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Dave Dombrowski’s Offseason Splashes will Make or Break October for Boston Red Sox

On the heels of finishing in the American League East basement three times in four years, the Boston Red Sox made a big change last summer by hiring Dave Dombrowski. He arrived with a certain reputation and has lived up to it thus far.

The biggest thing on his 2016 to-do list was getting the Red Sox back into the postseason before designated hitter David Ortiz rode off into the sunset. He officially crossed that off his list about a week ago, but it’s really just the beginning.

In October once again – and mostly with players from the last front office regime – two of Dombrowski’s biggest offseason moves from last winter will be crucial pieces to the team’s success or demise.

Boston’s greatest need following a disappointing 2015 was obvious: pitching. They needed an ace at the front of the rotation and shutdown relievers at the back of the bullpen. In typical Dombrowski fashion, he made big splashes to fill those needs by trading four prospects for Craig Kimbrel and throwing a bunch of money at David Price.

Risky moves? Yes. Moves the Red Sox hadn’t made in recent years? Yes. But with a win-now mentality, they had to be made. Every acquisition comes with risk, but Kimbrel and Price were as close to slam-dunks as it could possibly be with regard to production.

Throughout their respective careers, each hurler has been a consistent force when toeing the rubber. That’s why 2016 has been frustrating for fans.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 29, 2016

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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Um… yay?

The Red Sox clinched the AL East in the strangest way possible. But go celebrate Sox. It isn’t for one game. It was for 162 games.

It is a “JUST GET IN” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

John Jaso, Carlos Gomez, Tyler Chatwood, Miguel Gonzalez, Adrian Gonzalez, Evan Gattis, Jeff Samardzija and Clay Buchholz all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

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Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

los angeles dodgers 2016

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Answer me a question bet365.com?  The Dodgers were a +1500 odd when the start of Spring Training commenced, are without Corey Seager, Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal, Brett Anderson, Andre Ethier as of right now on the big roster, and you saw fit to move them to +1300.  Wrong.  They automatically go to a poor wager from a good one just weeks ago.

The Jays have also jumped from +1000 to +800 but since I have them and the Cubs winning their respective leagues. the odds are about where they should be.

Previously I had the Giants on the bad odd list, however with the recent rash of injuries to Los Angeles, and a horrible break for A.J. Pollock of the D’Backs, confidence is at an all time high for the Giants to take the NL West.

The Kansas City Royals have a lower win total on the year over/under than Cleveland. but have a +1300 odd to win the World Series.  Baffles me guys.

The Cardinals lose just one game and now are on par with the Pirates as the 10th best favorite to win.  Love the odds for both of these clubs.

Detroit was a good bet last month at +2500, but are now properly pegged, as are Cleveland.

With the Angels having such a thin roster it surprises me that they are sitting up with the Mariners for value, as opposed to being near the A’s,where they probably should be. Read the rest of this entry

All Of The MLB Reports Placed Bets Updated for 2016 MLB: Big On The NL Value for WS, Nice Value On O’s For AL

I take my betting style from a philosophy used from a few decades of research. This book was one of the templates followed for success

I take my betting style from a philosophy used from a few decades of research. This book was one of the templates followed for success.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Disclaimer:  All bets were made in the State Of Nevada, or via Canada (by Chuck Booth) where bets are legal online. 

So I have let my profits ride on this winter heading into futures betting in 2016 MLB.  I thought I would take you into a little look on what I have thrown down so far – and what got me here over the last few seasons.

We have always fully disclosed our picks prior to the actual games being played.  The track record is way above industry standards, so I hope our selections this year don’t get thrown into the woodchipper at the ends of the year.

In 2014, I made 3 over/under selections (Washington over 91.5 wins, Kansas City over 81.5 Wins, and the Padres under 79.5 wins).  Made a nice profit of a few hundred dollars for that – sporting a perfect 3 – 0 clip.

For my initial World Series picks in 2014, I wagered the Rangers, Rays but I was smart enough to take a +2500 preseason SF Giants selection.

Halfway through the season I plunked down some money on the Royals when they were near .500, talking of firing Ned Yost, and running at an +8000 odd to win the World Series.

I also was able to win money on the Orioles for the AL East Division, and at +5000 to win the World Series, I was able to hedge bet both KC and BAL in the 1st round of the postseason, and also the World Series. Read the rest of this entry

San Diego Padres Show How Much Things Can Change In The Span Of A Year

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool after making a big splash in his rookie offseason.  The Padres finished a dismal 74 - 88.  At least he recognizing the error of his ways - and trying to eradicate his mistakes.  He dealt his two best Relievers already, stockpiling 6 prospects in return.

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool  this year after making a big splash in his rookie offseason last year. The Padres finished a dismal 74 – 88. At least he recognizing the error of his ways – and trying to eradicate his mistakes that he made from putting up a squad that was saddled with injury riddled players.

Matt Musico (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – chinmusicbaseball.com) 

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The first full year of A.J. Preller’s tenure as San Diego Padres general manager has basically been a roller coaster of emotions. With Opening Day just days away, it’s interesting to see how the narrative about the club has changed so drastically from the year before.

Upon getting hired in August 2014, San Diego’s biggest need was pretty clear: breathing life into an anemic offense that ranked last in runs scored (535). In the boldest way imaginable, Preller completely transformed the lineup by acquiring players like Matt KempJustin UptonDerek Norris and Wil Myers.

However, as we’ve seen in recent years, the winners of the offseason very rarely end up being winners of the World Series come October. That trend continued with the Padres, who missed the playoffs with a disappointing 74-88 record.

The goal of improving the offense was achieved (650 runs scored, 23rd-best in MLB), but not necessarily by leaps and bounds. The pitching and defense also suffered in the process.

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Odds To Win The 2016 AL Cy Young In The MLB: Best And Worst Bets

Only a few missed starts over the last several years (in April and March) have stopped the lanky LHP from winning a Cy Young Award thus far. His favorite status is the proper odd - and he should be the #1 guy to win the Award. I hate betting on the favorite though, and in fact, will skip the 3 of the last 4 Cy Young winners on the list - by bypassing them for wagering.

Only a few missed starts over the last several years (in April and March) have stopped the lanky LHP from winning a Cy Young Award thus far. His favorite status is the proper odd – and he should be the #1 guy to win the Award. I hate betting on the favorite though, and in fact, will skip the 3 of the last 4 Cy Young winners on the list – by bypassing them for wagering.

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part _Owner – Chief Writer) 

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When gambling establishments put forth their player specials as this it is rarely ever worth it to go for the top 2 picks to win (value – wise).

This doesn’t mean the favorite still won’t win.

Take the ‘Junior Circuit’ Cy Young race for instance.  Chris Sale is listed as +300. whereas David Price and Corey Kluber are next with +350.  2015’s winner Dallas Keuchel is 4th at +700 – as is Felix Hernandez.

These five players represent three of the last 5 winners. Typically these guys would all be a great throw down for the Award again in 2016.

My pick for the Award would actually be Sale, who is always a ‘dead arm’ period per spring away from taking the honors as the best chucker in the American League.

I am not going to wager on any of those guys though. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Betting Specials: # Of No-Hitters, Will There Be A Guy With 50 Saves Or 16 Strikeouts In A Game For 2016?

Max Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters in 2015, and carried no - no's into the late innings on a few other occasions. It seems every night there is a no - hit watch, so 4.5 on the over/under for the year seems like a big no-brainer to throw down some cabbage on. In 2015 alone, there were 7 no-hitters hurled out.

Max Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters in 2015, and carried no – no’s into the late innings on a few other occasions. It seems every night there is a no – hit watch, so 4.5 on the over/under for the year seems like a big no-brainer to throw down some cabbage on. In 2015 alone, there were 7 no-hitters hurled out.  At +115, it will pay you $1.15 for every dollar wagered

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part Owner + Chief Writer) 

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# Of No-Hitters For 2016 MLB Over/Under 4.5

Yes:  +115  or No: -115

This is a resounding yes in my view.  In 2015, Max Scherzer threw 2 no-no’s, and could have easily thrown 2 more.  This was 2 of 7 doled out last campaign.

Mike Fiers, Cole Hamels, Jake Arrieta, Hisashi Iwakuma and Chris Heston also cemented their place in history by accomplishing the feat.

There are so many teams that are loaded with HR happy clubs that have plenty of swing and miss candidates like the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles.  This also brings us to our next stat. Read the rest of this entry

2016 MLB Player Props: Futures Betting (Year Over/Unders)

On this list of player over/unders it may be worth a well solution to wager over on all bets across the board and go for about a 60 percent win factor. I did bet a few unders on the board.

On this list of player over/unders it may be worth a well solution to wager over on all bets across the board and go for about a 60 percent win factor. I did bet a few unders on the sheet towards the end.  I continue to find value on the whole gambling aspect of listed odds.  I will throw down some more money on these selections.  I am just hoping that I don’t become too over confident for my own good.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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We will be going hard and heavy on these kind of articles.  I will put an advisory and write-up if I think the bet is worthy.

Las year I went 9 – 4 in Player Props, and I am looking to keep that kind of win percentage this season.

The 1st sector will be any player bets.  There is some serious value and things I have already earmarked for bets.  I honestly can’t believe all of the value that has been out there for picking this year.

Never did I imagine I would have bet this much already, but it is a bettors market.  I hope it doesn’t backfire on me. Read the rest of this entry

2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

Featured Image -- 1364

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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With just 5 weeks to the regular season – and all of the important Free Agents finally being locked up with Ian Desmond signing with the Rangers, it is time to see where all 30 MLB clubs stack up.

We are going to be running weekly power rankings once the year starts on Apr.3, 2016.

The way I compile the Power Rankings is best on confidence to win the World Series.  Some clubs may be more talented (or playing better) than a squad they are behind in the rankings,  but the Division (and strength of opponents) plays a massive factor.

It is the reason why teams like the Royals or Astros will be selected above a team like the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might win 90 games (which may only see one AL club join them), but because they have to contend with the Cards and Cubs in the NL Central, it will be tough for them to receive a great ranking (at least until games are played). Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the milennium - with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. St. Louis could always sign 1 - 2 Starters via Free Agency as well. As it stands right now, the club has a payroll of around $133 MIL In 2016 listed. They can afford to add about $15 - $17 more million without batting an eye.

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium – with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon.  While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D’Backs have the worst on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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I was all set to pounce on my 1st American League bet for the Fall Classic in 2016 earlier this week – when the O’s were at +5000, and presumably bringing both Dexter Fowler and Yovani Gallardo into the stable. 

With Fowler opting back to Chicago, the odd also dropped to +4500 in the meantime (also following the Gallardo wait time for the physical fiasco), and the value is no longer there. 

Baltimore is a low 80 wins team in my view, and will not have enough for the postseason.  Fowler would have added a few W’s for sure.

Of course with the chaos that has ensued,  the Cubs have gone from +700 to +650 prohibitive best odd.  There is no doubt in my mind they should be the consensus favorite. 

One of these years the #1 seed will capitalize and win.  I am still not plunking down cabbage at that clip though.

If I were to do my year end picks right now, I would still have Chicago ending their World Series 108 seasons drought – but I can’t place them as twice the favorite as the St. Louis Cardinals.

Still not sold on the Cubs Bullpen either, and I think Jon Lester can be had in the postseason.  The Mets also line up favorably versus Chicago based on pitching matchups.  New York has the better odds to wager with.

I am currently writing a faceoff piece between the Cubbies and Cards that I will post over the weekend.  The difference is not a whopping 8 or 10 games like ‘FanGraphs’ and ‘PECOTA’ say.  St. Louis should still be in the mid 90’s for victories on the campaign.

I have them as one of my best bets again this week.

New York Yankees have been taken off the best odds list with their injury to Brett Gardner.  It is absolutely paramount that he and Jacoby Ellsbury set the table this campaign – and stay healthy. 

All of the incoming help with Starlin Castro, and internal improvement from Didi Gregorius will be for not.

Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez also will not hit a combined 79 dongs this year like in 2015.  The club is also substantially thinner in the Starting Rotation. 

They are a 85 win club as presently constituted, which should have them in the race for a Wild Card, but it is not worth betting at the +1600 odd. Read the rest of this entry

Youngsters Making An Impact In 2016; National League East

a michael conforto

Shane Kay (Featured Baseball Writer/Owner – sonsof84tigers.mlblogs.com 

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Spring training camps are opening up and we’re taking a look at a couple of young players for each team that I think will have a larger impact in 2016. We started with the American League East, moved to the AL Central, hit the AL West and swung it around today to the National League East. Keep on reading as we go division by division!

Atlanta Braves

Matt Wisler, RHP – The 22-year old Wisler was a highly thought of prospect in the Padres organization before being part of the Craig Kimbrel trade. 

Wisler entering his age 23 season already has 19 starts (20 games) under his belt with mixed results. 

Regardless, he’s young, has much to learn, but will also be a building block as Atlanta tries to return to relevancy in the NL East over the next few years. 

Wisler impressed in his debut, as he went 8 innings giving up 6 hits and an earned run against the Mets for his first career win.   

He was then properly hit hard in his next start against Washington where he last just 4 innings.  His ERA remained a respectable 3.43 through his first 7 starts until he was shelled in for 12 combined runs his next two starts.  Wisler did finish …

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Projected Top 5 Save Leaders In The American And National League For MLB 2016

Craig Kimbrel is still about as filthy as they come in nailing down games in the Majors. With 225 Saves and a 1.63 ERA in the last 5 years of his career, this 27 year old flamethrower brings his talents to Beantown and a top rated club. Last year was the 1st season he didn't lead the National League after four consecutive years of leading the Senior Circuit. He still managed 39 Saves for a 74 win San Diego team. Since the Red Sox are going to be somewhere in the 90 win range, Kimbrel should at least be in the mid 40's in Saves again for 2016.

Craig Kimbrel is still about as filthy as they come in nailing down games in the Majors. With 225 Saves and a 1.63 ERA in the last 5 years of his career, this 27 year old flamethrower brings his talents to Beantown and a top rated club. Last year was the 1st season he didn’t lead the National League after four consecutive years of leading the Senior Circuit. He still managed 39 Saves for a 74 win San Diego team. Since the Red Sox are going to be somewhere in the 90 win range, Kimbrel should at least be in the mid 40’s in Saves again for 2016.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Figuring out the Saves Leaders for the 2016 year is a lot easier to project than the Holds Leaders we did last week.  Perhaps the easiest to discern is also the National League.

Since I projected 7 teams will win 90+ games in the Senior Circuit I have listed 5 teams with their Closer out of the fold there.  I did however, leave out Hector Rondon and Mark Melancon.

I feel the Bucs may trade Melancon despite being in a position to make the playoffs.   I also think the Cubs will blow out a ton of clubs this season in games, and therefore not need Rondon to lockdown a 3 run or under lead.

This is the same reason why I won’t label Roberto Osuna for the top 5 in the American League either.  It is also not unfathomable to see the Jays go with Drew Storen to close down games.

I fully think that Craig Kimbrel will lead the entire Major Leagues for the Boston Red Sox as their Closer.

I may have gone with Aroldis Chapman on the list as well, however his pending suspension for his domestic violence call in should see him riding pine for at least 25 games.  The New York Yankees should still lead the Junior Circuit for total team Saves.
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Top 5 Projected MLB Holds Leaders (AL + NL) In 2016

With so much uncertainty in the air about Mark Melancon's fate with the club, I can't pick Tony Watson to win this category for a 2nd straight year. He was also the runner up in the 2014 season. I say he is the Closer in the 2nd half of the year. His teammate Jared Hughes will get plenty of opportunities all year in late inning relief.

With so much uncertainty in the air about Mark Melancon’s fate with the club, I can’t pick Tony Watson to win this category for a 2nd straight year. He was also the runner-up in the 2014 season. I say he is the Closer in the 2nd half of the year. His teammate Jared Hughes will get plenty of opportunities all year in late inning relief.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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It is time to get our fantasy teams ready in 2016.  Because of the long winter year for certain players, the Relievers market has a pile of roster moves to go down before opening weekend in April.  There are some guys that could make the list, but I am itching to write my list.

For the reasons I was just talking about, Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Thornton, Casey Janssen, Manny Parra, Eric O’Flaherty, Tommy Hunter, Franklin Morales, Neal Cotts, Nathan Adcock, Wesley Wright, Matt Capps, Sergio Santos, Ryan Webb and Joe Beimel won’t appear – although only a couple of those guys are even relevant to the Holds stat.

The biggest questions to think of include trade possibilities.  Will the Pirates trade Mark Melancon?  If this happens, NL Leader of Holds last year, Tony Watson, may see some time as the Closer for the Bucs. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings New Years 2016

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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(1) Chicago Cubs: Big additions of Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey.  Tonnes of young superstars only ging to get better.

(2) NY Mets:  Starting Pitching best in the Majors.  Offensive depth better in offseason.  Need David Wright to stay healthy.  NL East easiest bottom 3 teams in the bigs.

(3) Kansas City Royals:  Easiest Division in the Majors.  Back to Back AL Pennants and defending World Series Champs.  Look for some more mid year deals. Read the rest of this entry

Boston Red Sox Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

With adding the contracts of David Price and Craig Kimbrel in recent player moves, this pushes Boston to near $200 MIL in team payroll for 2016. I think they should try to add a few pitchers near the 2016 Trade deadline. With a lot of money tied up in the future, any player they take on should have their contracts end in 2016. Boston stands to pay 17.5% for money spent over the $189 MIL limit. They could run with a $220 MIL salaried club in 2016 and only pay around $6 MIL in additional fees. Do it, and pale it back afterwards.

With adding the contracts of David Price and Craig Kimbrel in recent player moves, this pushes Boston to near $200 MIL in team payroll for 2016. I think they should try to add a few pitchers near the 2016 Trade deadline. With a lot of money tied up in the future, any player they take on should have their contracts end in 2016. Boston stands to pay 17.5% for money spent over the $189 MIL limit. They could run with a $220 MIL salaried club in 2016 and only pay around $6 MIL in additional fees. Do it, and pale it back afterwards.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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Well the Boston Red Sox are finally going to join the Dodgers and Yankees as teams that cross the Luxury Tax Threshold for 2016.  This was made possible by recently picking up  David Price for 7 YRs at $31 MIL average per year.

Already in 2017, the team is committed for around $162 MIL – and that is without their stalwart DH of David Ortiz anymore.  2018, the salary obligations are at $151 MIL, and the franchise has already lumped $139 MIL on the books fr the 2019 cash.

This is a leap of faith for the franchise, as they were always reluctant to pay top dollars for Free Agent Pitchers.

Last year’s signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are looking like poor moves right now, however they can be helped with bounce back years in 2016. Read the rest of this entry

Atlanta Braves State Of The Union For 2016

Before the recent deal for Shelby Miller the Braves had been questioned on whether the rebuild they are currently going through was going to work. Now all of a sudden, the club going through trading of all veterans - starting with Jason Heyward a year ago, looks so much better. The next year or 2 is still going to be painstakingly to endure, but the organization now has a promising future

Before the recent deal for Shelby Miller the Braves had been questioned on whether the rebuild they are currently going through was going to work. Now all of a sudden, the club going through trading of all veterans – starting with Jason Heyward a year ago, looks so much better. The next year or 2 is still going to be painstakingly to endure, but the organization now has a promising future.  Atlanta will enter a new park in Sun Trust Park, located in Cobb County, GA for 2017 after playing one more year at Turner Field in 2016.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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John Hart knows how to build teams in the Majors.  He was at the forefront of the Cleveland Indians in the 1990’s when they signed a bunch of young nucleus players to multi year extensions.  It was a trend that worked out for nearly a decade.

A pile of organizations copied this template.  I must admit I thought he may have been a bit past his prime when the Braves finally hired him on last year,  but he seems to carrying out the mission with Atlanta as well.

Of course taking over for Frank Wren – there was not much to go but up.  Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe and B.J. Upton ultimately cost the former GM his job, but it should be noted he did orchestrate 3 decent trades in acquiring  Justin Upton, Michael Bourn and Javier Vasquez much earlier.

The Braves did the right thing in dismantling the 2013 to 2014 squad.  It would have cost too much money to re-sign Brian McCann and Jason Heyward – and Justin Upton may soon reel in a 9 figure sum.

Atlanta also traded away Craig Kimbrel and Andrelton of late.  The haul for Kimbrel was nice, while Simmons was set to make $53 MIL over 5 years. Not huge cash, but for a guy more noted for defense, and with a team rebuilding, losing the dollars owed was a more significant move.

I also can’t emphasize enough how awesome it was to rid themselves of the Melvin Upton JR. contract. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 19, 2015

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have gone from one of the teams of the decade to full rebuilding in a year and a half.

If they are going to rebuild, then they should blow the whole thing up.

Burn it all to the ground on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Trades Are Coming In Fast This Winter

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool after making a big splash in his rookie offseason. The Padres finished a dismal 74 - 88. At least he recognizing the error of his ways - and trying to eradicate his mistakes. He dealt his two best Relievers already, stockpiling 6 prospects in return.

A.J. Preller has been really active trying to replenish his prospect pool after making a big splash in his rookie offseason. The Padres finished a dismal 74 – 88. At least he recognizing the error of his ways – and trying to eradicate his mistakes. He dealt his two best Relievers already, stockpiling 6 prospects in return in the trades.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Onwer) 

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It seems everyday now that there is a new MLB Trade to discuss.  I love it.  Nothing is better than this kind of thing during a long offseason.  I thought we would take a minute to break down what has occurred so far since the World Series ended.

The Mariners, Padres are doing multiple trades trying to revamp their teams cosmetically.

The trade I like for both clubs the most is probably the John Ryan Murphy to the Twins for Aaron Hicks deal. Read the rest of this entry

Its Time For Boston To Break From Philosophy + Sign An Ace: Red Sox State Of The Union 2016

The Red Sox will need to spend some money on Pitching this season. But don't be surprised if they overstock on a few more offensive pieces in the lineup, and then use some of their prospects to obtain even more pitching. They orchestrated a trade for Closer Craig KImbrel on Friday. A bona fide shutdown guy with 225 Career Saves and an ERA of 1.63 lifetime. The winter has just started for the Beantowners.

The Red Sox will need to spend some money on Starting Pitching this season – and preferably and ace.. They orchestrated a trade for Closer Craig Kimbrel on Friday. A bona fide shutdown guy with 225 Career Saves and an ERA of 1.63 lifetime. The winter has just started for the Beantowners.  With many veterans currently aging, and the young nucleus all being under team control, the time to capitalize on the higher drafting as a result of finishing last in the AL East 3 times in 4 years is right now.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Okay, for years the Boston Red Sox would never pay for a #1 Starter on the Free Agent Market – even their owns. They traded away Jon Lester prior to trying to resign him in 2014, and it backfired on them when he hit the Free Agency market not having played his entire career in Boston.

For the most part, I have agreed with the idea of not paying a guy as an ace.  Here is the problem..The team had finished last in the AL East 3 of the last four campaigns, and that is unacceptable.

You add in Ben Cherington doling out long term deals to Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in the last year, and all had bad years.  So the temptation may not be to sign anyway.  Again, wrong.. You are the Boston Red Sox.

Well mired in the lower tiers of records the last 4 years (except for the 2013 season), the club has accumulated a great deal of talent in the Minor Leagues.

The franchise is in great shape heading forward, but this comes down to the right time to strike on the rest of the league. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 14, 2015

 (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)

I recorded a podcast ahead of time, wanting the Padres to start rebuilding in earnest. And then I looked up and saw they did and made my podcast irrelevant.

So I recorded another one.

Consider this take TWO of the November 14 episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
Read the rest of this entry

30 MLB Teams Needs/Notes And Financials For The Offseason

Perhaps no team is more top-heavy than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They need a Catcher/3B/OF/2B and have Erick Aybar, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver clearing off the books after next campaign. It is an important off year for them.

Perhaps no team is more top-heavy than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They need a Catcher/3B/OF/2B and have Erick Aybar, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver clearing off the books after next campaign. It is an important off year for them.  Will they spend a lot of money, or will they wait until next winter?

Jordan Gluck (Part Owner/Featured Writer): 

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Team Needs notes and financials

Braves: need 4/5 SP depth Setup/Closer type and Catcher budget 15-30M -but will likely save huge splash signings for next years new stadium.

Marlins: maybe 1B Could trade Marcell Ozuna and sign an OF will likely acquire 2 SP one of them being a #2 starter the other lower end. needs lefty reliever. Budget 10-25M.

Mets: Could trade Matt Harvey or Jon Niese/Need MI (at least 1)/ and a big bat for Yoenis Cespedes replacement. Budget 20 -30M.

Phillies: Needs all over especially SP Needs all over offense except SS and 3B Bullpen can use beefing up 10-100M Budget don’t know what they are going for but should wait for next season to make some game changing moves new GM.  Unknown philosophy could sell Odubel Herrera high.

Nationals: 7th/8th inning man maybe SP (Would only be high end) Possible CF. Budget could be -10M to upwards of 30M.

Cubs: SP 3/CF/RF/CL. if needed but not urgent Quagmire at 2B High end SP a priority Should acquire shutdown closer. 40-80M budget. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 12, 2015

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

With so few teams truly out of contention, the 2015 season could be the perfect time for the Phillies, Braves, Brewers and Rockies to stock up in their farm system.

Make trades thinking of quantity over quality. That worked for the A’s and Astros!

That and a few passing references to Tom Brady on  Episode 931 of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Scott Van Slyke, Mark Teixeira, Shelby Miller, Colby Lewis, Adam Eaton, Christian Yelich and Tom Koehler all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

 

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 6, 2015

MLB on ESPN

MLB on ESPN

REGULAR SEASON BASEBALL HAS STARTED.

My son feels pity for the Cubs. I have more pity for people who needed to pee in Wrigley Field.

Meanwhile the Padres pull off a blockbuster in time for Easter.

It is a Get The Season Started episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

Adam Wainwright, Jason Heyward and David Ross all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

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The Top 5 Closers In The MLB For 2015

Rodney had 48 Saves, 0.777 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in 2012, to place 5th in AL Cy Young Voting and was an ALL-Star.  2013 wasn't as kind (although he did win the WBC) with a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.335.  The Mariners not armed with many better Options, brought in the 37 Year Old, to a 2 YR/$14 MIL deal.  Rodney did feature a career best 11.1/SO Per 9 IP rate last year, but he also walked 4.9/Per IP as well.  His work translated better in the AL West, where 2/3rds of his games are in Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland.  Rodney led the AL in both Saves (48) and Games Finished in 2014 (64) - while having a 2.85 ERA, but a high 1.342 WHIP.  The latter is right near his career totals.  Still expect more of the same in 2015, with the M's having one of the better clubs this campaign.

Rodney had 48 Saves, 0.777 WHIP and a 0.60 ERA in 2012, to place 5th in AL Cy Young Voting and was an ALL-Star. 2013 wasn’t as kind (although he did win the WBC) with a 3.34 ERA and a WHIP of 1.335. The Mariners not armed with many better Options, brought in the  then 37 Year Old, to a 2 YR/$14 MIL deal. Rodney did feature a career best 11.1/SO Per 9 IP rate in 2013,  but he also walked 4.9 /Per IP as well. His work translated better in the AL West during 2014, where 2/3rds of his games are in Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland. Rodney led the AL in both Saves (48) and Games Finished in 2014 (64) – while having a 2.85 ERA, but a high 1.342 WHIP. The latter is right near his career totals. His Walk Rate was 3.8, but that is less than his 4.4 clip for his lifetime.  The man fashioned a 10.3/9 IP SO rate.  I expect more of the same in 2015, with the M’s having one of the better clubs this campaign.  There will be more arrows slings after games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With the fiasco that is the Detroit Tigers Bullpen. I look for these guys to roll through several different Closers in 2015.  Joakim Soria would be the 1st one to attempt after Joe Nathan fails.

I also think the Yankees are going dually use Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller depending on the situational maneuvering matchups.  New York will be hard pressed to make the playoffs, but I do think they will net one of the higher team Save totals.

The same could probably said for the Boston Red Sox.  I think the near 40 year old Koji Uehara will have a tough time staying healthy for 100% of the opportunities, however he will be just outside the mark.

St. Louis may end up using someone different from Trevor Rosenthal, because we are due for them to change 9th inning guys. Adam Wainwright, Jason Isringhausen Jason Motte, Ryan Franklin and Edward Mujica have all seen the mantle over the last several years for the RedBirds. 

Rosenthal has actually had one of the longer stints, however he really struggled at the end of the 2014 year (despite 45 Saves), and it carried over to the playoffs, where he featured 10 base runners, while only recording 11 outs.  I am thinking he will not have as many chances in 2015 as well. 

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The Bullet Version Of Monday’s MLB Games + Craig Kimbrel Is Filthy!

Season high 7 game winning streak - including 3 straight walk off hits at Nats Park.  They hold a 6 game lead over 2nd place Atlanta, and the Nationals haven't even hit full stride with several key players not maximizing on their talent level.  With a weaker NL East schedule down the stretch, they just may hold home field advantage by season's end in the National League.

Season high 7 game winning streak – including 3 straight walk off hits at Nats Park. They hold a 6 game lead over 2nd place Atlanta, and the Nationals haven’t even hit full stride with several key players not maximizing on their talent level. With a weaker NL East schedule down the stretch, they just may hold home field advantage by season’s end in the National League.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Erik Kratz smacked 2 HRs and now has 23 HRs in just 472 AB.  Thats a HR for every 20.52 AB or would equal about 29 Bolts in a 600 AB campaign.  The guy is 34 so that is not likely to happen… but smart move on KC’s part to bring him in.  Beats the alternative for what they had.

Washington is starting to heat up, and if you play them into late and extra innings, any of their hitters can beat you right now.  This does not bode well for Atlanta.

Everybody just back off of Trevor Rosenthal, as all young relievers go through this.  Besides what is a season if the Cardinals didn’t changeup their Closer at least once…

Everyone also needs to take a chill pill on the A’s missing Yoenis Cespedes so much it has destroyed the unity of the offense.  Teams go through stretches where they don’t play well.  It is just 17 games of a sample size so far. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2014 MLB World Series Currently + Best/Worst Value Bets

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Another week has passed – and it is time to get serious in our World Series picks.

To start off, I have eliminated 12 teams from the chance to win a World Series.  These clubs include: BOS/CWS/MIN/TEX/HOU/MIA/PHI/NYM/COL/SD/ARI/CHC.

Having said this, the Rays season also may be 10 seconds from a toetag.  We will see how they fare this week.

Last weeks selections I was 3 – 1 – 1 for the best odds to wager on.  The Cardinals moved up slightly, and the Nats made a big move up the list thanks to a Braves 8 game losing streak.

I also won with the Dodgers going from +700 to +600.  The only odd I lost was an Angels club going from +1000 – +1000

On the worst odds bets last week I went 3 – 1 – 1. I had the Rays plummeting quickly as my top selection, and I was right on the money, and they plunged from +5000 – to now +10000.  I also pegged the Braves bad road trip, and Yankees fall from grace on the value.

The only odd I lost was the A’s going from +400 to now +375. For the record, I still hate the value, and would surely peg the Dodgers as the #1 team (ranked wise) to win the World Series.

LA holds a 3.5 Games lead on the Giants, who are free-falling.  The Dodger Blue club will also beat up NL West cupcakes of the Padres, Rockies and D’Backs.

While their +600 is about the right odd, I can’t place them in the best wagers for value. Read the rest of this entry

The Atlanta Braves Prospects + Organizational Depth Charts For All Affiliates – 2014 (MLB + MiLB)

The Atlanta Braves went to the World Series  5 times in the 90's, only winning the title in 1995.  The team won 14 Division Titles from 1991 - 2005, and have been very competitive for the last 4 years, after a short dry spell.  A lot of it has to do with their Minor League System.

The Atlanta Braves went to the World Series 5 times in the 90’s, only winning the title in 1995. The team won 14 Division Titles from 1991 – 2005, and have been very competitive for the last 4 years, after a short dry spell from 2006 – 2009.. A lot of it has to do with their Minor League System.

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

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Do you ever wonder how the Atlanta Braves have been so successful as an organization for the last quarter century? The answer is they are able to develop within.

In fact, the only times the club seems to do poorly is when it goes outside its comfort zone, and spend a bushel full of money for Free Agency.

Take the B.J. Upton abysmal deal, that may plague the franchise for spending until they reach their new stadium digs in Cobb County GA.

Yes, they hit a HR in the mid-90’s when they signed Greg Maddux, but times have changed for the economy of baseball.

The club also suffers from the trade to acquire Dan Uggla. These are small blips on a stellar establishment mostly comprised of homegrown talent.

Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, Alex Wood, Julio Teheran, Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis are the future of this team. Braves fans are hoping for another World Series Winner.

If you are a fan, get to know these players we list in the post, and follow their progress in the Minors.  if you click their name, it will take you to baseballreference.com’s player page of them.

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30 MLB Team Power Rankings: Month Of June 2014

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers.  I see their rationale.  The A's have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division.  Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL.  While I don't endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Welcome to your new World Series Favorite. according to the oddsmakers. I see their rationale. The A’s have the best record in the Majors, and also the biggest lead within their Division. Oh yeah..this club has back to back West Titles, and a deep lineup in a parity league that is the AL. While I don’t endorse them as the favorite for the World Series right now (based on predicting playoffs solely), there is no doubt I ranked them #1 in power rankings

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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*** Denotes Division Leaders

Records are before play Thursday June.26, 2014

RK Team   Last Wk Rnk  ()      Current Rec –  Last 31 Days Rec

1.  ***Oakland A’s (2) 48 – 30:  17 – 10:  The A’s are still the best team in the Majors for the last 2 1/2 years.  Coco Crisp on another hot spell.

Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss both in the top 5 for HRs, and Sonny Gray/Scott Kazmir among several starters for ERA, WHIP and quality starts.

Yoenis Cespedes has the power numbers to be a perfect complement to the top guys, and the bar can always be raised higher.

Sean Doolittle is authoring one of the greatest Bullpen efforts ever for a Closer. A 53/1 Strikeout to Walk ratio is beyond filthy.

2.  ***Detroit Tigers (3) 42 – 32: 14 – 13:  A nice rebound after they dropped out of 1st place temporarily.

Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez will exceptional June’s, and Miguel Cabrera is still on pace for 130 RBI.

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer had sub-par starts, but look to correct themselves now.

Joe Nathan is making the late innings nervous for Tiger’s fans, after they had to endure Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Jose Valverde over the last few years. Read the rest of this entry

Atlanta Braves State Of The Union 2014: The Hitters

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team.  Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers.  In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI.  2013 saw him make his 1st ALL - Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 - with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are the future of this team. Having said that, Freeman has displayed a little bit more consistency in his play to start their Careers. In 1908 AB so far (about 3 full years), Freeman has a 3 Slash Line of .285/.355/.466 with 68 HRs and 280 RBI. 2013 saw him make his 1st ALL – Star Game, and finish 5th in NL MVP Voting by going .319/.396/.501 – with 23 HRs and 109 RBI despite missing 15 games.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Braves won 95 Games in 2013, and the NL East was a runaway by 9 games over Washington.

This was done even though of paltry numbers posted by Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, and a half year with Jason Heyward hitting underneath the Mendoza Line.

The game changer for the offense was a surprise performance by 3B Chris Johnson, who contended for the NL Batting Title for the better part of the whole year.

Evan Gattis and Brian McCann also hit near 20+ HRs each for just about a seasons worth of Plate Appearances out of the Catchers position.

Justin Upton charged out of the gates in April with 12 HRs, and then after going cold in the next 3 months. bounced back in August to take a run at it again.

The younger brother to B.J., had stretches were he carried the club. Read the rest of this entry

The Braves Continue To Step Up To The Plate In The Ervin Santana Signing

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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It was a move that had to be done in my view.  Atlanta has 60% of its Starting Rotation currently in the sick bay, or has questionable thoughts to whether it could pitch near Opening Day.

In the end it is a Win/Win situation for all above.

The Braves acquire a top end of the rotation guy, and it serves as great insurance, and Santana is able to play for a full season trying to re-establish his worth on next winter’s open market.

Sure Atlanta sacrifices a 1st RD pick, but they are still receiving the compensation Pick from the Yankees for the Brian McCann signing.

Santana flies right out the American League, and will look to pad his stats versus the likes of the Mets and Marlins this year, and to avoid the AL Beast, the only teams that were coveting him that he mutually was talking with Read the rest of this entry

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