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2014′s Top 5 HRs AL + NL, HR Streaks + Multi HR Games + Pujols Nets Career HR #500

Albert Pujols has fought back from his injury in 2013, to lead the Majors  in HRs (8) - including 2 big bombs last night in Washington.  His 2nd smash, was the 500th of his career, joining 25 other men who have accomplished the feat.  The Angels squared their season record at 10 - 10, and  are 7 - 4 away from Los Angeles.  Pujols became the 3rd youngest MLB'ER to this feat - as only Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey JR. were younger.

Albert Pujols has fought back from his injury in 2013, to lead the Majors in HRs (8) – including 2 big bombs last night in Washington. His 2nd smash, was the 500th of his career, joining 25 other men who have accomplished the feat. The Angels squared their season record at 10 – 10, and are 7 – 4 away from Los Angeles. Pujols became the 3rd youngest MLB’ER to this feat – as only Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey JR. were younger.

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

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 ALL TIME HR List In Baseball

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Chicks Dig The Long Ball: Top 5 HRs AL/NL, HR Streaks and Multi HR Games

Charlie Blackmon continued his assault on NL Pitching yesterday with a pair of HRs.  They represented the second straight game he has clubbed a Tater - Trot, and for that he found himself on our Multi HR board and consecutive leader for 2 games right now.  The 27 Year Old OF has fashioned a 3 Slash in 2014 of .411/.450/.671 - with 4 HRs and 13 RBI.  He leads the NL in: BA, Hits (30), TB (39) - and slugging.  Blackmon has played at least 4 games in every position beyond the grass this campaign, and is making the fans not miss Dexter Fowler.

Charlie Blackmon continued his assault on NL Pitching yesterday with a pair of HRs. They represented the second straight game he has clubbed a Tater – Trot, and for that he found himself on our Multi HR board and consecutive leader for 2 games right now. The 27 Year Old OF has fashioned a 3 Slash in 2014 of .411/.450/.671 – with 4 HRs and 13 RBI. He leads the NL in: BA, Hits (30), TB (39) – and slugging. Blackmon has played at least 4 games in every position beyond the grass this campaign, and is making the fans not miss Dexter Fowler.

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

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So far in 2014 we have some of our usual candidates holding down front and center with the HR race. Jose Bautista is back to his old leading ways in Toronto, and  Albert Pujols has re-emerged as a legitimate threat to circle the bases.

In the NL, Mark Trumbo broke a horrendous slump – to paste a big fly (#7) in yesterdays game.  Unfortunately, it came in another D’Backs loss.  Pedro Alvarez (who tied for the NL Lead with Paul Goldschmidt in 2013) is right behind him with a pack of 5 sluggers at 6 jacks.

Ryan Braun and Albert Pujols are on the leaderboard because of torrid stretches.  Pujols has had 3 back to back HR games, and Braun has smacked his 6 HRs in just 3 games of play.

The Pirates are only seemingly scoring when they can smash balls over the wall.  Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series – Updated For Week 3

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Odds To Win The 2014 World Series

1.  LA Dodgers +600 (Up from +650)

Dodgers are still a good pick, but with SF lurking and Clayton Kershaw not back yet, that +600 looks bad.  Plus SF beat them 5 out of 6 so far.

2.  Washington Nationals +800

I like this club – but Stephen Strasburg‘s slow start, and injuries are plaguing Ryan Zimmerman and even Bryce Harper to an extent.  Plus Atlanta is right there with them right now.   

3.  Detroit Tigers +700 (Up From +900)

Lets see. They can’t score that well yet, and have a horrid start with the Bullpen.  The odds has swung to far to the favorite side here.  Stay Away.

4. St. Louis Cardinals +850 (Up From +1000)

This has to do with ownership over the Reds and Pirates so far. Read the rest of this entry

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

Odds To Win The 2014 World Series – Updated For Week 2

Milwaukee just pulverized the Red Sox and Phillies in a 6 - 0 road trip - that featured a great offensive output from the lineup.  Braun is hitting, Gomez is looking to back up his 2013 campaign.  Jean Segura has not slowed down.  Mark Reynolds looks decent for some power at 1B, and Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez have added torque as well.  The Pitching is performing well.  The Brew Crew hosts a pivotal weekend series against Division Rival Pittsburgh starting tonight in Miller Park.  They moved the most up the charts this week - but are still full value for a World Series odd this week nonetheless

Milwaukee just pulverized the Red Sox and Phillies in a 6 – 0 road trip – that featured a great offensive output from the lineup. Braun is hitting, Gomez is looking to back up his 2013 campaign. Jean Segura has not slowed down. Mark Reynolds looks decent for some power at 1B, and Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez have added torque as well. The Pitching is performing well. The Brew Crew hosts a pivotal weekend series against Division Rival Pittsburgh starting tonight in Miller Park. They moved the most up the charts this week – but are still full value for a World Series odd this week nonetheless

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The have and the have not’ s have started to dictate their positions in the game of baseball.

The Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves  and San Francisco Giants were the biggest movers and shakers up the leaderboard.

On the other side of the coin, bettors have lost faith in the Orioles, Reds, Angels, Phillies and Diamondbacks. 

At the end of the article, there will be the top 5 best and worst odds to wager on this week Read the rest of this entry

Arizona Diamondbacks 2014 Payroll + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Diamondbacks brass hit a proverbial HR, when they extended Paul Goldschmidt to a 5 YRs/$32 MIL deal prior to the 2013 campaign.

The Then 25 Year Old finished runner up to the NL MVP Voting, and likely would have won it based on his .302/.401/.551 year with an NL leading 36 HRs, 125 RBI, (he also led in Slugging, OPS and Scored 103 Runs.)

Having a franchise player for the next 4 years at such a feasible rate in terms of payroll enables them to do so many things with their salary structure.

The club added Bronson Arroyo (2 YRs, min $23.5 MIL – or 3 YRs/$30 MIL), were able to deal for Mark Trumbo (who entered 1st Year of Arbitration at $4.8 MIL in 2014) and recently signed Reliever Oliver Perez to a modest 2 YRs/$4.25 MIL deal. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 HR Hitters In The MLB For 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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You may be surprised at who I am going to pick to lead the Majors in tater – trots this upcoming campaign.  The names may not be foreign, yet I am betting on a couple of comebacks.

This is all really a crapshoot with injuries, lineups, whether or not a guy has protection in the lineup.

I also think this will be another season without a 50+ HR mark.  God I would love to be wrong.  Nothing would make me happier than someone approaching 60 RoundTrippers.

While it is a sham that Roger Maris‘s 61 HR year of 1961 has been dwarfed by the ‘PED’ use era, a lot of purists would still look favorably at somebody passing this mark clean for a change.

If a batter does it in the American League, then it would break the former Yankees Slugger’s AL record.

Just falling short of this list will be Pedro Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Braun and Bryce Harper. I believe those gentlemen may hit in the high 30′s for HRs. Read the rest of this entry

New York Yankees Payroll In 2014 Is Now $197 MIL (AAV) With Tanaka Added

2014 Contracts in MIL Annual Average Vakue – AKA AAV (Age) – Running $ Total

1. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0  (32) 23.0

2. SP CC Sabathia – 22.8  (32) 45.8

NEW: SP Masahiro Tanaka – 22.1 (25)  67.9

3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (30) 89.6

4. C  Brian McCann – 17.0  (29) 106.6

5. SP Hiroki Kuroda – 16.5  (37) 123.1

6. LF/DH Carlos Beltran – 15.0 (36) 138.6

7. SS Derek Jeter – 12.0 (40) 150.6 Read the rest of this entry

What The Yankees Signing Masahiro Tanaka Means For The Current Roster + The Luxury Tax Threshold

Once again, the Yankees have forked out the most money top acquire a Starting Pitcher.  Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a 7 YR/$155 MIL deal with the Bronx Bombers.  When you add the $20 MIL posting fee, it comes out to $175 MIL for just 7 Years.  The Japanese superstar has a player opt out after 4 years (after the 2017 season).  It is the biggest ever contract for an American League Pitcher - and the largest sum ever granted for a RIght Handed Pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.  The 25 Year Old also is now in possession of the 18th biggest contract in MLB history

Once again, the Yankees have forked out the most money top acquire a Starting Pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a 7 YR/$155 MIL deal with the Bronx Bombers. When you add the $20 MIL posting fee, it comes out to $175 MIL for just 7 Years. The Japanese superstar has a player opt out after 4 years (after the 2017 season). It is the biggest ever contract for an American League Pitcher – and the largest sum ever granted for a Right Handed Pitcher (Open Market – doesn’t count extenssions) in the history of Major League Baseball. The 25 Year Old also is now in possession of the 18th biggest contract in MLB history.  With the signing of the player, the Yankees have pushed their 2014 Luxury Tax AAV to roughly $196 MIL.

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

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The Yankees had to have Masahiro Tanaka for the team going forward.  It is a risk so worth taking.  There is not a litany of 25 Year Old Starting Pitchers that have the repertoire of this guy.

Due to poor drafting – and mismanagement of several other young phenoms like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, the club couldn’t produce a legitimate #2 or #3 starter out of their own system.

The team has also traded a guy like Ian Kennedy, who has thrived in another atmosphere.  But this is the Yankees way.

This was their only alternative.

Masahiro Tanaka Highlights

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New York Yankees Projected Payroll In 2014 With A-Rod Relief

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

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2014 Contracts in MIL Annual Average Vakue – AKA AAV (Age)

1. 1B Mark Teixeira – 23.0  (32)

2. SP CC Sabathia – 22.8  (32)

3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – 21.9 (30)

4. C  Brian McCann – 17.0  (29)

5. SP Hiroki Kuroda – 16.5  (37)

6. LF/DH Carlos Beltran – 15.0 (36)

7. SS Derek Jeter – 12.0 (40) Read the rest of this entry

The Cleveland Indians Players In All Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB) 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff birth in 2014,

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff birth in 2014.

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

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The Indians had a triumphant and surprising year in 2013.  They blasted their way out of the gate led by Mark Reynolds and Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Halfway through the year, renaissance pitching from Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir helped jump into the foray among all the best AL clubs.

This club took advantage of a cupcake schedule – in order to reel off a 10 game winning streak to tend the campaign.

For those people who failed to see what a tough May.15 – June.15 schedule they had, in which they played almost all of the Division leaders across the board in the MLB, being all over .500 teams.

Because of that stretch, they deserved the late season ease of sked.

Jason Kipnis Highlight Reel 2013

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The Yankees Might As Well Wait Another Year For The Luxury Tax Threshold ‘Reset’

With Derek Jeter and Hiroki Kuroda  coming back for one more year, plus the uncertainty of the A-ROD suspension, why not push back the reset of the Luxury Tax Threshold, since you still have a chance to do this in 2015.  By then, all of your older players will be another year older, and #13 will be back to wreak havoc on your financial flexibility for years?

With Derek Jeter and Hiroki Kuroda coming back for one more year, plus the uncertainty of the A-ROD suspension, why not push back the reset of the Luxury Tax Threshold, since you still have a chance to do this in 2015? By then, all of your older players will be another year older, and #13 will be back to wreak havoc on your financial flexibility for years?

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

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Our Lead Writer Paul Sullivan (feel free to call him Sully) is right about Brian Cashman….The guy should be fired for his ineptness of stockpiling the Minor League System since taking over the reigns in 2006.

If you are not subscribing to Sully’s podcast daily (about 20 minutes), please do so here.  He talks complete sense for an objective perspective.

I will also denote that I am a Yankees fan.  I was one of the 1st to destroy the clubs winter last year, when they never addressed their Catching situation, and said they should do some more moves to bolster the club.

Not that Cashman listened to me at all, but he grabbed 3 players I said he should (1 reluctant player he never wanted – (good one Cash) was Alfonso Soriano). 

The other 2 players he picked up were Vernon Wells and Mark Reynolds.

Yankees win the 2009 World Series

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward: Updated For The Beltran Deal

He will also make $30 MIL left in marketing bonuses should he hit escalating marketing bonuses from HRs 661 through 763. At this rate, maybe he will never collect on all of those.  The base is ridiculous enough at $86 MIL over the next 4 years.  The insurance paid on his ailing hip injury will not make a huge enough dent for Yankees Fans.  He is the ALL-Time Active Leader for HRs , RBI and XBH At best he may turn back to a .250/.310/700 with around 50 RBI a year from 2015 - 2017.  Hardly worthy of a $22.8 MIL average salary from 2014 - 2017.

He will also make $30 MIL left in marketing bonuses should he hit escalating marketing bonuses from HRs 661 through 763. At this rate, maybe he will never collect on all of those. The base is ridiculous enough at $86 MIL over the next 4 years. The insurance paid on his ailing hip injury will not make a huge enough dent for Yankees Fans. He is the ALL-Time Active Leader for HRs , RBI and XBH At best he may turn back to a .250/.310/700 with around 50 RBI a year from 2015 – 2017. Hardly worthy of a $22.8 MIL average salary from 2014 – 2017.

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

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With news breaking today that Robinson Cano has signed with Seattle, this has freed up the Yankees to pursue other players at the Winter Meetings – and for the rest of the offseason..

Based on the team payroll (with the A-Rod suspension being counted), the club is right around $174 MIL – $176 MIL right now for about 20 MLB Players signed – and another 5 guys that are on entry – level deals.

If A-Rod’s suspension sticks for the whole 2014 year, the club would then drop down to the $149 – $151 MIL range, which would free up the club to sign some more players.

Maybe the Yankees won’t have any choice but to hope for that very result.  They still need 1 – 2 Starting Pitchers, and a relief pitcher would also be nice. 

Read the end of this article – for potential candidates they could eyeball.

CC Sabathia Highlights

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Brian McCann Signing Proves The Yankees Are Not Thinking About A Rebuild: Try A Reload!

The near 30 Year old McCann has clubbed 20+ HRs in 7 of his 8 seasons, including smacking 20 in 2013 - in just 356 AB.  His Career 3 Slash is .277/.350/.823.  McCann could also be used as a DH by the team to maximize his AB.  McCann will be the best offensive Catcher in the Bronx since the days of Jorge Posada.  Each one of the Yankees big runs at World Series Titles have had great Catchers.

The near 30 Year old McCann has clubbed 20+ HRs in 7 of his 8 seasons, including smacking 20 in 2013 – in just 356 AB. His Career 3 Slash is .277/.350/.823. McCann could also be used as a DH by the team to maximize his AB. McCann will be the best offensive Catcher in the Bronx since the days of Jorge Posada. Each one of the Yankees dynasty’s  at World Series Titles have had great Catchers.  New York has set themselves up nicely for the 2014 year.  They must now wait on the Alex Rodriguez hearing before they can set how much money they can spend next campaign.

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

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For those people who thought the Yankees were going to begin a rebuild project in the Bronx, forget about it.

This is the 27 time World Series Champions way of saying, “we intend to be around for a long time.”

The Yankees will still try to come under the $189 Luxury Tax Threshold, but that doesn’t mean they wont finagle around it with the Free Agents they bring in for next year.

Brian McCann was just the 1st strike.  Count on them bringing back Robinson Cano, and at least 2 Starting Pitchers.

Brian McCann Highlights

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Dissecting The Peter Bourjos For David Freese Deal

Peter Bourjos was moved into CF - and the LA Angels then shifted Mike Trout over to LF, based on the range of  Bourjos as an OF.  He is fast, and has shown that he can be a catalyst in a lineup.  His best year was in 2011, where he played a full season, 3 Slashing .271/.327/.765 - with 12 HRs, an AL leading 11 - 3B, 26 - 2B - and added 32 SB.  The Cardinals will have him patrol CF with them in St. Louis.  Bourjos has 3 years left of Arbitration, while Freese only has 2 years left.  The Angels also swapped their top OF prospect in the deal - for help in Reliever (but trending down) Fernando Salas.

Peter Bourjos was moved into CF – and the LA Angels then shifted Mike Trout over to LF, based on the range of Bourjos as an OF. He is fast, and has shown that he can be a catalyst in a lineup. His best year was in 2011, where he played a full season, 3 Slashing .271/.327/.765 – with 12 HRs, an AL leading 11 – 3B, 26 – 2B – and added 32 SB. The Cardinals will have him patrol CF with them in St. Louis. Bourjos has 3 years left of Arbitration, while Freese only has 2 years left. The Angels also swapped their top OF prospect in the deal – for help in Reliever (but trending down) Fernando Salas.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It is funny how the complexion of a team can change with one deal.  For right now, I want to be on record as saying I hate the deal that the Angels made yesterday for David Freese.

The deal came down to Peter Bourjos being sent to St. Louis with Randal Gruchuk (or Grichuck as baseballreference.com lists him as -  for David Freese and Reliever Fernando Salas.)

I had thought all along (same with this website) that these two clubs should be trading partners.

But we were thinking of a heavy deal containing Mark Trumbo and Erick Aybar, for potentially Matt Adams, David Freese and/or a Starting Pitcher from the bountiful nest of the Cardinals Staff.

Peter Bourjos Inside The Park HR

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The Mets Should Be Careful Which Free Agents They Sign For 2014

Johan Santana is just another cautionary tale of why it is hard for teams to invest money long - term on Starting Pitching,  There are just far too many ways for hurlers to be injured in comparison to Roster Players.  The Mets will just have to bide time until 2014 when the team can finally take the former Cy Young winner of the teams payroll book.  Johan Santana signed a 6 YR/$137.5 MIL deal with the Mets

Johan Santana is just another cautionary tale of why it is hard for teams to invest money long – term on Starting Pitching, There are just far too many ways for hurlers to be injured in comparison to Roster Players. The Mets will just have to bide time until 2014 when the team can finally take the former Cy Young winner of the teams payroll book.  Santana signed a 6 YR/$137.5 MIL deal with the Mets after coming over from Minnesota.  While he was good in his 1st year (leading the NL with a 2.53 ERA), he just started 109 Games for his New York Career.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Lets face it, the Mets have had a poor track record of signing Free Agents lately.

Quickly to go over the list:  Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, (4 YRs/$24.75 MIL and they released him following a 2010 year – where he ballooned in weight – and hit just .235), their own Free Agent in Oliver Perez, (3 YRs/ $36 MIL for 3 wins and a ERA near 7 in that time), and  Johan Santana.

Lest we forget the horrible trades that ended the careers of Roberto Alomar (Made $13 MIL in a season and a half – before  New York jettisoned him to the White Sox for hitting .265 in 2002 – 2003 combined where he was a .300 Career Hitter).

Mo Vaughn. could barely move by the time he made it to New York city. The Mets paid him almost $48 MIL to have only 567 AB. 

Vaughn only played in 166 games for New York, and was out of league after 2003.  At least Kevin Appier (the traded player for him) was done playing by 2004 as well, but at $20 MIL less cost.

While I agree that the New York (NL) franchise should spend some money they have finally been hoarding up, the  brass have to be careful who they select to throw that dough on.

Jason Bay Hurt for the Mets in July 2010

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The Phillies State Of The Union: Hitters Edition + They Should Give A Full Chance To Darin Ruf In 2014

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team.  They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes.  That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay.  But 2013 wasn't an entire loss.  Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope.  Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency.  Today, I explain how the Phightins' can do this.

The Phillies are to the NL what the Yankees are to the AL, and old and expensive team. They had their 1st losing campaign in over a decade, and are without a 3rd Baseman, Catcher and possibly an OF to fill the holes. That is if they end up resigning Doc Halladay. But 2013 wasn’t an entire loss. Performances by Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf have to give the management some hope. Playing guys under team control, low payroll deals will enable the franchise the flexibility to pursue high end talent in Free Agency. Today, I explain how the Phightins’ can do this.  How will the team fare under 2nd year skipper Ryne Sandberg – after a 20 – 22 finish?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 was a tough year on the Phillies.  For one, the fact that the MLB Reports is having an Awareness Day for them today, based on them having the 7th worst record (73 – 89) in the Majors during 2013 is mind – boggling.

We are talking about a team that had 5 Division Titles in a row (2007 – 2011), a huge payroll, and a bountiful nest of ALL – Stars to hit in the lineup, and in the Starting Rotation.

Much like the Yankees though, their core is all hitting their waning years.  Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins are having a tough time staying on the field to be productive.

2013 was always going to be about the team resurrecting its status as an NL Elite, instead they saw Roy Halladay blow up before their eyes, Cole Hamels struggle, and nobody was there to save them.

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

Darin Ruf’s Towering Shot in Aug of 2013

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Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series + Around The MLB Horn For Quick Team Wish Lists

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites.  No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 - 2000.

The Red Sox may have won the 2013 World Series, but they are not the 2014 favorites. No team has repeated since the Yankees won 3 straight titles from 1998 – 2000.

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

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Now that the Boston Red Sox have won the 2013 World Series, the oddsmakers have already dropped them, plus fellow 2013 Fall Classic Participants (St. Louis) to be tied for the 3rd seed, with the Washington Nationals.

A massive surprise on the list are the Los Angeles Angels, who will have the 6th favorite slot to win the World Series at +1400.

If you are looking for value, you should consider the Reds (Tied for the 8th seed) at +1600.  They are merely a few players, and perhaps a few tweaks from going far in one of these playoffs.

2013 World Series Champion – Red Sox

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Having A Great DH Can Mean Winning The AL Pennant: For Other Teams – The Position Is A Waste!

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years.  Boston is in contention perenially because he put up great #s compared to his competition.

David Ortiz has been the quintessential DH in the AL over the last 11 years. Boston are perennial contenders because he put up great #s compared to his competition.  Ortiz had a great 2013 campaign – where he 3 Slashed .309/.395./.959 – with 30 HRs and 103 RBI in just 137 Games Played.  Ortiz is .292/.390/.962 in 11 Years with Boston, with 373 HRs and 1191 RBI.  The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 with him at DH, and are looking to win again this year.

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

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Watching the 2013 season, something really resonated with me while watching the American League:  ‘Where have all the great designated hitters in MLB gone?’  

It is surprising to me that teams haven’t figured out that having a dominant DH in the league could mean the difference in winning the AL pennant or not.

I also believe that players should be moved their earlier than in their mid 30′s.  If they can’t play the field at all, or are not superior at offense, they should be made to Pinch-hit in the NL. 

It seemed only a few years ago that every team had a bopper capable of hitting .300 with 30 HR’S and 100 RBI’s.  Upon further investigation, I found out some interesting facts.

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Mike Napoli Is A Clutch Performer In The Post Season – And Is Potentially Earning A Nice New Contract!

Mike Napoli agreed to a 1 YR/$13 MIL deal prior to the 2013 season.  While he struggled at various times in the regular season, he still Slashed for .259/.360/.842 - with 23 HRs and 92 RBI.  It was his 6th straight season with 20+ HRs - and his 498 2013 ABs - still have left him without ever reaching 500 AB in any of his seasons.

Mike Napoli agreed to a 1 YR/$13 MIL deal prior to the 2013 season. While he struggled at various times in the regular season, he still Slashed for .259/.360/.842 – with 23 HRs and 92 RBI. It was his 6th straight season with 20+ HRs – and his 498 2013 ABs – still have left him without ever reaching 500 AB in any of his seasons.  The man averages a HR for every 16.38 AB in his Career. (169 HRs in 2768 AB). He will turn 32 on Oct.31/2013.

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

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If you have followed this website for very long, you will realize that we have made some great prognostications from the time of its inception.

We called the emergence of the Oakland A’s half way through the campaign last year.  We also called Adam Dunn to be the bargain of the 2012 season.

We also stated that the Tigers would make the 2012 World Series.

We said the Dodgers were going to go nuts and spend like there was no tomorrow, probably make the World Series, sign Zack Greinke.

We called every aspect of the New York Yankees season this year, including trading for Mark Reynolds, Vernon Wells and for Alfonso Soriano to thrive back in pinstripes.

Then there was the predicting of Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, Mike Trout and Wil Myers at the verge of breaking out.

Previous Owner Jonathan Hacohen also predicted the emergence of Mike Napoli in 2011, and thoroughly admonished the Blue Jays for trading him – after having the Catcher for about a week.

Mike Napoli Game #5 HR 2013 ALCS

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New York Yankees Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward + The Cano And A – ROD Factors

The Yankees should not pay Robinson Cano more than $25 - $28 MIL per season for a max of 7 years.  The club was fortunate to have the relief of A - Rod's suspension - otherwise the percentage of inking the Free Agent 2B would not even be possible - and have a competitive team.

The Yankees should not pay Robinson Cano more than $25 – $28 MIL per season for a max of 7 years. The club is fortunate to have the relief of A – Rod’s pending suspension – otherwise the percentage of inking the Free Agent 2B would not even be possible.  Cano’s agent -Jay – Z, has thrown out the first Salvo, saying the Slugger wants a 10 YR/$300 – 305 MIL Deal.  The Bronx Bombers would be crazy to offer any more than what I stated up in the 1st sentence of this Caption.  New York is looking to reset its Luxury Tax Penalty (when the Threshold is moved to $189 in 2014), in order to spend again commencing in 2015.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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They are old and 2014 will not make them younger.  However, there are some small tweaks that the team could do in order to make the payroll make sense. 

The 2014 version of the Yankees may struggle. Exiting are Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Curtis Granderson, Brendan Ryan and potentially Derek Jeter (although he has a Player Option for 2014) and Mark Reynolds.

To the Readers on our Payroll Breakdowns:   Keep in mind these are all just estimates as we are all not forensic payroll accountants.  For a better look at how Payrolls work in the MLB please check out this article here.

Derek Jeter Highlights:

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2 And A Hook Podcast #15: AL Wild Card Race Breakdown, NL Central Chat + The BallPark Pass-Port Inventor

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 7 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) - Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

The 2 And A Hook Podcast will be running 8 consecutive shows on Thursdays Sept. 19 + 26, and Oct 3,10,17,24,31) – Join us for our extensive playoff coverage from Chuck Booth, Chris Lacey, James Acevedo and many other guests!

’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:

On today’s show, brought to you by www.mlbreports.com 

& yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.

I start it off with talking about the Yankees chances of getting the 2nd Wild Card Spot & giving them props for having a good season no matter what happens..

CLICK THE READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON or CLICK PAST THE MLB REPORTS LOGO

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The Yankees Keep The Pedal To The Metal For A Playoff Spot

Despite not having a top Catcher in the mix, and also not wishing for Soriano to be a Yankee, Cashman has still done a decent job maneuvering the team through some murky times, by finding a bunch of guys on the scrap heap, to help this club.  Recently, the teams offense is resembling the 'Bronx Bombers' mantra, and the club has gone 22 - 11 over their last 33 game, to pull within 1 game of the last playoff spot, with 15 games left on the schedule.

Despite not having a top Catcher in the mix, and also not wishing for Soriano to be a Yankee, Cashman has still done a decent job maneuvering the team through some murky times, by finding a bunch of guys on the scrap heap, to help this club. Recently, the teams offense is resembling the ‘Bronx Bombers’ mantra, and the club has gone 22 – 12 over their last 34 game, to pull within 1 game of the last playoff spot, with 15 games left on the schedule.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst and Website Owner)

This season has seen the Yankees face a multitude of injuries to their best players, plus a lot of the key components to the 2012 version of the club are playing elsewhere.

The Bronx Bombers surprising flew out of the gate in April, led by Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner of all people.  If it weren’t for New York, Wells would be rusting on the Anaheim bench, and “Pronk” might be looking for work still.

Despite a fast start, the team was counting on Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter to return after a few weeks into the season, both of them ended up going back on the DL.  Jeter is now on his 4th stint on the Disabled List – and is out for the remainder of the regular year.

I will say that while I was ultra choked at Brian Cashman for not bringing in an experienced Catcher like A.J. Pierzynski, or potentially trading for a guy like John Buck, that he did acquire Vernon Wells and brought back Alfonso Soriano.

I wrote an article back when Curtis Granderson was hurt in the preseason, that these should be the 1st and 2nd options for the team (Soriano and Wells.  It simply made sense for this year, and even for the 2014 year.

In early July, right before the ALL – Star break, the Yankees were hovering around .500 again, and I send it was time for the team’s Management to become ‘Riverboat Gamblers.’

Alfonso Soriano 2 HR Game August versus the Angels

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Soriano Has Led The Resurgent “Bombers” – ARod’s Pending Suspension – Best Get Out Of Jail Card Ever + Reynolds Signing

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Thursday Aug.15/2013

Alfonso Soriano has given the Yankees team an infusion of power that they have not seen from the Right Handed hitting players in their lineup since Vernon Wells took off in April. The LF destroyed the Angels for 4 HRS and 13 RBI on Tuesday and Wednesday combined While Cashman never liked this idea to bring back the Veteran, I called for it all the way back in April. The offense has gone back to being the Bronx Bombers, putting up 36 Runs in their last 5 Games, among a 4 - 1 record.  In 18 Games for his return to NY, the 37 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .296/.324/.944 - with 7 HRs, 22 RBI and 17 Runs scored.

Alfonso Soriano has given the Yankees team an infusion of power that they have not seen from the Right Handed hitting players in their lineup since Vernon Wells took off in April. The LF destroyed the Angels for 4 HRS and 13 RBI on Tuesday and Wednesday combined. While Cashman never liked this idea to bring back the Veteran, I called for it all the way back in April. The offense has gone back to being the Bronx Bombers, putting up 36 Runs in their last 5 Games, among a 4 – 1 record. In 18 Games for his return to NY, the 37 Year Old has a 3 Slash Line of .296/.324/.944 – with 7 HRs, 22 RBI and 17 Runs scored. –Photo courtesy of faniq.com.

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

Sometimes as writers we prognosticate things that end up panning out, other times our predictions are lit up bigger than a New York Dumpster Fire in the brunt of summer.

Back when Curtis Granderson was 1st hurt this year, I wrote an article on the options for the Yankees to replace him – check it out here.

I stated that I thought Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano would be good additions for the year – considering where the Yankees wanted to go during Mariano Rivera‘s last season.

Alfonso Soriano Grand Slam 8/14/2013

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The Indians 1st Year Under Francona Should End Up A Success – Even If It Doesn’t Mean Playoffs

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Thursday August 15, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn't really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn’t really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.  The truth is that they just are not in the same competitive stratosphere as the Detroit Tigers at the present time.  They have a better chance to reel in a Wild Card Position.  As of today, they are 3.5 Games Behind Wild Card Leader #1 holder (Tampa Bay) – and are 3 Games Behind the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd spot.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):

The Cleveland Indians have had a tremendous season under first year manager Terry Francona. It isn’t very often for a team like Cleveland to get a manager of his caliber.

Francona broke the curse in Boston, can he break the streak of Championshipless in Cleveland – since the days of Bob Feller via 1948?

I wrote an article right before the All-Star Break stating that the Indians would make a run in the second half and make the playoffs.

Well the best player on the planet Miguel Cabrera has spoiled that idea with all the Home Runs he has been hitting here lately. The Indians can’t make up any ground on the Tigers and they are running out of time.

It might not be this season but give Francona some time, he will make Cleveland a contender in no time. 

Kipnis – Inside The Park HR:

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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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Trade Deadline Wrap – Up: Part I – The Winners

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The winners at the trade deadline have something in common.  One team used to call Theo Epstein their general manager and the other currently calls him their President.  Both the Red Sox and the Cubs have done a spectacular job at the deadline to meet the needs of their organizations.

The winners at the trade deadline have something in common. One team used to call Theo Epstein their general manager – and the other currently calls him their President. Both the Red Sox and the Cubs have done a spectacular job at the deadline to meet the needs of their organizations.  Boston fully expects to be in a pennant drive for the AL East, so adding a proven Starter like Peavy – is a great insurance move considering the Clay Buchholz injury situation.  Unlike last year, the Cubs were able to do some deals with their veterans – to help their team in the future.

By Nicholas Rossoletti (Yankees Correspondent/Trade Correspondent):

July 31, 2013 has come and gone.  The non-waiver trade deadline is always one of the more interesting times of the baseball year.  

Fans become obsessed with the idea of improving their team’s opportunity to win a World Series, whether it be for the upcoming October or in an attempt to rebuild for future seasons.

The question on everyone’s mind now that the deadline is over: how did your team do at the deadline? Did it get better? Did the organization “win” the transaction and will it translate now or later into more wins on the field?

This will end up invariably being a two-part article because of the depth we need to take to look at these moves.  Let’s get right into it with the Winners:

1. Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox are a unique team in that they are concerned both with the current championship window for 2013, but also, a larger window they hope to keep open over the next 3 to 5 years.  

In an effort to stabilize their rotation over the next 1 and 1/2 seasons, the Red Sox acquired Jake Peavy from the White Sox.  Peavy has pitched very well this season.  

His 8.55 K/9 and 1.91 BB/9 are both indicators of an elite level starting pitcher.  Peavy is not the same ace that he was during his prime of 2004 through 2007, but his current numbers speak to an adequate No. 1 starter or a very strong No. 2 starter.

JAKE PEAVY: THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE RED SOX

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The Arizona Diamondbacks Best Hitters (1998 – 2013): Part 2 Of A 3 Part Series

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Friday July.26th/2013

The Arizona Diamondbacks are only 6 games behind .500 for the franchises existence, and are just fraction percentages away from the LA Angels for the best record all time by an expansion franchise.  They have a solid crop of young players that could end up on this list a  few years down the road.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are only 6 games behind .500 for the franchises existence, and are just fraction percentages away from the LA Angels for the best record all time by an expansion franchise. They have a solid crop of young players that could end up on this list a few years down the road.  Chase Field has seen some great offensive seasons from its players.  Whether it was Luis Gonzalez blasting 57 HRs in 2012 (3rd  ALL Time Single Season Best for an NL LHB, behind Barry Bonds 73 – 2001 and Ryan Howard’s 58 in 2006), or Mark Reynolds cracking 44 Round Trippers, while Striking out 223 times for a MLB Record in 2009, it hasn’t been dull in the desert for the clubs offense.

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

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the better franchises in the last 15 years, despite being one of the newest teams.

Unlike their expansion cousins the Tampa Bay Rays, that went through 9 years, before reeling off 5 straight winning seasons, the DBacks won the World Series in just their 4th year of existence.

The team has been able to make 5 playoff years in their 14 years.  This year, they are right in the thick of the race, so they could possibly add a 6th Post Season Birth to their resume.

The team has lacked a lot of long – term hitters for the club, however they have had their share of big seasons.

From “Gonzo” to “Goldy”, we will honor all of these guys in this post.

For Part 3 Of the 3 Part Series: The Franchise Pitchers – click here

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