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MVP Candidates For The First Half: AL + NL

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Monday July 15, 2013

Chris Davis is having a breakout season for the Baltimore Orioles. He has already hit 37 Home Runs  at the ALL - Star Break (Tied 1st ALL - Time for HRs at break with Reggie Jackson in 1969 (A's) is the only person - hekeeping Miguel Cabrera from a second Triple Crown. He has always been a player that swings for the fences but this season he is connecting and sending balls a long way. Will he end up winning the Most Valuable Player Award? We will have to wait and see but here are my predictions.

Chris Davis is having a breakout season for the Baltimore Orioles. He has already hit 37 Home Runs at the ALL – Star Break (Tied 1st ALL – Time for HRs at break with Reggie Jackson in 1969 (A’s) is the only person – that is keeping Miguel Cabrera from a potential second Triple Crown.  Davis has always been a player that swings for the fences but this season he is connecting and sending balls a long way. Will he end up winning the Most Valuable Player Award? We will have to wait and see – but here are my predictions.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The American League has three worthy candidates for the Most Valuable Player Award. Chris Davis, Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera. It will be a tight race until game 162 is played but here are my predictions are the first half comes to a close…

First I will start with Chris Davis. Does he deserve to win the MVP? Yes, but will he? That is a whole other question. He has the numbers that deserves the MVP.

He has already surpassed his Home Run and RBI totals from last season and has only played in 93 games. It could be the change of scenery, knowing his name will be on the line up card every day, it could be something else. We will never know.

But  there is one thing stopping him. If you took Chris Davis out of the Oriole line-up I still think they win games. They have enough fire power in other guys to survive without him.

If you are going to win the MVP you have to be the best player first for your team, and second in the entire league.

That is why I don’t have Chris Davis as my American League Most Valuable Player. There is one player better than him.

Chris Davis 2013 Highlights:

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Top Base Stealers Projected For The 2013 MLB Baseball Season

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Wednesday February.20/2013

Trout must find a way to stay selective at the plate -to keep walking in 2013 - especially if his average dips.  He can wreak havoc on the base paths once he makes it there.

Trout must find a way to stay selective at the plate -to keep walking in 2013 – especially if his average dips. He can wreak havoc on the base paths once he makes it there.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

Workouts for all teams are in full swing and Spring Training games will start this weekend. Baseball season is here. In the past few weeks, I have projected saves and HR leaders for this upcoming season. In this week’s installment of projections, I will predict the SB leaders for the year (in descending order).

1. Mike Trout, 50

Last year, Trout caught the baseball world by storm after being called up nearly a month after the season started. The young superstar stole 49 bases en route to an MVP-like season. If it were not for Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, Trout would have been the MVP. The Angels outfielder stole 49 bases in less than a full season. I believe that Trout will steal roughly the same amount of bases due to the Angels’ acquisition of Josh Hamilton. The Angels will want Trout in scoring position as much as possible. This year, there is no way the Angels will not make the playoffs with Trout, Hamilton, and Albert Pujols.

Mike Trout Highlights 2012 – Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is advised:

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Top HR Hitters Projected For The 2013 MLB Baseball Season

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Thursday February 7th, 2013

Adam Dunn has hit 38 + HRs in 8 of the last 9 years.

Adam Dunn has hit 38 + HRs in 8 of the last 9 years.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

2012 was an exciting year for the long ball. The MLB saw its first Triple Crown winner since 1967, and there were six guys that hit over 40 HR. It seems as if 2013 will be more of the same with the emergence of new sluggers in Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. In this feature, I will highlight some of the hitters who I think will have the most dingers (and how many) by the end of 2013. I don’t think Joey Bats will stay healthy enough to reach this list (although he will have a chance if he can miss the injury bug.

Adam Dunn: 40

In the years that Dunn has not slumped, he has been pretty consistent. This past season proved to the baseball community that the slugger is not quite done yet. Although he hit for a very low average, Dunn still managed to club over 40 bombs. Knowing this, I have no problem putting Adam Dunn down to hit at least 40 this year. He will have more confidence than he did in 2012 – and will most likely be in better shape to start off the year. The White Sox might have a shot at the playoffs if Dunn can stay healthy and keep his average above the Mendoza Line.

Mike Trout: 41

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games.  Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

Trout had 49 SB, 129 Runs 30 HRs and 83 RBI in just 138 Games. Might he improve on these numbers with a full year and the addition of Josh Hamilton to the cleanup spot in 2013?

The Angels prized possession did not even start the year with the big club, yet he still hit 30 HR. A legitimate candidate for MVP, Trout will not have a problem hitting 41 HR this season. The protection for Trout in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton makes this argument even more convincing. I could see Trout driving in 100 runs this year and winning the MVP. Just like Dunn, Trout needs to maintain his health. With Trout, Hamilton, and Pujols running on all cylinders, the Angels will not have a problem reaching the playoffs after failing to do so in 2012. The Athletics and Rangers will not be a match for the powerful offense that now includes Josh Hamilton.

HRs 2012 (Explicit Music Lyrics-Parental Guidance Advised)

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Special World Series Edition

Saturday October 27th, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: In a few short hours, Game 3 of the World Series will be played from one of my fave parks in baseball, Comerica Park in Detroit. It has been a very interesting season and playoffs for me. While I readily admit that I bleed blue and orange, I did not pick the Tigers to make the playoffs this year. That fact usually stuns other Tiger fans. “How can you support the team and not pick them to win the World Series”…that is a question that I am often asked. The answer is simple: while I enjoy Comerica and have a soft spot for the Tigers, I am first and foremost a baseball writer. Baseball fandom is not something that one can turn on and off like a light switch. But if one is going to do their job properly, they need to stay fair and impartial. So while my heart wanted the Tigers to win the AL Central, my brain said that the White Sox were this year’s team of destiny. Goes to show that you never know what will happen in baseball. 

As the Tigers kept winning, I kept doubting them further. So just to prove a point, Detroit swept the Yankees in the ALCS and made it to the World Series as the favorites. At that point, I saw the Tigers beating the Giants, likely in 5 games to win the World Series. But then a couple of pitchers named Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito came along. They proved that the Giants had a ton of fight in them, They also proved that I had no business trying my hand at any predictions during the 2012 playoffs. The Giants are up 2-0 in the series, with Ryan Vogelsong taking the mound against Anibal Sanchez. My heart and brain are saying that the Giants will win big tonight and jump out to a 3-0 lead. Does that mean that the Tigers will win one and get back into this series?  We will find out very shortly.

A great pitching matchup tonight, with Ryan Vogelsong and Anibal Sanchez as the probable starters. Sanchez has enjoyed a great run as of late for the Tigers, while Vogelsong has been solid for the most part. I am seeing here a big win for Vogelsong. He is a great success story for the Giants, their version of R.A. Dickey. Having watched Sanchez implode on too many occasions, I have a hard time trusting him. Although he is batting for the almighty free agency contract, so perhaps he has a quality start in him. If the Tigers don’t pull it off, they have the near impossible task of facing Matt Cain on Sunday down 3-0. Max Scherzer will take the mound tomorrow night for the Tigers. He could be helping the Tigers even the series 2-2, or watch the Giants sweep their way to another World Series championship. In a short series, anything can happen.

Given the amount of World Series questions that we have received this week, I decided to feature the most popular questions surrounding the Tigers and Giants. If these guys can make it to the finals, the least we can do is discuss/analyze them.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

2013 MLB Fantasy Keeper Rankings: Third Base

Tuesday October 16th, 2012

Peter Stein:  Now that the 2012 season is over, it is time to start thinking about the 2013. For many owners, that includes deciding on keepers, although keeper systems vary from league to league. In some leagues, keepers can be held onto for an indefinite period of time, while others build upon the previous year’s draft value. Regardless of your league’s keeper setting, this piece identifies the top keeper player at each position. I chose a time period of five years; therefore, the player at each position should produce the most total fantasy value over the course of the next five years. That is, of course, assuming another Mike Trout doesn’t jump onto the scene.

Here is the second installment of the 2013 fantasy keeper focus:

Third Base

Winner: Miguel Cabrera

Honorable Mention: Chase Headley, David Wright, and Ryan Zimmerman

We all know about Cabrera’s ridiculous offensive achievements in 2013. The only complaint about Cabrera is his defense at third base. However, the Tigers seem to be doing just fine right now. Even though he may not always look pretty, Cabrera has held his own defensively. Furthermore, he doesn’t look like he will be switching positions anytime soon with Fielder at first and Victor Martinez likely to DH next season. Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Sunday October 7th

Sunday October 7th, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@me.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets!

Jonathan Hacohen: The regular season is done. Toast. That’s it. We even finished the one game sudden death Wild Card playoffs. We are now officially in full swing, MLB playoff mode.

It is a bittersweet feeling. I love the playoffs. But it is hard to go without having 12-15 MLB games going every day.  And then I shudder to think what life is like when the playoffs are finished. We are less than 3 weeks away from the World Series.  Can you believe it? This was an incredible season, with many highs and lows.  From all those no-hitters to the countless players undergoing Tommy John surgery. The surprising A’s and Orioles. The disappointing Angels and Phillies. We had quite the year. Valentine Gate. Melky’s suspension. Miggy’s triple crown. Trout’s dominance. Dickey’s greatness. 2012 will go down as one of my favorite baseball seasons of all time.

Before we turn over to your questions, let’s address those Wild Card games. For all the talk of Atlanta’s great season, they are done. One game and over. The St. Louis Cardinals, the defending World Series champs squeaked into the playoffs…and are now heading to the NLDS for a date with the Nationals. Over in the American League, the powerhouse Rangers are done. For a team that led the AL in wins for most of the year and held the AL West crown for almost the entire season, their late season collapse ended in disaster. With a two game lead going into the final season, the A’s sweep in Oakland of the Rangers meant a date at home for Texas with Baltimore. This shows the importance of a division title vs. a wild card spot. While the A’s face the Tigers in a 5-game series, the Rangers had only one chance and blew it. Given the fact that they had enjoyed back-to-back World Series appearances the last two seasons, 2012 will go down as a black mark in Rangers history. It goes to show you: a team can have all the hitting on the planet, but to win- they need pitching. Sure the Rangers hitting cooled off in the 2nd half, but they also did not have enough reliable pitchers to be ready for the playoffs. Now imagine the Rays had a better offense. That’s the type of team that was built to compete in the playoffs. Great, young and healthy pitching is usually the secret to success in today’s game. But without enough hitting, the road was too hard for the Rays. 

As a result, teams like the Orioles and the A’s are in, while the Rays and Rangers are out. The teams may not have the best pitching or hitting- but with a steady amount of both, playoff dreams became a reality. What the A’s and Orioles both enjoy is lights-out bullpens. So called experts may call bullpens/relievers/closers as overrated. Looking at the Orioles success in 1-run games and the A’s in extra innings, I would have to disagree. If a team can lock down a game from the 6th inning an on with a lead consistency, that is what we call a dangerous team. I have no idea if the A’s and O’s face-off in the ALCS. If they do, that should be one explosive series. My crystal ball sees the winner of the A’s/Tigers going to the World Series. In the NL, I see it as the Reds all the way. They are just too stacked and consistent. Anything can happen in a short series, but those are my picks for baseball’s biggest showdown of the season. Stay tuned!

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Yadier for NL MVP, Wild Card Rosters, USA in WBC 2013, Triple Crown for Miggy and Scioscia to Boston?

Sunday September 30th, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets! We love to hear from you- so keep the questions coming every week!

Jonathan Hacohen: I am going to channel some Jose Canseco right now. No- I don’t think that I can travel to the future. Or that everyone is out to get me. But I want to send a message to the “haters”. You know who you are. The so-called baseball traditionalists that cry every time our great sport makes any kind of adjustment. Every time there is realignment, relocation, expanded rosters, playoffs…the haters scream to the heavens. They say: leave the game alone! While I love the game the way it is, without a doubt, I still feel the need for improvements. But I take them on case by case basis.  The designated hitter? I say abolish the whole thing and go back to pitchers hitting in both leagues. I love the NL style of play, with real in-game decisions and strategies. But maybe that’s just me. While I may want to go back in time when it comes to the DH, I definitely look to the future on many subjects. For interleague play (assuming DH stays), I would play NL rules in AL parks and vice versa. Let’s mix it up! I say let’s increase rosters- up to 28-30 players per team. Poor attendance teams? Relocate. Expand by 2 teams to bring an even 16/16 split between leagues. From there, completely realign into 4 divisions of 4 teams each. And so the possibility of changes in baseball is endless.

Keeping that in mind, I come to a very hotly contested topic in baseball circles these days:  the Wild Card. Originally set up as one Wild Card team per league, this year we have expanded to two Wild Card spots per league. Coming up on October 5th, we will see the first ever sudden death one game Wild Card playoffs. Haters simply despise these upcoming games. Is it too much change? Is it unfair to the integrity of the game and the playoffs? We could debate that one for weeks…nay… months…nay… years.  But I will tell you this. If you take a look at the MLB standings as they are today, let’s reason the value of the Wild Card spots. In the NL for the last two weeks or so (more), it was a foregone conclusion that the Reds, Giants and Nats were taking the division crowns. Where would that have left the Braves? Cardinals? Dodgers? Brewers? Heck…even the Phillies and Pirates. Having the Wild Cards in place allowed fans for all those cities to remain interested and excited about baseball for weeks while their teams competing for Wild Card positions. No Wild Cards would equal many teams that would have been out of it long ago. Is that good for the game? To have fans in so many cities turned off from the game in August when they know the playoffs aren’t an option? I’m not so sure about that.

In the AL, the Orioles and A’s all still have a chance at division leads. The Angels and Rays still are very much in the playoff hunt. But no Wild Cards….would mean so many of those teams would not have had much of a shot. Unless we see total collapses, most are expecting the A’s and Orioles to face off in the Wild Card game. Considering how both have played, would you want to miss that one? Can you imagine if October came and the Braves, A’s and Orioles were not competing for a playoff position? Me neither. When I think about what we would lose by having so many of these teams going home if the Wild Card spots didn’t exist I shudder. I am not saying we should blow up the game. But before criticizing change just because its different, think about the pros and cons of the move. In this case, I say thumbs up to the extra Wild Card games. If you don’t believe me, check out the games on October 5th. They will be some of the best baseball that you will ever watch. That I guarantee.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Monthly Power Rankings: September 2012

Monday, September.3/2012

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):   To say that this year has been a good year for baseball is an humongous understatement.  I thought after last years finish, that nothing was going to duplicate the experience.  Everyone forgets (or maybe not) that there should not even have been many races last year with Atlanta and Boston having such substantial leads on playoff spots.  The Red Sox and Braves collapsed like a couple of bowling pins with King Kong Bundy splashing down on them!  

This year, there are 15 teams still vying for 10 playoff spots.  So far the only probable locks are Washington for a playoff spot-and Cincinnati to probably win their division  The player races for all of the categories is almost as fascinating.  Will Andrew McCutcheon catch Melky Cabrera for the Batting title? Or will 2012 be forever cemented in baseball folklore by a stained player like Cabrera?  He could still end up determining who wins the World Series in the Fall Classic by his Testosterone filled antics in his MVP ALL-Star Game.  The big question is, will the San Francisco Giants fans cheer for him if he comes back in the playoffs?  They cheered for another league leader before when it was obvious he was guilty.  Right now if you are the Giants, you will take an opportunity to boo or cheer for Cabrera because that means you would  be in the playoffs.

Will the spending happy Dodgers have to wait another year to capitalize on their new plan to make the playoffs? If they ultimately  miss the playoffs outright, are they going to buy every player they can in the off-season?  I sure hope Magic knows that there are Luxury Tax penalties for spending over 178 Million Next Year.  1st year fine is 22.5%, 2nd year is 30%, 3rd year and beyond is 40%.  So if they plan on having a 250 Million Dollar Payroll in 2013 (by adding 2 or 3 more top Free Agents) will the Dodgers just forego the worry of any financial penalties on a yearly basis– just to dominate the whole National League (plus baseball for that matter.) Every other team has to consider the urgency in cashing out a World Series right now while the Dodgers have not had a full off season with the new management yet.  Can Oakland and their ‘New Money Ball philosophy’ make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006? 

The Best Players over the last month were:  Buster Posey, Prince Fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Yovani Gallardo, Kris Medlen, Adam Wainwright, Aroldis Chapman and Felix Hernandez.  The best teams have been Oakland, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore and Texas.  The worst teams have been Houston (at least its better to go down hard and stockpile #1 Draft Picks guys.)  I have a feeling you will be there for a while with the division you are heading into and may even challenge the 120 Loss Single Season Record.  At least you are not going into the NL West  to compete with the LA Dodgers!  The Cleveland Indians have fallen to an epic drop-off as well.  Toronto misses their top sluggers.  What has happened to the Minnesota Twins? The Mets have ownership and payroll problems, so at least they have an excuse.  Plus they lead the world in guys being hurt.  When David Wright has been your healthiest player, you know the season has been backwards!  So sit back, get your notebook and popcorn ready for this Month’s Rankings! Read the rest of this entry

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