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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

The Dodgers Make The Right Move To Re-Sign Kendrick

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31 year old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL - where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31-year-old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL – where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Dodgers are running pretty good today with the status quo on the offensive side of the ball anyway.

Since it was agreed on that Howie Kendrick would sign a 2 year deal for $20 MIL – this is an economic win.

1st off, the Dodgers avoided the $15.8 MIL Qualifying Offer they extended their 2015 2B, then only had to pad $4.2 MIL to the total for a 2nd season.

This is a loss financially for Kendrick, who must have thought a multi-year offer of 3 – 4 campaigns must have been out there for the same kind of money that Daniel Murphy signed for (3 years at $12 MIL per AAV).

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn't really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn't come calling for his services - considering the lower AAV.

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn’t really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn’t come calling for his services – considering the lower AAV.

Not only did the Dodgers brass finally reel in their Starting Second Baseman, they were able to add Chase Utley as a backup/quality bench hitter for $7 MIL.  If you combined Kendrick and Utley salaries, it is just $1.2 MIL over what would have happened had Kendrick accepted the QO.

Love Kendrick as a professional hitter.  The man is a .293/.333/.423 career hitter – and his 2015 season closely resembled this at .295/.336/.409 in 2015 for the Dodger Blue.

It shows that the Dodgers management/ownership is also willing to fork out the necessary dollars to keep up their NL West Division prowess.

As the 3 time defending Division Champs,  they are in prime position to challenge the Giants for a 4th year in a row in 2016.

This contract vaults the Dodgers up to around $245 MIL in total team salary in 2016, yet it was a necessary move.

Los Angeles is also staring at a 50% penalty for going over the Luxury Tax Threshold for a 4th straight year.  They will pay around $28 MIL with cash situated as it is now.

For the fans that wanted the organization to dole up for the bigger Free Agents, it is hard to fathom paying that 50% penalty for years upon years at the present rate.

This approach has had the super management team of Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes and newly appointed Alex Anthopoulos under heavy scrutiny, but may work out better in the long run.

Had the club inked Zack Greinke to his $34.42 MIL AAV, that would have put them so far in committed $ over the Luxury Tax, that they would never be able to get under for a reset.

With the 2016 season concluding without a CBA after, it is also wise not to be so far over the Luxury Tax mark when they don’t know what the new deal between the MLBPA and the owners will look like.

2017 has them over $203 MIL in contracts guaranteed to 12 guys already, but 8 players will become Free Agents after the 2016 season, and after 2017’s end comes the best news for Dodger fans.  Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford will finally be off the books!

The Dodgers have a ton of young talent coming into the fold here.  Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda are under team control for a long period of time here.  You still have Julio Urias just coming up to the Major Leagues for service time as well.

The Infield is definitely going to be clogged up with Utley, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Guerrero on the depth chart.  Guerrero is out of options and will need to be kept on the Major League Roster (or be released, waived or DFA’d).

Of course Justin Turner is listed as the Starter at 3B for now.  Micah Johnson and Utley may join Hernandez as guys that could spell him at the hot corner.

Guerrero could also play the OF, but I am sure that Dave Roberts would love to use Scott Van Slyke as 1st on the taxi squad.

Los Angeles has also strengthened its bench with this move.  The one thing they could still use it Relief help.  That may be obtained by signing more Free Agents, or perhaps this may clear the deck for another trade to happen.

The Dodgers were 10th in the NL during 2015 – with a .250 Batting Average, and losing a .293 hitter last year would have been tough for this years lineup.

With Corey Seager for a full year, and a return to prominence for Yasiel Puig, this squad could really put up some runs and improve all facets of the offense.

While the club wasn’t so great at Batting Average, they were 3rd in the Senior Circuit in Slugging Percentage at .413.

One has to also think that Chase Utley will be a lot better in reserve role – compared to his .202/.291/.363 3 Slash Line with the team last year.  I would say he could be 80% like his worst year (prior to 2015), where he hit .259/.344/.425 in 2012.

For the record, baseballreference.com has Utley hitting .247/.315/.398 in 2016.  I am sure the club would take that.

Whether the implementation of a lot of players on the roster – as opposed to having a limited bench and depth if they would have signed Greinke projects well to the upcoming season is yet to be determined. 4

No doubt they are not as strong in the Rotation at the top. But perhaps the addition of Scott Kazmir, the return of Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood for a full year, and a surprise comeback from Brandon McCarthy could pick up the slack.

Signing Kendrick was the right move all day long.  This is one less position with the team having questions for.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 - 2020.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman. They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years  in the future, by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 – 2020.  Right near they are at a 50% penalty for every season they are over the Luxury Tax ($189 MIL) until they get under.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their other partners.***

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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

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

Who Will Win The 2016 National League Divisions Polls

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

The National League is a very top heavy league with the Nats, Dodgers, Mets, Giants, D’Backs Cardinals and Pirates having the best odds to qualify for the postseason in 2016. With 6 teams possibly challenging the 100 loss barrier in the Senior Circuit (Padres, Rockies, Reds, Brewers, Braves and Phillies), we may a squad break the best ever record ever to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card seed this campaign.

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

Who Will Win The 2016 National League Divisions Polls

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

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

The Dodgers Should Not Stop Acquiring Players Even After Signing Kazmir And Maeda

Scott Kazmir has revived his career over the last 3 years after seeing it almost end after his days with the Angels. The LHP has gone 32 - 29 record wise, but has dropped in ERA over the last 3 years from 4.04 in 2013 - 3.55 in 2014 - and 3.10 last year for both the A's and Astros. Kazmir, who will turn 32 later this month, signed a 3 Year deal worth $48 MIL that he can opt out after next campaign. If that is the case he will collect $16 MIL in 2016 for salary at hit the open market in a Free Agent class where he could really garner some big dollar offers.

Scott Kazmir has revived his career over the last 3 years after seeing it almost end after his days with the Angels. The LHP has gone 32 – 29 record wise, but has dropped in ERA over the last 3 years from 4.04 in 2013 – 3.55 in 2014 – and 3.10 last year for both the A’s and Astros. Kazmir, who will turn 32 later this month, signed a 3 Year deal worth $48 MIL that he can opt out after next campaign. If that is the case, he will collect $16 MIL in 2016 for salary at hit the open market in a Free Agent class where he could really garner some big dollar offers.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The Dodgers have finally entered the Free Agent Starting Pitchers frenzy this offseason  In two moves over the last week they have inked Scott Kazmir to a 3 YRs/$48 MIL and NPBL stud Kenta Maeda to an 8 year pact – where terms were not disclosed until mid last week ($24 MIL is guaranteed – with incentives on performance that could bring that up to $10 MIL per year) .

These are decent deals to counter what the D’Backs did in picking up former Dodgers hurler Zack Greinke, and then trade for Shelby Miller, while the Giants inked Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to help bolster both of their clubs.

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

San Francisco Giants State Of The Union For 2016

With the club pretty much being set for players all around the Infield and Outfield, and now the Starting Staff, the Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series run for an even year this decade. 2016 will see several of its Bullpen members on the last year of their contracts.

With the club pretty much being set for players all around the Infield and Outfield, and now the Starting Staff, the Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series run for an even year this decade. 2016 will see several of its Bullpen members on the last year of their contracts.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The only real need to upgrade could be at the Outfield level, with either a CF/LF.    Angel Pagan is also in the last year of his deal, so maybe signing a guy to man the position beyond this coming year would be an option.

The Starting Rotation will be a lot stronger in 2016 with the additions of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija

You can say what you want about Cueto’s time in Kansas City not being as effective., but he has played most of his career in Cincinnati – and pitched extremely well at Great American Ball Park.

Funny enough his best years have also come in even years with finishing 4th in NL Cy Young Voting in 2012, and 2nd   in 2014, when he led the NL in Innings Pitched with 249.2 – and Strikeouts with 241 for the Reds.

Samardzija still has great stuff, and as a #3 Starter, you could see him bouncing back with a nice year in San Francisco. 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

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

Arizona Diamondbacks State Of The Union For 2016

The first big surprise of the winter came when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. The organization followed that up with trading a heavy price tag to acquire Shelby Miller to back him up. Dave Stewart has taken a lot of crap for a lopsided deal. I think that is very speculative to talk like that. Besides Free Agent Pitchers are expensive, and a way for small market clubs to negate that is to trade for a controllable player. Tony La Russa also knows that his club is setup for a winning window of approximately 3 - 4 years.

The first big surprise of the winter came when the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke. The organization followed that up with trading a heavy price tag to acquire Shelby Miller to back him up. Dave Stewart has taken a lot of crap for a lopsided deal. I think that is very speculative to talk like that. Besides Free Agent Pitchers are expensive, and a way for small market clubs to negate that is to trade for a controllable player. La Russa also knows that his club is set up for a winning window of approximately 3 – 4 years.  Keep the aggression when it comes to upgrading this team.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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You simply couldn’t have asked for a better start to a winter in 2015 for Arizona.  They are legitimate contenders in the NL West, and still should have the wherewithal to spend another $20 – $25 MIL on salaries for 2016.

I love the aggression set forth by the management.  I hope they keep the pedal to the metal on this one.  A nucleus of a team lasts 3 – 4 years for a mid market club, and by the acquisitions the team has done here completely reflects that.

We have discussed how the Houston Astros developed their young club for a few years now.  It is clearly the best way to rebuild a team.

Another reason why the team has had the financial flexibility to create these maneuvers is that they have Paul Goldschmidt on perhaps the best valued contract in the game of baseball right now.

The other Infielders in the mix for the Diamondbacks need to step up the production for he Arizona squad in 2016.  Whether it is Chris Owings at 2B or Nick Ahmed at SS, these positions were not league average for the slots, as was third base either.

Arizona was carried offensively by Goldschmidt and a great productive OF in A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte.

The club dealt Inciarte in the Shelby Miller deal, but could pick up the slack with giving his OF position to Yasmany Tomas full time in 2016.

Welington Castillo was one of the most prolific Catchers in the Majors least year, featuring a 3 slash of .255/.317/.496 with the Diamondbacks, clubbing 17 HRs and knocking in 50 RBI during his 254 AB for the club.

In a roundabout way, he bettered what the club had previously in Miguel Montero, who incidentally was the reason why Castillo was flipped to Seattle initially.

That trade made up for the previous fiasco that was the trade for Mark Trumbo the previous season. 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

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

Los Angeles Dodgers State Of The Union For 2016

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D'Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming - or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentelmen

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D’Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming – or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentlemen.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.

If everyone remembers that year, they rejected a couple year contract with Grant Balfour, when he failed a physical, and they did the same thing with Grady Sizemore.

That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson.  By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.

Key cogs in the wheel were new Closer Zach Britton, and Super Utility man Steve Pearce.  A lot of parallels can be made between that squad and the Dodgers.

Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.

For the whole winter they have watched the Giants sign Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks stole Zack Greinke way from them, while trading a kings ransom for Shelby Miller. 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

San Diego Padres State Of The Union For 2016

It was a disastrous plan from the beginning, and now the 2014 winter is causing the 2015 offseason to play out different. The NL West has also seen the Giants and Diamondbacks beef up their Rosters while San Diego has lost their top 3 Bullpen arms. This squad will have a tough time avoiding 100 Losses in the 2016 season in my view. The saving grace is they can trade every Veteran player they can and start building up the club for 3 - 4 more years down the road.

It was a disastrous plan from the beginning, and now the 2014 winter is causing the 2015 offseason to play out different. The NL West has also seen the Giants and Diamondbacks beef up their Rosters while San Diego has lost their top 3 Bullpen arms. This squad will have a tough time avoiding 100 Losses in the 2016 season in my view. The saving grace is they can trade every Veteran player they can and start building up the club for 3 – 4 more years down the road.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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It certainly is a different feel to the winter of the Padres in the 2015 offseason than it was the 2014 Season.  I never bought into the premise of how A.J. Preller built the team last year.

It was one of the easiest over/under wagers of the year.  It ended in the club losing more games than they did the previous year – despite running a higher payroll.

The franchise loses Justin Upton to Free Agency, and have traded or lost their top 3 Relievers in Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit and Shawn Kelley.

Preller has also made a few questionable moves in acquiring Jon Jay for one year – and giving up on Jedd Gyorko.  In my view, this is a weird move.

In an Infield that is already lacking power, this latest move furthers the need to bring in more hitters. 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

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

Even with the Cubs signing Jason Heyward and being the favorite to win bot the NL Pennant and World Series, they have to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 once again. The Redbirds won 100 games and are coming back with another great squad. That is the sole reason why they are not the biggest favorite to win their own Division.

Even with the Cubs signing Jason Heyward and being the favorite to win bot the NL Pennant and World Series, they have to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 once again. The Redbirds won 100 games and are coming back with another great squad. That is the sole reason why the Cubs are not the biggest favorite to win their own Division.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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These odds are a pretty good reflection of the landscape in the MLB right now.  The best value on the board would be the NY Yankees are +240 and Detroit at +250.  Both of these clubs are old, but if they can play to their talent level and avoid injury, could win their Divisions.

I fully expect the Cubs will win the National League Central Division, but the +140 odd doesn’t pay enough to entice a wager.

The worst odd on the board has to be the Texas Rangers.  I am not sure they are that much better than the Houston Astros right now, and they have not had a banner winter yet – while Houston has solidified their Bullpen by adding flamethrower Ken Giles.

Add in a full year of Carlos Correa – and Houston should be the Division favorite.

I think the Twins might be a nice long shot wager at +310.  This club did finished 2nd in the American League Central Division during the 2015 year with 83 victories. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings: Early Predictions For 2016

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 tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.

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.  Out of all remaining Free Agents left, I think he will have the most impact on a team that picks him up.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It would still be a little premature to finalize any of these predictions right now – however it is never bad to install your power rankings based on the current state of the teams.  I will update these every month till the season starts.

When you look at the leagues, the National Leagues is far more top-heavy than the American League is.  I expect there to possibly on be one club in the Junior Circuit with 90 wins.

The AL East will beat each other up one more season – and may take the reins as the best Division in baseball again now that Boston looks to resurgent.  Keep in mind they were the cellar dwellar’s in 2015 at just 78 – 84.

I personally think the Rays inadequate offense will really kill their regular season win total for a change.  They were fortunate to receive a 3 game additional homestand due to the Baltimore riots.

While they failed to be .500 for the 1st time since 2007, they extended their streak of at least being victorious in 80 games for another campaign. Read the rest of this entry

Dear Santa 2015: A Xmas Letter (Wishlist) From All 30 MLB Teams And Their Fanbases

santa claus

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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It is that time of year.  All the executives should be toting their favorite team pencil and get ready for a letter to old Saint Nick.

The Winter Meetings have concluded, and as of right now, the Cubs went four hours without acquiring someone so the rest of the league can quickly exhale for a few minutes.

This is the lull of the offseason right now with not much happening from right now all the way through to the Baseball Hall Of Fame Vote.

Speaking of the Hall of Fame – do you think Pete Rose does autograph signings in Vegas on Dec.25 – before gambling the winnings at the craps table right after?  Okay sorry Pete. Read the rest of this entry

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