationals, Royals, Blue Jays and Red Sox all deserve to be slightly favored over the Giants.  As such, they go from the best odd from last week, to the worst value play this week.

I agree that the recent signing of Johnny Cueto and the Dodgers failing to ink Hisashi Iwakuma leveled the playing field in the NL West, and might even slightly favor San Fran right now, but for the Giants to vault other teams that far up the chain is not right. The 2nd best odd on the board should not be from the NL West. The Mets, Nationals, Royals, Blue Jays and Red Sox all deserve to be slightly favored over the Giants. As such, they go from the best odd from last week, to the worst value play this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Just like we outlined here last week – the San Francisco Giants at +1600 was the best odd on the board.  They jumped all the way from +1600 to +900 in just 7 days.

Conversely we said that the Dodgers were not a great wager at +1200. and they dropped to +1500, which is now tied for 10th with the Diamondbacks, Pirates and Rangers for the best odds.

Chicago finally broke the stalemate with the Toronto Blue Jays atop the list, going from +800 to +750.  The Jays fell into a tie with the Boston Red Sox at +1000 and a tie for 3rd overall behind Chicago and San Francisco in the National League.

We also said to stay off the Rangers and Pirates, and both shifted downwards.  We continue to like the Yankees at +2000, even though they didn’t change from last weeks odd.

Baltimore did go from +4500 to +5000 over the last week.

The Cardinals took the hit with some cabbage bet on the Cubs, and at are at +1200.

The Mets also are the best odd they have been at for the whole winter. Read the rest of this entry

Teams That Should Take Advantage Of A Weak Penalty For The Luxury Tax In 2016

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The Boston Red Sox might just be on to something.  They will be penalized for the 1st year of going over the new $189 MIL limit in 2016, but it is also the last year the CBA may have the percentages.

Currently right now, there is a 17.5% penalty for spending dollars over $189 MIL.  The Dodgers and Yankees are the only other teams that are budgeted over the mark in addition to Boston.

On the cusp are the Detroit Tigers, sitting at around $177 MIL – while the Giants and Angels are nearly at $170 MIL.  The Cubs are also near the $165 MIL area.

Why not spend like crazy in 2016 – and take advantage of the system as it is presented towards you? Read the rest of this entry

Chicago White Sox State Of The Union For 2016

The White Sox should be decisively better in 2016, however to lump them in with the Royals right now for the Division is just not practical yet. However the team could hit on all cylinders and then add players as the year goes on. Chicago only stands to lose four player to Free Agency after 2016 in John Danks, Adam LaRoche, Al Avila and Dioner Navarro. The latter 2 were brought in on one year deals to provide the Catching tandem in 2015.

The White Sox should be decisively better in 2016, however to lump them in with the Royals right now for the Division is just not practical yet. However the team could hit on all cylinders and then add players as the year goes on. Chicago only stands to lose four player to Free Agency after 2016 in John Danks, Adam LaRoche, Al Avila and Dioner Navarro. The latter 2 were brought in on one year deals to provide the Catching tandem in 2015.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Chicago has finally thrown their hat into the ring for the AL Central Race.  They have pulled off a trade to acquire Todd Frazier in as 3 way deal with the Reds and Dodgers.

The end result is they get 2 years from the former Reds, while parting with Trayce Thompson, Frankie Montas and Micah Johnson away from the club. It is a quality versus quantity deal.

This comes on the heels of the club picking up Brett Lawrie for 3 years worth of service for a couple of Minor Leaguers.

Before these deals, the club really only hand secured a tandem of Catchers with Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro for the offense.  Now they have much more depth, and are asserting themselves with one of the better lineups in the AL Central.

If Adam LaRoche can bounce back with his usual 25 HRs and  80 RBI power, you could have 3 Infielders and the Designated Hitter all crack 20+ HRs in the 2016 campaign.

Jose Abreu also stands to benefit with bringing in a hitter like Todd Frazier.  You could see a lineup that goes Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Adam LaRoche, Frazier, Lawrie, Avisail Garcia, Avila or Navarro and Tyler Saladino.  This looks a lot lengthier than a few days ago.

By the moves they made, they could also trade LaRoche to another club if they were so inclined.  There is no reason to think the Avila and Navarro couldn’t see some DH action for their roles in the 2016 club. Read the rest of this entry

Kansas City Royals State Of The Union For 2016

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They are the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. The KC franchise has most of the core nucleus all heading for Free Agency before the 2018 season. If I were a fan of this club - I would be okay with the team rebuilding after this, but for now to throw all chips in and try to cash in on a chance for a small dynasty. Dayton Moore and the Brass should use any one of their Minor League Players to acquire the next piece or 2 to make that happen in 2016 and 2017.

Back to Back AL pennants and this years World Series Winners. They are the biggest favorite to win their respective division so far on the board. The KC franchise has most of the core nucleus all heading for Free Agency before the 2018 season. If I were a fan of this club – I would be okay with the team rebuilding after this, but for now to throw all chips in and try to cash in on a chance for a small dynasty. Dayton Moore and the Brass should use any one of their Minor League Players to acquire the next piece or 2 to make that happen in 2016 and 2017.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Royals are back to back AL Pennant winners and the reigning World Series Champions right now.  Furthermore, they are playing in the most winnable Division in the Majors right now.

Kansas City were the 1st real small market club to win the World Series since the 2003 Marlins club took home the Fall Classic that year.

Just like the 2014 winter, the club will sustain losses between the end of the year to Spring Training the following year.

The door is not closed on Alex Gordon yet, however I don’t think it is in the clubs best interest to pay a 9 figure salary to a guy who is already 30.

KC has already seen Ben Zobrist sign with the Cubs, Johnny Cueto with the Giants, and Greg Holland will not pitch at all in the 2016 season with Tommy John Surgery recovery, and certainly not for the Royals.

Dayton Moore has done a decent job acquiring talent though.  The team resigned Starter Chris Young, and they added one time Royals Closer Joakim Soria.

The window is not just for 2016 – as the club only stands to lose back up Catcher Drew Butera following next year, but also for 2017. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Cubs signed Jason Heyward over the last week - and may have dealt a massive blow to the rest of the National League that could be felt for several years.  Despite the signing, the odds for Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles Dodgers did not change.  This is not what is supposed to happen when a player like Heyward signs.  The +800 odd is a absolutely bang on though.  I would not put any money down for the value, however they would be my pick to win the World Series if I picked any one team right now for next year's Fall Classic.

The Cubs signed Jason Heyward over the last week – and may have dealt a massive blow to the rest of the National League that could be felt for several years. Despite the signing, the odds for Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles Dodgers did not change. This is not what is supposed to happen when a player like Heyward signs. The +800 odd is bang on though. I would not put any money down for the value, however they would be my pick to win the World Series if I picked any one team right now for next year’s Fall Classic.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The ripple effect of the Johnny Cueto‘s signing did not hit the odds very much for the Giants.  San Fran went from +1800 to only +1600 in one week.  The Dodgers also did not lose any ground – standing firm at +1200??

This is crazy. I am not saying the Dodgers value at +1200 isn’t actually right.  What I am saying is that the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series Champs should be right there with them.  At least at +1300 – or even more favored than the 2nd place Arizona Diamondbacks.

San Francisco has the best Starting Pitching and Bullpen in the Division. This team also has a comparable lineup 1 – 8 with both the 2 clubs in Arizona and Los Angeles.

There is no doubt that the D’Backs heart of the lineup is better, but guys like Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy all featured decent offense in the 2015 campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Houston Astros State Of The Union For 2016

The Houston Astros were the worst team in the Major Leagues from 2011 - 2013, where they topped the 100 Loss barrier for each of those seasons, underwent an ownership change, and also moved from the tough NL Central to the AL West. Last year the Astros finally turned the corner with the 2nd Wild Card Spot, won that game in New York and took the KC Royals to the brink of elimination before they lost. They are young, have a core nucleus of team controllable superstars and exceptional depth that they can use for upgrades. It is a great time to be a 'Stros fan.

The Houston Astros were the worst team in the Major Leagues from 2011 – 2013, where they topped the 100 Loss barrier for each of those seasons, underwent an ownership change, and also moved from the tough NL Central to the AL West. Last year the Astros finally turned the corner with the 2nd Wild Card Spot, won that game in New York and took the KC Royals to the brink of elimination before they lost. They are young, have a core nucleus of team controllable superstars and exceptional depth that they can use for upgrades. It is a great time to be a ‘Stros fan.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Houston Astros are set to contend for the foreseeable future.  A 6 year stretch in which they revamped their entire Minor League System – and kept payroll down to grab top Draft Picks finally reeled in the teams 1st playoff spot in a decade in 2016.

After taking a 6 – 2 lead in Game 4 of the ALDS series against the Royals with  2 – 1 lead the Bullpen coughed up the margin – with the club also losing the next game to the eventual World Series winner.

It was a tough lesson to learn in the postseason – but it may be the 1st of many appearances in October in the near future.

The #1 task of acquiring a lock down Closer has been addressed in the recent trade for Ken Giles.  Yes it cost them Brett Oberholtzer, former #1 overall Draft Pick Mark Appel, and a few other prospects, but it also sets up the nucleus core for 4 – 5 more years.

The clubs offense featured 11 guys with double digit Homers in the lineup, and 2 others that fell just a dinger shy of the clip. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 15, 2015

 

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Jamie Squire / Getty Images

I thought the Dodgers interest in Johnny Cueto was risky.

Now he signed with the Giants. I get the deal. Huge potential reward. Gigantic risk.

It also means the end of the Tim Linceum era.

Meanwhile Pete Rose is back in the news again and Serena Williams needs to compete with a horse.

Go ahead an bet on today’s episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

Read the rest of this entry

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