Blog Archives

Looking At the Surprising Tigers with Jared Wyllys – New Episode of @lockedonmlb


Jared Wyllys, writer for The Sporting News and Forbes Sports, joins the podcast to look at the unexpected fast start of the Detroit Tigers.

This is the LockedOn MLB Podcast with your host Paul Francis Sullivan. Please call him Sully.
Click HERE for the latest episode

This is the LockedOn MLB Podcast with your host Paul Francis Sullivan. Please call him Sully.

Sully Baseball Podcast – Flash Gordon, the crazy Pirates/Tigers game and Ties – March 31, 2018


Dino De Laurentiis, Universal Pictures – Matt Freed/Post-Gazette

The crazy 13 inning looney fest Pittsburgh Detroit opener today reminded me of Flash Gordon for a lot of good and bad reasons.

Plus it made me realize I was dead right about ties in baseball.

DIIIIIVVVVVVVE into this episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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MLB Power Rankings/2018 Win Predictions + Playoff Predictions

Season Start Rankings (Left Of team in Parenthesis)

American League (1247 – 1183)

AL East (422 – 388) Win Predictions in Parenthesis For The Year

(3) NY Yankees 96 – 66 Division Winner #3 Seed

(7) Boston Red Sox 90 – 72   WC #1

(13) Baltimore Orioles 86 – 76

(16) Toronto Blue Jays 83 – 79

(27) Tampa Bay Rays 67 – 95 Read the rest of this entry

MLB Master Doubleheader Schedule For 2018

AT &T Park in San Francisco and Coliseum in Oakland are part of this year’s first doubleheader opportunity available by ground in 2018. The Bay Area usually holds 3 – 4 doubleheader chances a year to attend full games in both parks.

Each year we write the full doubleheader master schedule to see all games you can in one year (within reasonable driving or ground distance to cover, if not see all of both games). 

This season is no different, although this amount of contests is rapidly dwindling each campaign with staggered start times for a lot of clubs (in particular in April and on Saturdays), coupled with the time per game increasing, it makes it tougher than ever to watch 2 full games at venues.

We will add much more to this list as the year goes on, and definitely one thing to watch for is the ESPN Sunday Night Games TBD’s as the summer progresses. 

Like Ernie Banks once said “Let’s Play 2.”

Tues Apr 3

SF 12:45/OAK 7:05

Wed Apr 4

LAA 1:07/SD 7:10

Sun Apr 8

PHI 1:35/WSH 8:08

NYY 1:05/WSH 8:08 Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Podcast – Trammell and Morris in the Hall of Fame and other Cooperstown Wishes – December 11, 2017


Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers stars Alan Trammell and Jack Morris are now Hall of Famers. Whatever you think of that bears no matter. They are in. Deal with it. It looks like this summer will be super crowded in Cooperstown no matter what.

Why not open the doors to Bonds, Clemens and everyone else for a massive Hall of Fame class?

Becoming immortal in this Episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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Tigers Have Early Leader For Managerial Position

detroit tigers2.JPGAs the Tigers find themselves in a full rebuild, numerous candidates are being interviewed for Brad Ausmus’s former position.  Internal candidates include Omar Viquel, Lloyd Mclendon, and Dave Clark to go along with a large list of 40+ external candidates that include Ron Gardenhire, Mike Redmon, and Joe McEwing.  One name however keeps getting mentioned more and more across multiple data sources and seems to be the lead candidate early in the process.

That candidate is former…

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Detroit Tigers Farm System Showing Major Improvement

Perez, Franklin.jpgAs much as I’d like to knock Al Avila for the return on the J.D. Martinez trade, the Justin Verlander trade and Alex Avila/Justin Wilson trade seem to be working out very well for the Tigers, or at least their farm system.

Before the year started, the team was ranked in the bottom quarter of the league with Matt Manning being the only player to consistently make the numerous preseason Top 100 Prospect lists, including mine.  A lot has changed in six months, as the team went from contender to a dumpster fire and a Quadruple-A team, however…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84 

Tigers Trade Justin Upton, Get A Bag of Balls & 9th Best Prospect From Angels

Long, Grayson.jpg

To start, this isn’t a bad trade by Al Avila, but it really takes the wind out of Tigers fans already deflated sails.  Upton, by far the Tigers best player this year got off to a rough start after signing a 6-year $132MM deal last year and not sure he really ever became a fan favorite or really attached to Detroit.  J-Up was one of those Mike Illitch signings where he told Al to go out an sign him no matter what and the team paid for it with a very distressing long-term contract, with an opt-out after this year.

Regardless of the money that would have been tied up and yes, it’s great to get dollars off the books, it still feels like a solid kick to the groin when you lose your best player and seemingly get little in return.

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Tigers Trade Justin Wilson & Alex Avila; Fare A Bit Better

wilson-avila trade.jpg

In what was a trade that was a foregone conclusion, the Detroit Tigers have traded closer Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs for minor league infielder Jeimer Candelario and another minor league infielder Isaac Paredes.  In addition to the two minor leaguers’ the Tigers will also receive cash or a player to be named later.

The defending champion Cubs have a 2.5 game lead over the surprising Milwaukee Brewers currently, but have struggled mightily with their bullpen and were looking for a catcher after trading away the clubhouse cancer that is known as Miguel Montero.

Justin Wilson came to the Tigers in 2015, when he was acquired from the New York Yankees for Luis Cessa and Chad Green.  Wilson had his ups and downs last year, but came out strong to start the season and took over for Francisco Rodriguez as the closer after K-Rod looked like he was throwing BP to the other team.  Since taking over as the closer, Wilson has a 3.65 ERA, a .205 average against, with 29 K’s, and 11 saves, blowing 2 saves in 13 chances.

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Sully Baseball Podcast Tigers should emulate the White Sox and remembering 1987 Blue Jays – July 13, 2017

With the second half of the season looming, the Tigers should look at the White Sox wild rebuilding strategy and say “Hey! WE should do that!”

Plus I remember the Blue Jays team that should have won.

You need to fall before you rise on this episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks: Rankings, lineup advice for Friday, June 23

TGIF! It’s the weekend and we have a just a week until a 4 day weekend to celebrate MERICA. Today is a great full slate and some great options.

If you’re looking for some more last-minute advice you can follow me on Twitter and DM me (@FantasyAdvice22)

For this daily fantasy baseball season, each day we’ll be writing up a group of pitchers and hitters that we’re considering for our cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. We’ll also provide a list of stacks to consider. As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than they are in real life due to match-up, price, park factor, etc. This is important when constructing a roster.

One thing to remember outside of making sure your guy is in the lineup, is to always check the weather. Always. Make this something that is part of your basic research. Baseball games can get postponed! Your players receive no points from postponed games!

Fanduel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (6/23/17): MLB DFS Advice

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (6/23/17): MLB DFS Advice wants to help you win a ton of cash while also allowing you to feel like you’re making it yourself. You may not agree with all of our picks, but that’s what makes a DFS player a GREAT DFS Player.

Our daily plays are from a collection of experts and a ton of research that goes into them. We have spent countless hours a day crunching the numbers from a dozen different aspects of each sport and bring you the best options each day.

If you take away from our articles the ability to build your own lineups that’s great! If you are still wanting some help definitely subscribe to our Optimal NBA and NFL DFS, or MLB Lineups for both Fanduel and DraftKings for that added boost! Good Luck and bring home that bacon.

Want to win more money at FanDuel and DraftKings? CLICK HERE TO VIEW OPTIMAL DFS LINEUPS for MLB.

Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice: Friday, June 23

Cash Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg

Career vs Current Reds Roster

AVG: 0.194 [7 for 36], BABIP: 0.136, K%: 23.3, BB%: 16.3
FIP: 8.96 Strikeout: 10 Groundout: 8 Walk: 7Flyout: 5 Home Run: 4 Single: 3 Lineout: 3 Pop Out: 1 Bunt Pop Out: 1 Forceout: 1

Chris Archer

Career vs Current Orioles Roster

AVG: 0.260 [39 for 150], BABIP: 0.283, K%: 19.3, BB%: 7.8
FIP: 4.98 Strikeout: 31 Groundout: 29 Single: 25Flyout: 20 Walk: 13 Lineout: 12 Pop Out: 10Home Run: 7 Double: 7 Field Error: 3 Grounded Into DP: 3 Forceout: 2 Hit By Pitch: 1 Sac Bunt:1 Strikeout – DP: 1 Sac Fly: 1

Jameson Taillon

Career vs Current Cardinals Roster

AVG: 0.143 [2 for 14], BABIP: 0.200, K%: 26.7, BB%: 6.7
FIP: 1.95 Strikeout: 4 Groundout: 3 Lineout: 2Single: 2 Grounded Into DP: 2 Walk: 1 Flyout: 1

Michael Fulmer

GPP (Tournament Pitchers)


Click HERE to check out the FULL article!

Baseball Trip Catches Spirit of Dad’s Love

Larson & dad

Guest blogger Steve Larson shares an essay that was originally published in the Detroit News on 04.02.06

It was the trip of a lifetime to celebrate a lifetime of memories.  It was a trip down memory lane through Cooperstown, New York City and Boston to celebrate a lifetime of love for the game of baseball.

The seeds of that love were sowed within the embrace of Tiger Stadium. Some of the happiest days of my youth were spent there with my dad and brother. Who can forget the magical summer of ‘76 when the Bird was the word? Or the roar of ’84 when the Tigers won the World Series right before our eyes? I’ll never forget catching a foul ball during the third inning and the euphoria we all felt as the final out dropped into Larry Herndon’s glove.

Last spring, I called my brother, Eric, to pitch an idea for a trip I always wanted to do with him and Dad. The plan called for the three of us, all scattered across the country (Dad in Florida and Eric in Chicago), to spend a long weekend reconnecting, reflecting and celebrating our love for baseball. Dad and I had never been to Yankee Stadium or Fenway and I knew how special it would be to experience the “House that Ruth Built” and the “Green Monster” with my dad and brother.

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

2017 Detroit Tigers First Year Player Draft Results

Faedo, Alex.jpgThe Tigers kicked off the 2017 first year player draft by taking righty Alex Faedo out of Florida with the 18th pick.  Faedo was once considered as a possibly #1 pick, however a sluggish start due to injury set him back.  The Tigers second pick is an intriguing one as they chose Reynaldo Rivera out of Chipola College.  Rivera is a big lefty with raw power and the ability to hit.  It will just be interesting to see what he does against more talented players.

Other than that, the Tigers draft looked a little different under Al Avila this year, as the team did show a bit more focus on outfield depth, as the team selected five outfielders in their first 18 picks.

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84 for draft picks

Down On The Farm: Detroit Tigers Minor League Report

Stewart, Christin2.jpg

Tigers Prospect Christin Stewart Continuing To Mash In 2017

With a month gone in the Minor League season, we’re starting to see stats stabilizing and getting a good look at who’s breaking out for teams and will also take a look at some other notables.  Here’s a look around the Tigers affiliates…

Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A)

We already know about John Hicks and Jim Adduci, with their hot starts and promotions to the big club, but other notable hitters are struggling currently with…

James Loney, added as a nice in-season pick-up to add depth to the MLB club, Loney has played in 16 games and is hitting .229, with a .637 OPS

Remember Alex Presley’s hot spring training, well, he cooled off considerably in Toledo, as he’s hitting .210 with a .468 OPS in 27 games

Then there is Steven Moya who everyone has been waiting on.  This has to be it for him with Detroit, as he continues to struggle hitting .162 with a .468 OPS and 26 strike outs in 68 at bats

Starters Buck Farmer and Warwick Saupold are showing success with sub-3.00 ERA’s, however Chad Bell, is off to the best start on the staff, as he’s thrown 21.2 innings so far, with a 1.25 ERA, with just 7 walks and 25 K’s.

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

The K-Rod Situation Brings To Light That Al Avila Must Go

Avila, Al.jpg

I wasn’t truly a fan of it in the first place, but when Al Avila was named General Manager replacing David Dombrowski on August 4th, 2015, I figured he was worth a shot given who he had learned from.   That said with the most recent dumpster fire that is known as the Tiger’s bullpen, it’s time for the spotlight to start shining on not only K-Rod and Ausmus, but also Avila.  That said, I believe if the Tigers don’t make the playoffs, it’s also time for Al to go in my opinion.

Let’s take a look the major moves that Avila has made in his tenure…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Tigers and Astros Are Taking Care of Business Early This Year

There are so many things that go on during the course of a 162-game season that it’s usually difficult to pinpoint one situation as the difference maker.

A turning point? Yea, that works, but saying one thing in particular was the reason behind a certain team living or not living up to expectations is hard. After all, baseball involves a ton of variables on any given night.

However, upon looking back on 2016, there’s a good chance the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros wondered what could’ve been if they didn’t struggle so mightily against the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, respectively.

Up to this point in the season, though, the narrative has been flipped on its head.


Sully Baseball Podcast – Taking Stock, Acting Better and Painful Detroit Season – May 4, 2017


Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America

One month into the season, some potential contenders have some tough decisions to make. Meanwhile, Boston fans should listen to criticism rather than be so defensive. And I pick the Tigers team that should have won.

Tough love given in this episode of Sully Baseball.

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This Day in Milwaukee Brewers History: A Robin Yount and Hank Aaron Hitting Clinic

An old well-known expression is “April showers bring May flowers.”  On May 1, 1975, the Milwaukee Brewers showered hits all over Milwaukee County Stadium in a 17-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.  Every Brewers starter reached base that day, but it was also one of the rare times that both Hank Aaron and Robin Yount went ballistic on the opposition in the same game.



Will Jordan Zimmermann’s Contract Be One Of The Worst In History?

Zimmermann, Jordan2After Jordan Zimmermann’s shaky outing last night, and it is still too early to tell, but I’m starting to get concerned that Zim’s contract may be one of the worst in baseball history.

Entering his second year of a 5-year $110MM contract and making $18MM this year ($24MM in ’18, $25MM in ’19 & ’20), it’s safe to say that the season isn’t getting off to Jordan’s liking after an injury filled 2016 campaign.  After the Tigers offense saved Zimmermann from taking the loss last night (ultimately coughing the game up), he still had his second poor performance in as many outings, giving up 5 earned on 10 hits to the Rays.  This follows up a 4.2 inning outing against Minnesota where he also game up 5 earned on hits and 5 walks.  The start of the season against Boston gave plenty of hope to fans, but remember, that was against a flu-ridden Red Sox lineup.  Through the three starts, Zimmermann has a 5.94 ERA, has given up 18 hits in 16.2 innings, while walking 7, and striking out 10, and has a -0.3 WAR.

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Justin Verlander Takes To Twitter With Typical JV Response To Pitch Tipping

Verlander, Justin SurpriseI have to say, Justin Verlander‘s social media game is strong and he proves it once again with this response to his tipping pitches.

Verlander was hit hard on Saturday in his start against the Cleveland Indians, as he gave up 9 earned runs, tying a career high, which included 3 home runs in just four innings of work.  The response from both James McCann and Brad Ausmus, was that JV could have been tipping his pitches without knowing it.

As you can see, he’s very concerned with effort!

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Bruce Rondon Down, Joe Jimenez Gets The Call

Jimenez, JoeWell, if you watched yesterday’s dumpster fire of a game, you might have seen this coming…Bruce Rondon has been optioned to Triple-A Toledo after giving up 4 runs in the eight inning without getting an out.

This all started for Rondon in spring training after showing a noticeable drop in velocity and incurring a 7.36 ERA in 6 games pitched, where he gave up 6 earned, on 3 homers, with 6 walks, 10K’s, and a .259 average against and a 1.77 WHIP.   Concerns were eased…

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Officlal Bets For The MLB Reports In 2017

At the MLB Reports, we put our money where our mouth is.  We have won over $2100 in the last 3 years from all bets.  We have made several wagers to begin the season in 2017.

Keep in mind these are not official predictions in any regard, however they are best value picks, and we often hedge bets later on with position of strength projected wins. 

Do yourself a favor and go to and find some props to play for yourself, along with several future bets and over/under win season totals for the campaign.

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Detroit Tigers Spring Standouts 2017

Castellanos, Nick springAs you may have read already, we’ve looked at 2017 spring standouts from around the league, as well as how the Top 100 Prospects were faring. Now, with the Tigers being a week away from opening up the season in Chicago, I thought we’d give the team a look and see who has stood out so far.

As you know, the Tigers had the most players of any MLB club on World Baseball Classic rosters this season, so the normal standouts such as Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and so on were on rosters, so their counting stats may not look great. The positive to this situation though is that more players got looks during games than normal, so you’ll see some names that you may not be familiar with here.

Standings don’t matter at all during spring training, but as a reference, Detroit is currently 12-17 in the Grapefruit League. Also stats matter very little, however there are certain indicators that I look at such as average, OPS, homers, hits, and strike outs for hitters, and for pitchers I look at WHIP, average against, strike outs, that can show a path of what is working vs. what isn’t. Again, you can’t read too much in these numbers though.

Stats through (3/26/17)

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Nick Castellanos’ Improved Speed Could Lead to a Breakout Season

It appeared as though the Detroit Tigers were going to strip their squad down as much as possible this past winter. And after shipping Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels at nearly the first chance they could, he seemed to just be the first domino to fall.

Until he wasn’t. More or less, he was the only domino to fall.

Despite general manager Al Avila’s strong words and tons of trade rumors, they couldn’t even find someone willing to pay the price for J.D. Martinez, which shouldn’t have been shocking.

Now that Maybin is gone, it leaves a void in the second spot of manager Brad Ausmus’ order. That’s always an important spot, but it’s even more important when it’s followed by hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

J.D. Martinez was reportedly the early favorite to take that spot, but he’d rather hit lower in the lineup. One person who does want to hit second, though, is Nick Castellanos. He’s not a prototypical no. 2 hitter, but he’s the perfect fit for this club.


Ranking the Worst MLB Teams From Each Season Since 2002

By the time each MLB season comes to its conclusion, there are only certain things we remember. Our thoughts are mostly dominated by who just won the World Series or how our favorite team performed. Unless it directly impacts us, we rarely remember who exactly was the worst team in baseball for any given year.

Win-loss record and winning percentage are what’s mostly used to determine who takes home this dubious honor — along with the top overall pick in the following summer’s draft — but it should go a little deeper than that.

So, while taking this particular trip down memory lane, we felt it was more appropriate to use run differential as the determining factor, which is the number of runs a team allows subtracted by the number of runs they score. After all, the whole point of baseball is to score more runs than you allow each night.

More often than not (11 out of 15, actually), the worst record in baseball was accompanied by the worst run differential, but there were a handful of times when a team didn’t accomplish both.

Below are the worst teams in terms of run differential from each season since 2002, ranked from least to most soul crushing.


Detroit Tigers Centerfield Options Heading In To Spring Training


With all other positions pretty stable, there really are only a handful of battles for the Detroit Tigers heading in to spring training.  The 5th rotation spot will be interesting, there will be bullpen spots up for grabs, but I believe the main focus will be Centerfield after the trade of Cameron Maybin to clear some salary from the books.

The centerfield job is pretty much up for grabs as spring games commence later in the week with JaCoby Jones, Tyler Collins, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Gose, David Lough, and Alex Presely all via for the position to name a few.  Mahtook in my opinion has a slight edge; however a lot can change over the next month.  Let’s take a look at some of the options…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Will Justin Verlander Be A Hall of Famer?

verlander-justin-surpriseEarlier in the week I updated what had become an annual blog entry for me around the greatness of Miguel Cabrera, who is undoubtedly already a Hall of Fame lock. It got me thinking around looking in to Justin Verlander’s career and if there is potential to be elected to the Hall of Fame one day. Now, if you would have asked me two years ago, I wouldn’t have written anything, but the way JV reinvented himself this past season, it revitalized hopes that he could be in the Hall someday. Please bare with me as this is a little long, but a case will be made…

Before diving in to statistics and whatnot, there has always been one key milestone for pitchers that essentially ensures that they are Hall of Fame locks, and that’s 300 wins. We must acknowledge that 300 wins is really no longer feasible with today’s 5-man rotations, pitch counts, and bullpen specialist. We must also acknowledge that today’s game has changed where a slightly higher ERA is acceptable compared to the day an age where voters were looking for career ERA’s in the mid-2’s. Hitters are stronger these days; ballparks tend to be smaller, etc.

Here’s the other thing that JV and other pitchers have going against them and it all plays in to what I just wrote, only 6 pitchers have been elected to the Hall in the last seven years (Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Bert Blyleven). Take it back further to 2005 and add just Bruce Sutter and Rich Gossage to that list, making it 8 in the past 12 years. What I think we are seeing is pitchers being scrutinized more highly than hitters.

With this laid out, let’s look at Justin Verlander so far…

Continue reading @ Sons of ’84

Boston Red Sox Entire 2017 MLB Schedule On One Page Post.

fenway park 2


WEEK 1 (Includes Season Opener Sunday Apr 2, 2017)


APR  2017

Sunday, Apr 2  MLB OPENING DAY

DAY OFF Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 11, 2017


Jorge Lemus/Getty Images North America

Mike Ilitch has passed away. He was everything a fan could want in an owner and helped make the Tigers a point of pride in a difficult time for Detroit.

Now that he is gone, what will the fortunes of the Tigers be moving forward.

It is a Motor City episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Toronto Blue Jays Entire 2017 MLB Schedule On One Page Post.

Rogers Home Opener will be on Monday Apr 10, 2017, to kick off the 29th year the ballpark has been playing games there. Last year the Jays drew 3.4 Million Fans. and that is the biggest total since the World Series Years - or the 1st 5 years of the venue.

Rogers Home Opener will be on Tuesday Apr 111, 2017, to kick off the 29th year the ballpark has been playing games there. Last year the Jays drew 3.4 Million Fans. and that is the biggest total since the World Series Years – or the 1st 5 years of the venue.


WEEK 1 (Includes Season Opener Sunday Apr 2, 2017)


APR  2017

Sunday, Apr 2  MLB OPENING DAY


Monday, Apr 3

Blue Jays @ O’s 3:05 Oriole Park  (Camden Yards) Home Opener, Baltimore, MD  (Baltimore Orioles)

Tuesday Apr 4 


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