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Can Gerrit Cole Rely On His Slider Again In 2016?

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Jason Rollison (Featured Baseball Writer/piratesbreakdown.com)  

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In what seems like another lifetime ago, I wrote that Gerrit Cole was now relying on his slider in 2015 as his go-to pitch.

At the time, Cole’s development of a killer secondary pitch to complement his fastball was something that was in its infancy.

After bursting onto the scene in 2013 with a fastball that could tap 100mph on radar, Cole showed a greater reliance on his fastball while still mixing in his sinker, slider, and curveball.

He even put an emphasis on his still-burgeoning changeup early in the season before that, too, which also took a backseat to the heat.

Despite that emphasis on secondary pitches, Cole was often forced to go back to the fastball in 2014.

The simple fact is that the changeup, curveball, and sinker were getting knocked around a bit, with line drive rates of 30.43 percent, 35 percent, and 28.07 percent respectively.

The sinking fastball and changeup both had batting averages against of .300 or more, with the changeup also displaying a crooked .643 SLG percentage.

It was clear that Cole was still figuring out which weapon in his arsenal would be that second “go-to” pitch.

Enter the slider.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY.

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

best odd value on the board this week.

best odd value on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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

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

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

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

MLB.com Seeking Stats Stringers For 2016 Season

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John Swol Baseball Writer/Owner @ (twinstrivia.com) 

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MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball, is seeking stats stringers to cover these clubs in 2016 and beyond:

Atlanta
Baltimore/Washington DC
Boston
Houston
Los Angeles (both clubs)
Miami
Oakland/San Francisco
Pittsburgh
Texas
Toronto Read the rest of this entry

What Should The Yankees Do For 1B Depth Now + Beyond 2016 With Bird Hurt?

Justin Morneau would definitely be a flier for some team based on his recent concussion history. Although he did recently win a Batting Title for the Colorado Rockies. A club like the Indians may use his services where he could DH some and play 1st Base.

Justin Morneau would definitely be a flier for some team based on his recent concussion history. Although he did recently win a Batting Title for the Colorado Rockies in 2014 by Batting .319. The former AL MVP has a swing a lot like former Yankees player – Tino Martinez and would be perfect depth for the Yankees.  Morneau, 34, could also take some Designated Hitter reps against tough Right Handed Pitchers.  The Canadian posted a .316/.364/.487 3 Slash Line with 20 HRs and 42 Doubles in his 670 AB spanning the last 2 seasons for the Rockies.  I believe he could put up at a .275/.333/.425 line for the Yankees if they brought him in.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It is unfair for a player like Gregory Bird, that he tore his labrum and will miss the entire 2016 season. 

With Mark Teixeira spending a pile of time on the meat wagon for various injuries in the last few years, the young 23 year old slugger could have solidified a long-standing place on the team if he could have had the opportunity forthcoming.

Instead this little injury is really putting the ‘Pinstripers’ depth to question before pitchers and catchers even report at First Base.

Brian Cashman has to play this thing right – as any injury ‘Tex’ could cripple the club.  The organization should dole out some decent cabbage for a guy to backup at 1st now with this news.

At first glance you have to look at the potential Free Agents out there left on the table.  Both Pedro Alvarez and Justin Morneau are still on the open market.
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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 31, 2016

AthleticsJump

It is Sunday and time for the Sunday Request.

1972 is the topic of the book I am writing. With all the topics to hit, it practically writes itself.

It  episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.


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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.

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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

PiratesBreakdown.com Interview – With Pittsburgh Pirates Catcher Chris Stewart

stew-1

Pittsburgh Pirates fans will want to hear this episode of The Pirates Breakdown Podcast as we welcome in Chris Stewart for an interview.

Chris Stewart recently signed an extension to remain a Pirate for the foreseeable future.

What better time then to sit down with Chris for The Pirates Breakdown Podcast?

Interview – Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Chris Stewart

What better time then to sit down with Chris for The Pirates Breakdown Podcast? Without further ado, here’s the full interview with the Bucs’ backstop:

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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.

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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

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.

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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

Cincinnati Reds State Of The Union For 2016

The Reds management started off the rebuild project nicely with the midsummer deals of Leake and Cueto. They also got a nice haul for 2 years left of Todd Frazier. However, due to a 10/5 rule for Brandon Phillips, and a domestic dispute killing potential other deals, Cincinnati has been stymied in completing the quest. Our own Jordan Gluck ranked them as the 27th worst prospects team in 2015, and it has only slightly improved since the spring. It is going to be a long arduouas process for the brass to pull themselves out of thi predicament.

The Reds management started off the rebuild project nicely with the midsummer deals of Leake and Cueto. They also got a nice haul for 2 years left of Todd Frazier. However, due to a 10/5 rule for Brandon Phillips, and a domestic dispute killing potential other deals, Cincinnati has been stymied in completing the quest. Our own Jordan Gluck ranked them as the 27th worst prospects team in 2015, and it has only slightly improved since last spring. It is going to be a long arduous process for the brass to pull themselves out of this predicament.  Jesse Winker and Robert Stephenson join Jose Peraza as the top 3 prospects that could make the 2016 club.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Reds finished 64 – 98 in 2015 and the situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.  I predict 100 losses for the Cincinnati club for 2016, and they could really rack up some L’s especially past the trade deadline of next year if they do their job right in managing the squad.

I like the path the management has taken for trading players, unfortunately a domestic dispute cost the chance to flip Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers, and the 10 – 5 rule cost them another opportunity to deal Brandon Phillips to the Nationals.

Obviously there is still hope they can trade these guys before they can’t do so anymore.

Last season the club dealt Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake in separate deals at the deadline, and have 3 players on the current depth chart to show for it (Adam Duvall, Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb, while they have 2 more Minor League prospects in Keury Mella and Cody Reed.)

Cincinnati finished just 1 win ahead of the Phillies for the worst record in the Major Leagues.

There is no polite way to go about this rebuilding process.  Jay Bruce, Devin Mesoraco, Jumbo Diaz, J.J. Hoover, Tony Cingrani, Zack Cozart and Homer Bailey should all be considered to be traded in addition to Chapman and Phillips.

The only real players the club should keep are Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton, Anthony DeSclafani and all other players they traded for last season – or are in their Minor League system.

One only has to look in which Division they play in to realize that their Roster is overmatched and there is no short term solution to fix this organization.

The Cubs are set for an awesome 4 – 5 years stretch of play as all of their young offensive stars are groomed by their recent Free Agent signings over the last 2 winters.

St. Louis has reset their roster among the veteran core that aged together with Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday. 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

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

Pittsburgh Pirates Must Continue To Strengthen Bullpen

Pittsburgh-Pirates-Logo

Recent history shows that good things happen when the Pittsburgh Pirates pay close attention to their bullpen. 2016 should be no exception.

In 2012 the Pittsburgh Pirates found themselves in the middle of ‘Epic Collapse II.’ While their miserable finish to the season would extend one of the most notorious streaks in professional sports, that particular season served as a blueprint to illustrate how the team could improve its fortunes going forward.

That blueprint was not found at an everyday position; nor was it found with the men tapped to start the game on the pitcher’s mound.

It was found in the bullpen.

READ MORE…

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

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