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The 2nd Wild Card Team In The NL For 2015 Could Be Right Near .500

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, 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 see a squad break the worst record ever to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card seed this campaign.  The AL is not as big with the dominant clubs, and as such will have many teams hover around 90 wins that make the postseason.  With the AL winning the Interleague matchup for 10 years consecutive, you also have to factor in a few more W’s per team.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With all due respect to the rest of the Senior Circuit clubs, the Nationals and Dodgers are heads above the rest of the league.  I am also throwing in stalwart franchise St. Louis and Pittsburgh (94 wins and 88 wins in the last 2 years) as other teams that should lock down the NL Central and the other 1 to win the 1st Wild Card – to round out the top 4 seeds in the NL.

Then there are the rest of the clubs.

From the surface odds wise, the gambling pundits are saying the Padres and Giants would be next on the list for wins, followed by the Mets, Cubs and Marlins.

Just below those last 5 teams, you have the fight for competing coming from Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and finally the teams most thought to struggle this campaign are the Rockies, D’Backs and the Phillies.

I believe Washington is going to run away from the rest of the league – and near 100 victories. The Dodgers while not as talented as they have been the last few seasons, should not have a problem topping 90 wins again with their Starting Rotation being so strong.

The Pirates did lose Russell Martin and Edinson Volquez, but you have to think bringing A.J. Burnett back replaces Volquez, and the internal improvements from Gregory Polanco, and a return to power from Pedro Alvarez should be enough to compensate for that.

When it comes down to my final prognostication for the Division, I may just jot the Bucs down to win the Division.  Josh Harrison and Neil Walker at 3B and 2B, and if they receive anything from their Starting Catcher and Shortstop then look the hell out.

Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte also help Polanco round out the Outfield, and I think by the end of the year, they will be pronounced the best trio of players beyond the Infield, rather than the Marlins or Padres. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB 2015 World Series + Best Bets

Yu Darvish has exceeded expectations in his 1st 2 seasons with the club.  Based on his 6 YRs/$56 MIL contract, he is seriously underpaid in the last four years of his contract.  Based on that value created, the team was able to sign Fielder and Choo.  Darvish finished 2nd in AL Cy Young Voting with a 2.83 ERA and a AL Leading 277 in 2013.  But he has a torn UCL and will probably have to go under the knife for Tommy John Surgery, i call this a season ender for the Rangers playoffs chances even before we hit the MLB opener on April.5th

Yu Darvish had exceeded expectations in his 1st 3 seasons with the club. Based on his 6 YRs/$56 MIL contract, he was considered seriously underpaid in the last three years of his contract. Since that value created cash for other deals, the team was able to sign Fielder and Choo last winter, but those two sustained massive injuries in 2014 (along with the RHP – and about 57 others lin 2014) in what was a losing season, Darvish finished 2nd in AL Cy Young Voting with a 2.83 ERA and an AL Leading 277 for the 2013 season, but he has a torn UCL now – and will probably have to go under the knife for Tommy John Surgery, I call this a season ender for the Rangers playoffs chances even before we hit the MLB opener on April.5th.  Oddsmakers are on board with what I have said, with the team tied for the 22nd worst odd to win it all this campaign.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With yesterday’s grim news on the 2015 season of Yu Darvish. I think it is safe to say the Rangers will have a tough campaign this year as well.

It was one thing having all of their top players coming back from injury already, but now you lose one of the true aces left in the American League.  This is a doomsday special.  I don’t think Yovani Gallardo will take on Darvish’s type of role and thrive.  If anything, the Rangers might be able to flip him later in the year.

Jon Daniels should not trade for another pitcher either.  This Division is the best in baseball, and if he were to do that, it would be bad money spent.  Hopefully Prince Fielder and Shin-soo Choo can have bounce back seasons for you, and at least the future will look up beyond 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Max Scherzer’s $185 MIL Deal (Inflation Pro-Rated) Puts Him 11th In MLB History For Top Contracts

Scherzer's 7 Year/$210 MIL deal is actually worth $185 against the cap, and we are giving him the same for the ALL-Time Contracts. This sum puts him just behind Derek Jeter for 11th in MLB History. Jon Lester and he are the only 2 men to enter the top 50 this year after 7 players made the cut last off year. Cabrera, Cano, Kershaw, Tanaka, Ellsbury,Trout and Choo all have made the chart since the end of the 2013 World Series.  The deal called for a $50 MIL signing bonus. The 2013 former AL Cy Young winner, will make $15 MIL in deferred salary for the next 14 seasons.  The 30 Year Old, will join the NL's best club of 2014, as far as wins are concerned, bringing in a 96 - 66 record.  The RHP has led the AL in wins the last 2 years (21 Wins and 18 Wins respectively), and has compiled a 55 - 15 (.786 Winning Percentage) since the start of the 2012 campaign.

Scherzer’s 7 Year/$210 MIL deal is actually worth $185 against the cap, and we are giving him the same for the ALL-Time Contracts. This sum puts him just behind Derek Jeter for 11th in MLB History. Jon Lester and he are the only 2 men to enter the top 50 this year after 7 players made the cut last off year. Cabrera, Cano, Kershaw, Tanaka, Ellsbury, Trout and Choo all have made the chart since the end of the 2013 World Series. The deal called for a $50 MIL signing bonus. The 2013 former AL Cy Young winner, will make $15 MIL in deferred salary for the next 14 seasons. The 30 Year Old, will join the NL’s best club of 2014, as far as wins are concerned, bringing in a 96 – 66 record. The RHP has led the AL in wins the last 2 years (21 Wins and 18 Wins respectively), and has compiled a 55 – 15 (.786 Winning Percentage) since the start of the 2012 campaign.

The highest contracts in MLB history (Red means Active Contract)

 1. Giancarlo Stanton, $325, 000, 000 (2015 – 2027)

*2. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)

*** With A-Rod’s suspension in 2014, he forfeited $22.13 MIL bucks, so it will now end up 10 YRs/$252.87 MIL for the duration of his deal.  You can’t tell me he will be worth 40% of what the Yankees will be paying him next year, and all the way till the end of 2017.

3. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)

*4. Miguel Cabrera $248,000, 000 (2016 – 2023)

Go see #25.  He has the 4th and 25th top contracts of ALL – Time.  This contract doesn’t start until 2016.

*5Albert Pujols, $250,000,000 (2012-21)

*6. Robinson Cano$240,000,000 (2014 – 2023) Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2015 World Series (CWS Best Value Currently)

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are back from an extended period of not writing articles here at the MLB Reports to weigh in on the World Series Odds for next campaign.

As we did last year, we will update this as a weekly segment for the next 10 months until the winner is crowned.

I can tell you right now, the favorites based on so-called “winning the offseason” hardly ever pay off.  If that were the case, the Yankees would have been crowned last year, with spending $503 MIL on 10 Free Agents, or also the Rangers would have been second with bringing in Prince Fielder and Shin Soo-Choo.

The odds doled out for free wheeling Padres and Cubs are my top two picks to stay clear of wagering with the value currently constituted.  There are two teams in a similar view, not given enough credit.

The White Sox are looking decent in the AL Central, and play in the fairest of the Division in the American League, boast a 1 – 2 that can battle you with Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija, while inking Free Agents Adam LaRoche and David Robertson gives the team nice depth all around,

The ‘Southsiders’ are definitely much improved in every facet heading into 2015.,  To say the Cubs, with their exuberant youth has more of a chance to win the 2015 title is not justified without seeing them perform on the field yet. Read the rest of this entry

Giancarlo Stanton Signs Record 13 YRs/$325 MIL Deal, Will He Be Worth It? + Top 50 Salary Deals ALL – Time

 

Giancarlo Stanton, who will turn just 25 in a few days, ended the year with the HR crown at 37 and added 105 RBI - to win the Hank Aaron Award. With the big slugger due for huge Arbitration awards in the next few years, the club starting

Giancarlo Stanton, who will turn just 25 in a few days, ended the year with the HR crown at 37 and added 105 RBI in just 539 AB before having his season ended with a Hit By Pitch. With the big slugger due for huge Arbitration awards in the next few years, the club started bargaining withe their young superstar towards a long-term contract once the year was over.  They came up with a record breaking 13 Year Deal worth $325 MIL at the end of it.  Stanton also holds his own ticket for the future as well, with a full no no-trade clause, and an opt year after the 2020 campaign.

Chuck Booth (Lead Analyst/Website Owner): 

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With the ink not even being finalized on the historic deal between the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton, it has been confirmed the deal is for 13 years at a clip of $325 MIL.

Among the provisions includes a no-trade clause, and an opt-out after the 2020 season, which would be 6 years into the deal.

It will be interesting to see how the dollars are broken up per year.  If I were Stanton, I would have wanted for the Annual Average money be even throughout the pact, otherwise I may be leery of the club trying to let him walk out after the 6 years – by not having a competitive club.

Although, if it is back end loaded the team would certainly have the flexibility to spend more cash on their current roster for the next 6 campaigns,  Tough dilemma for sure to be in.

No matter how long the 2014 NL MVP runnerup stays in South Beach, this is a smart business transaction for the franchise, regardless of the outcome.  It just may backfire from a baseball operational sense in terms of finances for signing other players too.

The Miami Marlins had to do this contract to save face from the 2012 break up of the squad.  Now while the big blockbuster trade has given the team the ability to contend for a playoff spot in the near future – and was a smart organizational move, as the fans also have been sold a bill of goods from the Marlins ownership since day 1 of the teams existence.

This is a marketing plan as much as anything that will be brought forth by the baseball impact.  Stanton is the marquee player on the team, and trading him away in the next 2 years would have had a devastating effect on the fanbase.

One isn’t sure whether they can sustain enough revenues to produce a winning product on the field for an extended period of time, however having the most dynamic power hitter in your lineup for the next 13 years will be a nice reason to come to the yard. Read the rest of this entry

For The Most Part – The Top Salaried Players (#1 – #25 In The MLB Are Certainly Not Playing Like It!

Prince Fielder

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Some of the highest paid athletes are really struggling to earn their keep.  Even if A – Rod were playing, it is quite possible he would be a shell of his former self, and way overpaid.

You add in the horrific injury riddled years for Joey Votto and Prince Fielder, and you are talking about a lot of dough for players not even in uniform presently.

Then there is a productive hitter like Troy Tulowitzki, who can’t remain on the field, despite putting up world caliber numbers when he is in the lineup.

Joe Mauer and Matt Kemp have also dealt with injuries and timing issues at the plate, but they still could turn it around for the tail end of the season – and going forward.

Justin Verlander tops the list of the paying the man too late in the game, and this will not bode well for the Free Agent Max Scherzer.

You also have aging veterans that are helping their teams win games like Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez, but they are also not where they were at the time all of that cash was thrown their way.

Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout‘s deal don’t even start yet on this list, and somehow I think they will do alright.

Robinson Cano has looked decent in the 1st of a 10 year deal, but lets reassess this in 2018…

The Yankees have a huge problem on their hands with their representatives out of these players.

Mark Teixeira only has power left, and can hardly stay on the field, while CC Sabathia may be done as a top of the end starter.

Masahiro Tanaka was lights out in his time in New York this year, however he could be facing Tommy John Surgery soon, and may cost the franchise a lot of money to sit out.

Not even the Jacoby Ellsbury deal has reason for them to feel comfort.  His numbers are similar to the ones he put up in Boston, yet he will see his speed evaporate over the years going forward.

This is part 1 of a 2 part blog series on player contracts. Tomorrow we address players 26 – 50. Read the rest of this entry

Current 2014 MLB Team Payrolls: Trade Deadline Manuevering

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers.  Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL.  As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year.  If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold.  Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%.  With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Los Angeles is currently sitting at nearly $240 MIL for total team payroll, and will enter the 2nd year of their Luxury Tax Threshold Penalty, where they will pay a 30% surcharge on any monies spent over $189 MIL. As it stands right now, the club will pay somewhere north of $15 MIL this year. If the Dodgers are in penalty again for 2015, they will pa 40% of any cash over the Threshold. Abusers of the tax for 4 years and beyond pay $50%. With their payroll this year, it would cost Los Angeles over $25 MIL if they were at that limit.

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

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2014 Team Salaries Rank  (In Millions)

1. LAD – $239.8 ( 2nd time abuser – Luxury Tax Penalty at 30% over $189 MIL = $15.24 MIL to be added at the end of the year.) (1st in NLW)

2. NYY – $200.0 ( 4 or more time abuser – Tax Penalty at 50% over $189 MIL for an additional $5.5 MIL to be added at end of the year.) (1st In ALE)

3. PHI – $177.4 (1st in NLE)

4. DET – $163.0 MIL (1st in ALC)

5. BOS – $157.9 (2nd in ALE)
Read the rest of this entry

MLB Teams Pitching Payroll vs Positional Players Payroll In 2014

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB.  They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending.  With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

The Dodgers are the new kings of spending money on payroll in the MLB. They already spend the most money their Pitching Staff, are the only team well over the $200 MIL mark, and are also creeping up on the New York Yankees for position player spending. With the Bronx Bombers not in a playoff spot currently, the Dodgers may pass the Pinstripers by adding salary to their lineup, or by New York deciding to trade a few players from their position lineup.

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

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The LA Dodgers have 5 quality Starting Pitchers, and a bevy of former Closers in their Relief Core.

The boys who play their home games at Chavez Ravine, would fit into the top half of entire team payrolls for the majors with each of their pitching and offense separately.

If the Yankees trade 1 or 2 hitters before the Deadline, or the Dodgers add an offense player to their depth, they will hold the #1 spot in both distinctions.

New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and both of the Los Angeles franchises are in the top 10 in each. Read the rest of this entry

Cespedes Wins The 2014 MLB HR Derby With An Awesome Power Display: Stop Complaining About The Contest Experts!

Yoenis Cespedes became just the 2nd player to win back to back titles in the M:B HR Derby Last Night.  By winning his 2nd title, he also joins Prince Fielder and the aforementioned Griffey, as the only three guys to win multiple titles.  At just age 28, and with that swing, you have to think he has a chance to eclipse everyone and take down a few more of these HR Derby Trophy's.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I have had enough with the experts flogging on the HR Derby last night.

Yes, it took long, but not as long as last year. I believe the actual event was under 3 hours. What every one was feeling had a lot to do with the hour plus rain delay.

I loved the new format of 7 outs, and AL vs NL. If there is anything I think the MLB could do away with – is having 5 players in each league participant.

I firmly believe that Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton suffered because of an inactive round caused by them both winning a bye. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 Home Run Derby + ALL – Time Derby Winners + Cespedes Wins 2014 Title

HR Derby 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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I said yesterday that I believed Todd Frazier would be an underdog darkhorse to win the HR derby at Target Field.

Little did I know he is tied for the 8th favorite out of 10 hitters.

The ALL – Star longball competition has changed formats.  There are 3 players from the AL and NL that survive the 1st RD (7 outs each hitter).

The top players in each league (during the 1st round) win a bye into the semi-final round automatically, while the 2nd and 3rd seeds in each league square off in the 2nd round in a matchup each.

Once the winners are established in that round (7 Outs), the remaining 4 contestants will be duking it out in their respective leagues to find who owns the National League and American league big fly bragging rights.

It is all players within their own league until the final.

The winners of the AL/NL will face off for the championship.  Again, all rounds contain 7 outs.  Maybe this will ease some of the time constraints. Read the rest of this entry

ATR (Ask The Reports) Returns For One Day Here: June 25th, 2014

Home Of Sully Baseball + #WOB, #SullyMetrics, Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written, Roster Trees, Salaries, Org. Depth Charts, Historical Series for All 30 Clubs + State Of The Unions + Wicked Daily Content,) + tyhe best coverage on the 2014 MLB schedule in the world.   We are not your average "Cookie Cutter" Website.  Also our motto is "THE TRUTH STINGS LIKE A CATCUS!"

Home Of Sully Baseball + #WOB, #SullyMetrics, Baseball Analysis (Audio + Written, Roster Trees, Salaries, Org. Depth Charts, Historical Series for All 30 Clubs + State Of The Unions + Wicked Daily Content,) + tyhe best coverage on the 2014 MLB schedule in the world. We are not your average “Cookie Cutter” Website. Also our motto is “THE TRUTH STINGS LIKE A CATCUS!”

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

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As our website has increasingly adapted to changes both suggested by our readers and writers, we are forever changing our content on our little space carved out on the interwebs.

So for a little bit of nostalgia, I add an installment of a previous segment we once had, called ATR (Ask The Reports).

Q:  I noticed you pulled down the HR leaderboard pages and placed them on a website called www.30mlbteamsreports.com, is this the same ownership of that site?

CB:  Absolutely, I purchased the domain www.30mlbteamsreports.com  to help control some of the amount of stuff we post at http://www.mlbreports.com.  In some cases, we will post some of our work on both websites from now on. Read the rest of this entry

Some MLB Trivia: 5 Questions + Birthdays June 21st

 

This is the biggest debate of all time, who is the best player?  Photo courtesy of www.boston.com

This is the biggest debate of all time, who is the best player? Photo courtesy of http://www.boston.com

Yesterday’s answers:

Q1.  Best Slugging PCTG ever by a rookie was Ted Williams, slugging .609 in 149 Games and 677 Plate Appearances in 1939.  Ryan Braun had just 492 AB in his 1st year despite his .634 Slugging mark in 2007, but failed to qualify by a mere 9 PA.

Q2.  Bill Bevens owns the dubious distinction of walking the most batters ever in a World Series Game with 10, against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 4 of the 1947 Fall Classic.  He threw a no – hitter until 2 outs in the 9th inning, before giving up the Game winning Double to Cookie Lavagetto.

Q3: C:  Jimmie Foxx hit 7 HRs in his last year of play during 1945, Babe Ruth only managed 6 HRs in 1935, and Mel Ott hit 0 HRs in 1947.

Q4:  C:  Chuck Dressen led the Brooklyn Dodgers to a 105 – 49 record in 1953, which is still the watermark win total for the franchise ALL – Time.

Q5:  An All Royalty Team could be led by:  Duke Snider, Earl Averill, Jeff King, Prince Fielder and Mel Queen. Read the rest of this entry

How All Of The Texas Rangers Hitters Were Acquired (2014 Roster Tree)

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 - and have 4 straight seasons of collecting 90+ Wins - with 370 victories overall.  2014 has been an injury plagued season, robbing the club perhaps of putting forth a 5th consecutive 90 win campaign.  Despite this, the organization has done spade work to be mentioned as a top franchise over the last 5 years.  This Roster Tree proves a little of this.

The Rangers had back to back World Series Appearances in 2010 and 2011 – and have 4 straight seasons of collecting 90+ Wins – with 370 victories overall. 2014 has been an injury plagued season, robbing the club perhaps of putting forth a 5th consecutive 90 win campaign. Despite this, the organization has done spade work to be mentioned as a top franchise over the last 5 years. This Roster Tree proves a little of this.

How All Of The Rangers Hitters Were Acquired:

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

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The Rangers set up their franchise for years to come in 2007, when they pulled off a trade of ALL – Star Mark Teixeira – to acquire several players in the franchise that they are still seeing solid returns.

My absolute favorite transaction tree is finding out the Michael Choice branch of trades.

It dates back to the team signing Todd Van Poppel as a Free Agent before the 1998 season.

Out of all of the players the team currently has, only Leonys Martin, Mitch Moreland and Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar are composed of team draft picks – with the latter being hurt right now,

The rest of them were picked up via another route. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of May

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Monday May.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 16 Days Rec

1.  ***San Francisco Giants 32 – 19 (3) 10 – 4:  The Giants have the best team in the Majors record wise, and have done so without dominate pitching, and Buster Posey hasn’t taken off yet.

The San Fran players are using the ‘someone is always on fire’ offense.  Even Brandon Hicks is clobbering HRs out of 2B.  Depth prevails here.  4 Games up on the Dodgers.

2.  ***Oakland Athletics 31 – 20 (2) 8 – 5:  The A’s did lose 3 straight to the Blue Jays, however they had scored 76 runs in 11 Games prior, and pasted 10 on the board yesterday.

Brandon Moss is an underrated slugger, and Josh Donaldson has 4 separate game HR streaks this year.

Showing that depth at Starting Pitching can do well even if players go down with TJ Surgery. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers Losing Fielder For The Year May Be A Fatal Short Term Blow: But Maybe Not For The Long Term

Losing Prince Fielder for the year is somewhat catastrophic to the team, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence to the 2014 year.  The big 1B was not part of the 15 - 9 start the team put forth, before a rough 8 - 15 slide since then.  Pitching will save the day, and the organization may look to add some players that don't require a ton of assets to ascertain.  If the club has bad next month,, it could also be time to sell some players off and retool for 2015.

Losing Prince Fielder for the year is somewhat catastrophic to the team, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence to the 2014 year. The big 1B was not part of the 15 – 9 start the team put forth, before a rough 8 – 15 slide since then. Pitching will save the day, and the organization may look to add some players that don’t require a ton of assets to ascertain. If the club has bad next month,, it could also be time to sell some players off and retool for 2015.  Fielder will have neck surgery, and when you are talking about possible spinal fusing, it is not an injury to be recovered from quickly

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rangers have quite likely lost Prince Fielder for the year – with pending neck surgery.  He joins a long list of players currently on the ‘MASH’ unit.

Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Leonys Martin, Donnie Murphy, Joseph Ortiz, Martin Perez, Joe Saunders, Tanner Scheppers, Geovany Soto, Dan Robertson Jurickson Profar, Engel Beltre, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Josh Wilson, James Adduci, Pedro Figueroa are all on the sick bay right now.

About half of them are not coming back this year potentially.

Adrian Beltre and Yu Darvish have also spent time on the DL this campaign.

The 16 players currently on the list above could virtually make up 2/3rds of the team. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 7 – May 2014

The Mariners are 10 - 4 in their last 14 games - without receiving any outstanding play from one particular player.  They are the biggest jumpers in this weeks rankings, going from #20 - #15.  The club concludes a series vs the Kansas City Royals, before they welcome the Tampa Rays next into Safeco Field.

The Mariners are 10 – 4 in their last 14 games – without receiving any outstanding play from one particular player. They are the biggest jumpers in this weeks rankings, going from #20 – #15. The club concludes a series vs the Kansas City Royals, before they welcome the Tampa Rays next into Safeco Field.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are almost at the quarter pole for action in the MLB.

The biggest mover and shakers this week were the Seattle Mariners, followed by Baltimore Orioles. LA Angels and San Francisco Giants.

Plummeting in the other directions were led by the Phils, who we dropped from 17th to 24th.

The Yankees, Nationals, Dodgers and Rangers all lost 4 places in the rankings based on sub-par weeks.

The AL New York franchise is about 1 bad week from free-falling to the AL East.  Right now the team has received buoyancy because of ace Masahiro Tanaka being 5 – 0.

Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran are having a tough time finding their rhythm with the Bronx Bombers.

I believe the Dodgers will rectify their situation shortly and take off.

Washington is barely over .500 even though most of their players are playing to their capabilities.

The Royals offense is destroying their team morale, as is the Mets having a tough time with the Relief Core, and their Pitchers are still battling .000 for the year like you and me.

Oakland is still leading the MLB in wins since the start of the 2012 year.

The Red Sox are one of the most likely teams to climb the standings in the next few weeks.

With the Cards not playing well, keep in mind, 18 of the next 21 games reside in Busch Stadium for them.  It is time to make some headway.

The AL has fashioned a 18 – 8 mark in Interleague this week to apply a 34 – 33 overall lead on the NL now.

The Rockies are blasting every baseball into orbit right now.  These guys are hitting as well at home as the Pre-Humidor ERA. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports “Junior Reporter” Haley Smilow Interviews Rickie Weeks!

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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

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Haley Smilow is at it again.  This time Milwaukee Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks was on the other end of her questions.

Our Junior Reporter has now interviewed several players in the MLB over the last 2 years.  Not only that, Haley and her family have been on an epic journey to view all 30 MLB Parks.

This interview was at Miller Park.  Home of the Brewers, the sausage race and the 1st place team in the Majors currently. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 5 – Apr. 2014

The Astros have helped pad the stats for teams like the A's, Rangers and Angels offenses and Run Differentials so far,  Having this cupcake team will definitely help your playoff chances with the weighted divisional play.

The Astros have helped pad the stats for teams like the A’s, Rangers and Angels offenses and Run Differentials so far in 2014, Having this cupcake team will definitely help your playoff chances with the weighted divisional play.  I will be amazed if they finish out of last in the American League this year, and maybe only the Chicago Cubs will challenge them for the 1st overall pick again for the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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We are now at the 13 – 14% pole of the MLB year.  Parity is reigning supreme on the standings.

For the record, while I love the Milwaukee start, they are just too many variables for them to keep up this pace.

Don’t get me wrong, i think this team is capable of making the playoffs, winning 90 games, but it could be eliminated as fast as they have compiled this record.

Ryan Braun’s thumb could require surgery. Ramirez’s knee’s could fail him.

Considering last night’s situation with Braun and Gomez, that could alter the playing field for the NL.

The suspension laid down for the brawl with the Pirates could also sway some momentum.  Good on Milwaukee for starting 18 – 6.  I just think the Cards will track them down in the next 138 games. Read the rest of this entry

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

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Then There Were 5 Teams Left: MLB Shutout Survivor 2014 Contest

Harang, who was part of four organizations in the last year, no hit the Mets for 7 Innings before coming out of the game for Atlanta last night.  While the Relief Core could not keep the no-hitter intact, they kept the Shutout, thus eliminating the Mets from the 2014 Shutout Survivor competition.

Harang, who was part of four organizations in the last year, no hit the Mets for 7 Innings before coming out of the game for Atlanta last night – after 121 pitches thrown. While the Relief Core could not keep the no-hitter intact, they kept the Shutout, thus eliminating the Mets from the 2014 Shutout Survivor competition.  Harang has been lights out for the Braves this year, as that was his second game carrying a no – hitter into the 7th inning already.

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

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Eliminated Last Night are the Mets, Twins and White Sox.

In this post, which we are also going to feature in a Subpage at the site called ‘Shutout Survivor’, we will document who wins this race for all 30 MLB Teams, meaning we will state the date a teams gets Shutout for the 1st time of the year.

After the games on Apr.18th, there are 25 teams taken out of this competition.  The AL still has 3 teams remaining in this and the NL has 2  The NL Central and AL East and NL East are completely eliminated as well.

Should be a great contest to see who can be the last team to score zero runs in a game.

5 teams yet to be blanked:  Rockies, Dodgers, Indians, Rangers and Angels. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Shutout Survivor: 22 Teams Eliminated + 8 Teams Remain Through Apr.17

Considering they lost the opener to the Phillies 14 - 10, the makeshift Pitching Staff has performed well in the last 15 games, authoring 4 Shutouts as a collective staff.  Texas is one of 8 teams also not be blanked on the offensive side of the table.  Not bad considering Prince Fielder just has 1 HR, J.P. Arencibia is hitting under .100 - and Adrian Beltre is still on the DL.  The Rangers are 9 - 7 - and now 2nd in the AL West.

Considering they lost the opener to the Phillies 14 – 10, the makeshift Pitching Staff has performed well in the last 15 games, authoring 4 Shutouts as a collective staff. Texas is one of 8 teams also not be blanked on the offensive side of the table. Not bad considering Prince Fielder just has 1 HR, J.P. Arencibia is hitting under .100 – and Adrian Beltre is still on the DL. The Rangers are 9 – 7 – and now 2nd in the AL West.

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

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In this post, which we are also going to feature in a Subpage at the site called ‘Shutout Survivor’, we will document who wins this race for all 30 MLB Teams, meaning we will state the date a teams gets Shutout for the 1st time of the year.

After the games on Apr.17th, there are 12 teams taken out of this competition.  The AL still has 5 teams remaining in this and the NL has 3  The NL Central and AL East are completely eliminated as well.

Should be a great contest to see who can be the last team to score zero runs in a game, Read the rest of this entry

MLB Odds To Win Both Of The AL And NL Pennants In 2014: 5 Best Value Plays

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant.  The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year's lineup, and have decent pitching.  Boston is the reigning champs - and will be part of the race before all is said and done.  Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

With injuries to the Pitching Staff mounting fast for the Rays, and now with them not paying out such a great odd, the value pendulum has swung back to pick either the Yankees at +900 or the Red Sox at +750 for the AL Pennant. The Yankees just took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, have a better offense in this year’s lineup, and have decent pitching. Boston is the reigning champs – and will be part of the race before all is said and done. Factor in major injuries to Texas, Oakland and the LA Angels early, and a horrid Tigers Bullpen so far, and these two rivals have the best value on the board.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Rays are finally listed where they should be on the betting board.

3 teams start play today tied in the AL East in the Rays, Yankees and Jays.  Baltimore has struggled along with Boston.

I think it is way too early to shovel dirt on the Red Sox season.  While I think they may not take down another pennant, they are my 2nd favorite play in the AL Pennant Odd list for return.

The Yankees are my favorite odds pick right now with a +900 mark.

Yes they have injuries to old guys are their team, but the guys in the lineup can mash right now, and particularly at Yankee Stadium. Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Week 3 MLB Baseball 2014

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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A little rant before the power rankings this week

Well, another 7 days has passed in baseball for this year.

There are no more home openers, attendance is down, fans are scattering about their Easter business and the NFL Draft is around to swing its mighty sword on the sports landscape. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers Roster For 2014: State Of The Union

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014.  I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI - and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.457) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.527. The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the playoffs either. Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to be an AL MVP Candidate for the Rangers in 2014. I expect him to return to the 40+ HR plateau, drive in well over 100+ RBI – and lead his team to a World Series Appearance this year.  Fielder will be in Texas for the next 7 years, and the Rangers only have to pay $20 MIL per year, with Detroit eating $4 MIL each season as part of the trade that saw Ian Kinsler go to Motown.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Stay Alive Until Re-Inforcements Arrive

The Texas Rangers bolstered their 2014 offensive lineup with 2 new .400+ OBP Players.

Shin-Soo Choo (.423 OBP in 2013, and a Career .389 OBP), and Prince Fielder (.362 OBP, but was .400 OBP+ in 4 out of the last 5 years and .389 OBP for his lifetime) – will be front and center into the Rangers new lineup.

These gentlemen will be surrounded by Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios as guys to help offset their walk totals.

This is not an indictment of the 3 right handed hitters either though, Beltre is a .312 hitter for Texas during his 3 campaigns, while Alex Rios and Andrus should hit anywhere from .280 to .290 this year.

You add Andrus’s speed with Leonys Martin – and these two guys could swipe 40+ bags each.  Even Alex Rios thieved 16 Bags in 2013 – and Choo had 20 SB yet again. Read the rest of this entry

Colorado Rockies State Of The Union For 2014

 This club often reminds me of an aging heavyweight fighter.  You may beat on them for a time, but there is always that chance the team will land a haymaker on you.  2007 was one of their days in the sunshine.  2014 may see them at least make the postseason again.  With a 20 - 1 odd for the club, the value is there for a longshot pick.

This club often reminds me of an aging heavyweight fighter. You may beat on them for a time, but there is always that chance the team will land a haymaker on you. 2007 was one of their days in the sunshine. 2014 may see them at least make the postseason for the 1st time since 2009. With a 20 – 1 odd for the club to win the NL west, the value is there for a longshot pick – should you be allowed to gamble on this chance.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Colorado Rockies brass were a busy bunch in the 2013 winter, heading into the 2014 year.  They have picked up several solid players for the upcoming campaign.

I simply hate that this club plays in the NL West with the Dodgers and Giants.

This year, just like any in recent memory, will depend heavily on whether the team can keep Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

When both are clubbing it, this 3 – 4 punch may be the best in baseball now that Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have been separated. Read the rest of this entry

What Miguel Cabrera’s New Contract Means To The Tigers And Him

Miguel Cabrera‘s new 8 YR/$248 MIL contract extension comes days after the club couldn’t come to terms with reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

The numbers are mind boggling.

He breaks the ALL – Time record for Average Annual Contract per year is at $31 MIL AAV (from 2016 – 2023), and also he is owed the most dollars at any given time by a contract at $292 MIL for the years of 2014 – 2023.

This man is the best pure offensive player in the game, and has only become better with age, but a lot of people are worried about the back end of this deal.

I fully understand that. Read the rest of this entry

MLB 2014 Bold Predictions Including Awards Categories

Prince Fielder's 2013 - 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916.  The man has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career.  Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to an AL MVP for the Rangers

Prince Fielder’s 2013 – 3 Slash Line (.279/.362/.819) is far below his Career Mark of .286/.389/.916. The man also has not hit a HR in his last 74 AB in the postseason. for the last 2 years of 2012 and 2013.  Fielder at least had 5 HRs in 1st 70 AB for his playoff Career. Maybe that will change in Texas, after he clubs his way to an AL MVP for the Rangers.  He is capable of putting up monster numbers in Texas, and should enjoy hitting at ‘The BallPark In Arlington” 81` times a year.

By Jordan Gluck (Prospects/Baseball Operations Correspondent)

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Since everyone else was making their predictions for the upcoming seasons, I am throwing down my picks too.  But first there are some categories to rifle through 1st.

AL MVP:
Prince Fielder

Read the rest of this entry

Detroit Tigers State Of The Union 2014 – Part 2: The Pitchers

Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO.  Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP.  Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016.  This doesn't end all of the teams Relief woes, but it gives them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market.

Joe Nathan is still one of the best closers the game of baseball has ever seen. The 39 year old came off one of his best seasons, registering a WHIP of .90 and an ERA of 1.33 amidst his 43 Saves and 74 SO. Nathan will also bring plenty of playoff experience to Detroit. Lets just hope if the Tigers make it back to the playoffs, that he can improve in his career postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 IP. Nathan was inked to a 2 YR Deal this winter, worth $20 MIL, with a Team Option of $10 MIL for 2016. This doesn’t end all of the teams Relief woes, but it gives them the best Closer that was on the Free Agent Market.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Here we go again.  Bruce Rondon is out for the year with Tommy John Surgery, Joba Chamberlain is throwing at Minor Leaguer’s, and Anibal Sanchez is hurting.

No team had better Starting Pitching in the game of baseball than the Tigers in 2014, while I love their top 3 Starters again, I am worried about their depth in the rotation at the back end.

The Bullpen is a lot better at the Closer’s position with Joe Nathan.

Gone are Jose Veras, underrated Joaquin Benoit, Drew Smyly moves to the Rotation,  and the ‘human dumpster fire’ Jose Valverde is also long removed from the relief core.

Added to the bringing in Nathan, the team also signed Chamberlain for 1 year, and added Ian Krol through the Doug Fister trade.

Among several returnees are Luke Putkonen, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Jose Ortega and Evan Reed. Read the rest of this entry

With Iglesias Out With A Shin Injury, The Tigers Must Sign Drew – And For A Few Years!!

Stephen Drew has definitely been hindered by the Draft Pick compensation.  Now with Detroit losing their Starting Shortstop for potentially the entire 2014 year, the door has swung open for the 31 Year Old player from Georgia.  If I were Drew and his agent, I would push the envelope for a 2 year deal, or at least have a total near the $14.1 MIL barrier for a one year contract.  Drew is coming off a World Series year in 2013 with Boston, where he fashioned a .777 OPS and 50 Extra Base Hits in just 442 AB.

Stephen Drew has definitely been hindered by the Draft Pick compensation for his services this winter. Now with Detroit losing their Starting Shortstop for potentially the entire 2014 year, the door has swung open for the 31 Year Old player from Georgia. If I were Drew and his agent Scott Boras, I would push the envelope for a 2 year deal, or at least have a total near the $14.1 MIL barrier for a one year deal . Drew is coming off a World Series year in 2013 with Boston, where he fashioned a .777 OPS and 50 Extra Base Hits in just 442 AB.  It will see the Tigers payroll grow some, but is a necessary cost of doing business to preserve the best squad to compete in 2014.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With news coming down the pike that Jose Iglesias could miss the entire year due to a shin splints injury, or at least until the ALL – Star Break, going to sign Stephen for a contract now is a must for the Detroit franchise.

Iglesias was supposed to solidify the Infield in Motown this upcoming campaign with his exceptional defense.  However, lets be realistic in that his offense is a bit challenged.

Now with news of his injury wreaking havoc for most of 2014, the Tigers are left with a major void at the position.

Stephen Drew 2013 World Series HR

Read the rest of this entry

Current Odds Over/Under Wins For All 30 MLB Teams In 2014: Best Bets On The Board

The regular season over/unders have been updated yet again.  While most of them are right in the realm of where they should be - about 20% of the numbers scream out for me to bet some cabbage on.

The regular season over/unders have been updated yet again. While most of them are right in the realm of where they should be – about 20% of the numbers scream out for me to bet some cabbage on.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Yes these are my predictions for the current state of the MLB.

Right beside the wins and losses, is the over.under totals and odd.

Next to that will be whether that would make it Over/Under based on my selections.

If I think an odd is worthy of plunking down some pesos, I will highlight it. Read the rest of this entry

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