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New York Yankees Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years. Alex Rodriguez is still on the book for this years salary of $21 MIL. What is worse is that his Annual Average Salary of $27.5 MIL per year for the duration of his 2008 - 2017 contract still counts towards the $195 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold limit.

Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years.Alex Rodriguez is still on the book for this years salary of $21 MIL. What is worse is that his Annual Average Salary of $27.5 MIL per year for the duration of his 2008 – 2017 contract still counts towards the $195 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold limit this season.  Will the Yankees spend beyond that mark, or will they finally get under the limit and reset their penalties?

The Bronx Bombers have a projected payroll of $195 MIL already – and are perennial abusers of the Luxury Tax Threshold – so they are at a 50% penalty for any money spent between $195 – $215 MIL.

Don’t look for them to add much – unless they can orchestrate a trade of one of their salaried players already.

The brass is playing this smart.  The young players will make or break this current roster of players, however if the season gets away from New York, they will assuredly deal a few players away to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold once and for all.

By doing such that, they will reset the penalty to a 1st time user.

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Odds To Win The 2017 MLB World Series: Detroit + Seattle Best Value Right Now

Mariners-web-logo

I have been preaching the Mariners as a bet for a couple of months now.  I was able to grab them at +2800 for a $50 bet already, and this was my 2nd bet to the $100 I plunked down on the Nationals at +1200.

Jerry DiPoto has been wheeling and dealing to the tune of 11 trades already this offseason. 

With the exception of the Outfield not possessing not much power (but a ton of speed that could round out the bottom of the order with SB), and the First Base position being manned by unproven commodities, the rest of the roster is pretty solid.

We noted that the Mariners threesome of Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Jean Segura combined for 99 HRs and then the prime DH Nelson Cruz clubbed 43 Bolts.  These guys will make up enough power to compensate for that.

While I still feel they should upgrade at 1B or another OF (Guys such as Mark Trumbo, Chris Carter or Mike Napoli) this team should have enough offense to compete in the American League.

With acquiring Yovani Gallardo and Drew Smyly in the last week, the club has added depth = and have the best 1 – 5 rotation in the AL West now.

I believe that James Paxton may also see a breakout season similar to what Danny Duffy did for the Kansas City Royals in 2916.  The LHP can reach 98 – 99 MPH on his fastball, and he has great movement.

The Relief Core has also been added to with great numbers.  Seattle’s brass has definitely robbed the Minor League System, yet this is the window of winning.

Houston deserves to be slightly favored in the AL West with the rosters as currently constructed – however if the Mariners pick up another big bat then I would give the nod to them as the Division favorite. Read the rest of this entry

Carlos Correa Is the Most Important Part of the Houston Astros Offense in 2017

After ending their excruciating rebuilding process a year earlier than many expected with a playoff appearance in 2015, the Houston Astros were supposed to take another step forward in 2016, but it didn’t happen.

Jose Altuve put together an MVP-caliber performance, but Houston experienced regression from some of its young core and ultimately couldn’t overcome a 7-17 start. Their 4-15 record against the Texas Rangers didn’t help, either.

One of those young players who experienced a bumpy year was shortstop Carlos Correa.

Now, it’s tough to say a player who posted a 122 wRC+ and a 4.9 fWAR had a bad year, and Correa didn’t have a bad year – it just wasn’t what the organization was likely hoping for.

After an active offseason (which still may not be finished), expectations are high for the Astros to return to October. There are plenty of important offensive contributors on the roster, but Correa just may be the most important of all.

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MLB Power Rankings: Early Predictions For 2017

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The week wasn’t really putting forth any big news until Edwin Encarnacion signed with the Indians a few days ago.  This changed the landscape of the favorite in the American League.

Other deals included the Phillies acquiring Clay Buchholz, the Pirates inking Ivan Nova to the a 3 Year Deal, the Angels bringing in Ben Revere, and the Tigers dotting the line with Alex Avila on a contract to be the backup Catcher in Motown.

I added a few wins to Cleveland’s win total, and added a few losses to the AL Central.

For the confidence I have in the Pirates making a new baseball deal for Major League ready talent in Andrew McCutchen, I also boosted the Bucs for a few more W’s on the season prediction, and tacked on a few more losses for the Reds, Cubs and Brewers. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2017 MLB World Series

Edwin Enarnacion would be just what the doctor ordered for the Rangers lineup. A guy that can mash big Homers, drive in plenty of runs. and also not strikeout that much compared to a roster that already does just that. With only Cole Hamels and Choo being on the books beyond 2018, Texas could find the financial wherewithal to dole out a 4 or 5 year pact in the $20 - $23 MIL AAV range.

Edwin Encarnacion would be just what the doctor ordered for the Indians lineup. A guy that can mash big Homers, drive in plenty of runs. This contract is so awesome for the timing of it all as the team could absorb the $20 MIL guaranteed AAV for the next 3 years.  EE will turn 34 on Jan 07, 2017, and is coming off a year where he slashed .263/.357/.529 – with 42 HRs and a league leading 127 RBI.He is a significant upgrade over the departed Mike Napoli.  His power will elevate the Cleveland lineup for the next 3 seasons at least.

The Indians were our 4th best bet of the week last Friday at +1000 to win the Fall Classic in 2017.  Now with the Edwin Encarnacion contract signing, the club has jumped to +700.  We have just stated in a recent article today that they should not be below the Red Sox for odds to win the title next year.

Handicappers at the top of their profession always use the Strength of Schedule in their opinions, and with good reason.  One could go either way in dealing with the rosters of the Red Sox and Indians, but the biggest difference are the 76 Divisional games the Tribe plays against the Royals, Tigers, Twins and White Sox, where Boston must play the Jays, yankees,O’s and Raus 76 times.

It is also the biggest reason the Nationals will likely stay as our favorite value on the board all off season. The Mets are about the only real competition in the NL East that may provide a hindrance for the Washington franchise to reel in their 2nd straight NL East title.  Then it is – do you really think the Cubs should be a 3/1 odd favorite against the Nats in a NLCS matchup – no way.

We also love the Cardinals continuing to be a thorn in Chicago’s side for the 2017 year.  St. Louis was a 100 win club in 2015, and fought many nagging injuries in 2016.  Now they have a lot more healthy coming back in 2017, and a full year of Alex Reyes.  The Red Birds also signed Dexter Fowler away from the Cubs. +2000 is about a 6/1 odd from the oddsmakers for the Cards to win the NL Central. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2017 MLB World Series

Jon Durr/Getty Images North America

Jon Durr/Getty Images North America

With the Chris Sale deal the Red Sox went fro co-favorites with the Indians t0 near the Cubs stratosphere for overwhelming odds on winners to take home the League Pennants in either league. 

While I have no issue with these two squads holding the edge against the rest of the pack, it is just not that much of a discrepancy.

One may argue that the Nationals path of resistance is actually a lot easier than the Cubs for the Division. 

The Mets Starting Pitching is suspect for health reasons, and there are holes all around the positional lineup when it comes to lack of a Centerfielder. and 3 men in the Infield who could suffer back injuries all year.

Here is the funny thing though. the Mets still made the WildCard play in game in 2016 despite all of the turmoil that presented itself.

Miami has taken a setback with the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez.  This will be felt in the standings in my opinion. 

The biggest X factor is if Giancarlo Stanton could remain healthy for 145 Games, but odds dictate he will not, therefore this Division should be beat up pretty bad  by the Nats and Mets.

Atlanta and Philly are just a year away from solidly competing. Read the rest of this entry

Early 2017 MLB Team Win Projections

Having a great offsesson despite David Ortiz retiring. Are the deepest all around team in the American League, with the greatest collection of veterans and young players

Having a great offsesson despite David Ortiz retiring. Are the deepest all around team in the American League, with the greatest collection of veterans and young players.  The biggest other move in the Division so far was the Yankees signing Aroldis Chapman, and that may just help the Bombers stay above .500 – and have a chance to compete.

Following the recent Winter Meetings, the new CBA being signed. and then the subsequent few weeks after, the projections are win totals based on the teams if over/unders were to be placed.

From the onset. the Boston Red Sox are the clear favorite in the AL East – with adding Chris Sale, Mitch Moreland, Tyler Thornburg to their ALL – Star cast, while David Ortiz (retired), Travis Shaw (traded) Koji Uehara (Signed with the Cubs), Brad Ziegler (Free Agent) are off the postseason roster that lost to the Tribe.

The players going back to the White Sox were not from the Major League Roster for the most part.

With the Jays having Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Michael Saunders. R. A. Dickey, Brett Cecil off the 25 man roster, to replacing with Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce for the most part as main transactions. this is a far cry from an even trade.  However the club will still likely make some more moves.

Cleveland stands to benefit for the rest of the division all seeming to rebuild. but the Tigers have only dealt Cameron Maybin away – so they are sitting on the cusp of challenging for the AL Central again.  Detroit may want to explore going for it one more year based on what the Royals have done, and the fact the White Sox and Twins might be the worst clubs in the Junior Circuit.

Houston has been super progressive with signing Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran as Free Agents, while also flipping for Brian McCann.  This was a squad that started 7 – 17,before reeling off a nice 77 – 62 mark down the stretch to fall just short of the playoff bar.

Seattle is also positioning themselves upward just by how bad the Rangers have fared this winter.  Not only that, but they added strength to their worst 2 weaknesses in adding Jean Segura at SS. and Carlos Ruiz as a viable backup Catcher. Read the rest of this entry

Once Again: Why The MLB Should Consider A Geographical/Market Size Re-Alignment For The Next CBA:

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The new CBA has been a godsend for the mid – market teams, and not so great for the 10 top markets, but even more devastating for the 10 lowest markets.  One thing the CBA did address was to give the players an additional 4 days off during the league year – stretching from 183 Days to 187 – in lieu of expanding the rosters of 25 to 26.

This website has continued its stance since day 1, that while the economics have been a lot more fair to teams in the last 15 years, there is still much work to do.  The best small market teams we have seen in the last 7 years have been the Oakland A’s, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and of course the 2015 World Series winning Kansas City Royals.  Only one of these teams actually were a decent franchise for some time before they took off.

Pittsburgh lost for 22 years before they finally made 3 straight postseason appearances.  With the new CBA not giving them 1st RD Draft Picks for departing players in future seasons like Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marter and Gerrit Cole, this is a sure fire way for the brass to cut the cord on their service team a lot of time ahead of them hitting Free Agency.

Kansas City was a laughable organization from the mid 90’s to 2013 as well, and despite winning back to back pennants in the AL< and being the first small market team to win the World Series since the 2003 Marlins, they will soon start to see their team ripped apart under the same Free Agent terms like the Bucs – with Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Danny Duffy and Mike Moustakas likely all not re-signing with the franchise.  Dayton Moore already had to trade ace Closer Wade Davis this past week.

The Tampa Bay Rays were awful from 1998 – 2007, and were able to stockpile #1 overall picks to build up the franchise.  The Joe Maddon era ensued for 6 straight quality years where they competed beautifully, including a World Series Loss in 2008, but now they are at a crossroads again from a 68 win campaign. and teams all spending double what they can. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Rangers State Of The Union For 2017: Jon Daniels Must Counter To Houston/Seattle’s Early Moves

The Texas Rangers won an American League best 95 games last season - to win their 2nd AL west Division. and to make the playoffs for the 5th time since 2010. The winter has not gotten off to a good start, as they have watched the Astros and Mariners all add depth to their teams - while Texas has lost players from their year end roster. The team has to get involved right now to change the course of this offseason. The time to win is now with Yu Darvish and Jonathon Lucroy in walk contract years - while their ALL - Star Veterans like Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre become another year older.

The Texas Rangers won an American League best 95 games last season – to win their 2nd AL west Division. and to make the playoffs for the 5th time since 2010. The winter has not gotten off to a good start, as they have watched the Astros and Mariners all add depth to their teams – while Texas has lost players from their own year end roster. The team has to get involved right now to change the course of this offseason. The time to win is now with Yu Darvish and Jonathon Lucroy in walk contract years – while their ALL – Star Veterans like Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre become another year older.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The Rangers have been one of the better teams in the MLB since the 2010 season.  Back to Back AL Pennants, and now back to back AL West Division wins have seen them reach the playoff 5 times out of the last 7 campaigns.

For those who like pitching – the franchise has 2 number one aces for at least one more year in Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels.

Simply put, the development of all of their Draft Picks, domestically or international, coupled with the management’s keen eye for talent, have the club still in the conversation for another few years.

Here is the thing though….The Astros and Mariners have been the two busiest clubs in acquiring talent thus far in the winter.  Both of these teams have closed or narrowed the gap on Texas already,

Houston has signed Free Agents Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran – with also dealing for Brian McCann.  This will not affect their 2017 squad as both didn’t require anybody from the Major League Roster to get it done.

Seattle has not made as big of a splash like Houston, but has shored up some depth, and have nicely added Jean Segura (who was an ALL – Star and top 15 NL MVP in 2016 – without losing anything of note.)

Texas has signed Andrew Cashner and lost Beltran for sure…yikes.. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2017 World Series: Nats/Giants/Astros Great Value – Bounce On KC/NYY

For a second straight week we love the Nationals with the best odd value of the week. They have some financial flexibility to bring in a few more ALL - Star Caliber players and also possess the prospects in order to get it done. If you believe (like I do)

For a second straight week we love the Nationals with the best odd value of the week. They have some financial flexibility to bring in a few more ALL – Star Caliber players and also possess the prospects in order to get it done. If you believe (like I do) that the Nats are serious about trading for guys like Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale, than it is imperative you get this club at their odd this week.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The Nationals are really making noise about trying to land Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale.  Even if they don’t fulfill the need, I still think they will add more depth via trade for another good Starting Pitcher and also add an impressive CF, and reliever.

We shall wait and see whether or not that could be the likes of Dexter Fowler or a reunion with Ian Desmond to play CF, Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen to be added to for late inning work.  At +1200 the Nats are full value for the best odd of the week.

The NL East may be easier to win than the NL West and NL Central if you think the way that most good handicappers are right now.  The Mets are dreaming if they think they can contend with 3 Infield Starters with bad backs, and a declining metrics Shortstop, added to not a true CF, and a horrible Catcher offensive situation.

I am trying not to bag on the Mets too much here, as I think they could still rally to win 85 – 90 wins again next year based on the strength of the rest of the Division, it is just the health concerns that would frighten me to pieces. Read the rest of this entry

6 MLB Teams That Will Benefit The Most By The New CBA

The Toronto Blue Jays have had to contend with the overspending in the last 25 years by the Yankees and Red Sox

The Toronto Blue Jays have had to contend with the overspending in the last 25 years by the Yankees and Red Sox.  With stiffer penalties now imposed on the higher payroll clubs. coupled with their recent back to back ALCS Appearances, the franchise draws enough to spend more money on total team salary in the next few years.  It will come down to the management’s ability on player personnel that should determine their success for the next 5 years and not sheer finances.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Tomorrow we will point out the clubs that were hurt most in the short term.  today we talk  about the winners of the new deal.

I am calling the Nationals, Mariners, Astros, Jays, Cardinals and Giants the immediate victors under the new format.

When i was thinking about more the past two days, the new structure seems to favor mid level payroll teams more than the lower or higher payroll clubs.

With the new penalties for spending way more money than the Luxury Tax Threshold, the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Tigers are going to find that the impact will run pretty steep on their roster decisions for the next 5 years.

Being that that all of those franchises are still going to dole out the kind of money on player contracts they are, I am not calling them losers for the new CBA either. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 1, 2016

mlbreportscoverOne Thousand Five Hundred straight days of podcasting.

Today, along with the audio that as always can be found on Soundcloud and iTunes, I did a video podcast to mark the occasion.

I looked at the concept of baseball nostalgia and realized that everything is trying to celebrate the late 1940’s. Why should post WWII monopolize traditional baseball?

Celebrating 1500 shows in the can and many more to follow on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Seattle Mariners Showing A Riverboat Gambler Mentality With The Segura Deal: Why Not Covet Chris Carter Next?

The Seattle Mariners at a massive fork in the road for their franchise. The bulk of the roster is right at the peak of their careers, and with the A's and Angels rebuilding. -and perhaps the Rangers taking a step back, GM Jerry DiPoto trading a young SP with a ton of potential in Taijuan Walker, in order to secure the biggest weakness the club suffered down the 2016 season. In landing Jean Segura, the brass is hoping they have found the Leadoff man/Shortstop that will hep the break the longest MLB Playoff Drought currently.

The Seattle Mariners at a massive fork in the road for their franchise. The bulk of the roster is right at the peak of their careers, and with the A’s and Angels rebuilding. -and perhaps the Rangers taking a step back, GM Jerry DiPoto trading a young SP with a ton of potential in Taijuan Walker, in order to secure the biggest weakness the club suffered down the stretch in the 2016 season. In landing Jean Segura, the brass is hoping they have found the Leadoff man/Shortstop that will hep the break the longest MLB Playoff Drought currently.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

i love the Jean Segura trade for the Martiners.  In a deal announced over Thanksgiving, the M’s picked up the 2016 All – Star 2B/SS, along with Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis  for a return of Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker.

The real meat of this trade boils down to Segura vs Walker.

I definitely think the SS position was a sore spot for Seattle down the stretch in 2016 – with Marte slumping after a hot start to begin the campaign.

Yes pitching is at a premium in the market place right now, however Walker, now 24, hasn’t delivered to the hype he came into the MLB with – and Seattle had him pegged as the #3 Starter on the Depth Chart, despite Ariel Miranda outperforming him last season.

Segura led the NL with hits in 2016 (203) – and featured a career best .319/.368/.499 – with an astounding 71 XBH (20 HRs, 7 = 3B and 41 Doubles.)  This helped the 26 Year Old tally 102 Runs Scored, while swiping 33 Bases.

Even though projecting a repeat performance out of Segura in 2017 may be a huge stretch, this man posted an incredible overall year and it may be one of the most underrated campaigns for an offensive player in the Majors this past campaign. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Reports Bettting Results For The 2016 Year: We Made A Profit For The Third Straight Campaign!

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) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

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

So it was an interesting wager year.  I nailed the World Series winner, but never did place on money on them in any futures.  I was able to hedge bet because I had the Dodgers at a 15/1 Odds from the previous winter.

I absolutely killed it on Player Prop Betting – running the whole table.  I was on fire in the playoffs.  My best regular season wager for wins ( TB Rays under) was nice, but I took a beating on the rest of the over/under on victories across the board.

My pick of the Baltimore Orioles at 28/1 – to win the American League Pennant – set me up to hedge bet enough of the Junior Circuit playoffs, that I could help rescue my wagering season.

Chuck Booth and I combined for all of these picks, and we use the same gambling template for how we put down cabbage.

The real difference of profit came down to our perfect prognostication of Giancarlo Stanton winning the Derby helped us in breaking even and winning some cash at the end of the campaign.
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Odds To Win The 2017 World Series:

The Nationals feature 3 potential MVPs and 2 Cy Young Pitchers as their top talent - while the rest of the Division struggles with overcoming roster hauls, rebuilding and tragedy. The Cubs are the expected overwhelming favorite, however they don't pay nearly enough, and nothing is ever certain in the playoffs. Give me the Nats as the best on the board currently.

The Nationals feature 3 potential MVPs and 2 Cy Young Pitchers as their top talent – while the rest of the Division struggles with overcoming roster hauls, rebuilding and tragedy. The Cubs are the expected overwhelming favorite, however they don’t pay nearly enough, and nothing is ever certain in the playoffs. Give me the Nats as the best on the board currently.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

If you bet with your mind and not your heart in the last 12 months, than you would have lost on the World Series predictions.  I prognosticated in my yearly preseason bets that I thought the Cubs would win the Fall Classic, but profusely hated the odds of +500 to begin the campaign.

I still fully capitalized on my preseason wager of picking the Dodgers at +1500 for $50, along with the Mets and Nationals at +1100 for $50 a piece as well. 

That, coupled with my Baltimore Orioles AL pick to win the AL Pennant at 28/1 Odds served to put me into a position to hedge several bets in the playoffs to turn a nice profit.  Later in the week we will delve into the websites entire wagers for the whole calendar season.

The reigning champions are also extreme favorites again heading into 2017 – at a +280 clip.  I may pick them to win another World Series again in my actual predictions, however those are still horrible odds to throw some cabbage down on.

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6 Non-Playoff MLB Teams Under the Most Pressure to Compete in 2017

The 2016 MLB postseason is officially in full swing as the remaining eight teams battle for the right to hoist the World Series trophy within the next few weeks. This also means that 22 other squads are already turning the page with their eyes set on making a run at October in 2017.

Every organization goes into a season with the best of intentions, but a lot can happen over 162 games – both good and bad. For a number of teams, the bad outweighed the good, which is why an invitation to play in the postseason never arrived in their respective mailboxes.

Here are six teams feeling a ton of pressure to compete and secure a spot in the playoffs next October:

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MLB Most Undervalued Player: Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve, 26 years old, has a very good chance at winning the American League MVP Award in 2016. So how in the world could a potential MVP Award winner be undervalued? In 2013, the 5’4 Houston Astros’ second baseman signed a four year/$12 million contract. The contract also has a $6 million fifth year club option and a $6.5 million sixth year club option. Since signing the contract in 2013, Altuve has earned the honors of being an American League All-Star in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

 

I think it’s hard to say a player is undervalued if they are still under team control or arbitration eligible, but Altuve’s long-term contract is way under his specific value. He is one of the best all-around players in all of baseball. He is currently batting .346, with 22 home runs, 95 runs, 90 RBIs, 26 stolen bases, .409 OBP, and a .557 slugging percentage. Out of all players in baseball, I can’t think of any other players who put up similar all-around numbers outside of Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. Altuve also won a Gold Glove award last year, which shows his value is much more than just his bat.

 

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Evan Gattis Hits A Walk-Off Home Run That Could Spark An Astros Playoff Run

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge Astros fan. I’m actually in Houston to see the weekend series as I write this article. This is my first time at an Astros’ home game since 2005 and I was not disappointed by the first game of the weekend. I was lucky enough to see by far the best game I’ve ever seen in person last night.

 

The Astros were down by one going into the bottom of the ninth inning, but that quickly changed. Carlos Correa hit a beautiful opposite field home run to tie the game in the first at bat of the inning. Evan Gattis followed the reigning AL Rookie of the Year with an absolute mammoth walk-off home run. Gattis swung at a pitch at his eye-level and that pitch ended up on the train tracks at Minute Maid Park. You can see the video I recorded of the walk-off home run and other videos posted by the Houston Astros Twitter account below:

 

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Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve on Track to do Something we Haven’t Seen Since 2004

With about two months of play to go, the National League and American League playoff races are just starting to get interesting. However, the batting races appear to be all but finished thanks to the raking Daniel Murphy and Jose Altuve have done all season.

Entering action on Friday, each second baseman has a stranglehold on their respective league’s leaderboard when ranked by batting average. What’s so special about this? Well, I was looking through the box scores this week and kept thinking to myself, “God, these guys are still hitting close to .360? In August? When was the last time the batting champ in both leagues finished with an average over .350?”

As it turns out, this particular scenario isn’t as common as it used to be. Between 1990 and 2004, it happened eight different times.

A handful of batting champs have come close to reaching this benchmark since 2004, but haven’t quite gotten there. Is this .350 benchmark rather arbitrary? Probably, but oh well. This gets more interesting upon seeing the similarities between Murphy and Altuve, both with regard to the season they’re enjoying and the current situation they find themselves in. Here are four that stood out:

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Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (11-20)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 11-20 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

  1. Alex Reyes (STL, 21 Years Old, RHP): If you are looking for a frontline starter, look no further. Reyes has the upside of a top-10 pitcher in the next few years. He has an elite fastball-breaking ball combination and his changeup has developed quite nicely. He has been known to touch 102-103 MPH with his fastball, so that speaks for itself. He has struggled this season at Triple-A, but that doesn’t take away from his potential. In 55 innings pitched, he owns a 5.07 ERA, 51 hits against, 79 strikeouts, and 27 walks. He has an elite strikeout rate, but his walk rate does scare me. He was just scratched from his most recent start in the minors, so many people believe the Cardinals are preparing to call him up to the big leagues.

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Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (31-40)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 31-40 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

  1. Willy Adames (TB, 20 Years Old, SS): Adames has developed quite nicely over the last few seasons. At 20 years old, he is showing great success in Double-A. In 360 plate appearances, he is batting .264, with eight home runs, nine stolen bases, and a .365 OBP. After a slow 2015 season, Adames has rebounded very nicely after his promotion in 2016. He is starting to show more power, speed, and he is getting on base at a better rate. I don’t think he will ever be an elite fantasy baseball player, but he should be average-to-above average.

 

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Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (41-50)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 41-50 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 51-60

 

  1. Jason Groome (BOS, 17 Years Old, LHP): Well, this ranking won’t mean anything if the Red Sox don’t sign Groome after drafting him 12th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. The Sox and Groome are still in negotiations, but nothing as been finalized yet. At only 17 years old, Groome is incredibly advanced on the mound. He throws a mid-90’s fastball from the left-side, which has great late movement. He also shows a great feel for his breaking ball and changeup. To go along with his great repertoire, Groome has showed great command for a kid his age. Many people expected Groome to go first overall in the draft, but he started to trend downwards due to maturity questions and sign-ability issues. If the Red Sox sign Groome, he has the upside of a frontline starter.

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Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (51-60)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 51-60 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 61-70

51. Jake Bauers (TB, 20 Years Old, 1B): Bauers has improved his game a lot in 2016. Last season, he hit .272, with 11 home runs, eight stolen bases, .342 OBP, and a .418 slugging percentage in 534 plate appearances. In only 368 plate appearances this season at Double-A, Bauers is batting .285, with 10 home runs, seven stolen bases, .373 OBP, and a .430 slugging percentage. He also has very advanced plate discipline, which should serve him well in his career. Bauers has one of the prettiest left-handed swings you will see, so it is no surprise that he is hitting so well this year.

 

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RUMORS: Houston Astros To Call Up Top Prospect, Alex Bregman

Following a very impressive appearance in the the MLB Futures Game, Houston Astros’ top prospect, Alex Bregman, could find himself back in a Major League Baseball stadium very soon. There has been rumors and reports that the Astros could call up Bregman as early as this weekend. While nothing has been confirmed, this is very exciting news for baseball fans and fantasy owners.

 

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Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings Analysis (61-70)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 71-80 for the 2016 midseason top prospect list. If you want to see the full top 100 list, please visit the following link: SEE THE TOP 100 PROSPECT RANKINGS. I will be posting daily analysis of every player listed in the top 100, so please follow my blog and other social media for updates.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSPECTS RANKED 71-80

  1. Kyle Lewis (SEA, 20 Years Old, OF): Kyle Lewis was drafted 11th overall by the Seattle Mariners in the 2016 MLB Draft. Lewis went to a small college named Mercer University, but nothing about Lewis is small. He puts up HUGE numbers at the plate, he is a massive human being, and he is going to be a big-time prospect. He stands 6’4 and weighs about 210 pounds. He currently plays centerfield, but as he fills out, he is expected to play one of the corner spots in the outfield. In his last season at Mercer, Lewis hit .395, with 20 home runs, 72 RBIs, and a .525 OBP. In his short time in the minors, he hasn’t been overmatched at all, which is a great sign. Lewis has immense potential and could be a serious home run threat down the line.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 10, 2016

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.

 

The idea that the Blue Jays and Astros shouldn’t surprise anyone. That is what we THOUGHT they would be doing.

It is a “just do what is expected” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Daniel Murphy, Max Scherzer, Eddie Rosario, Kendall Graveman, Kyle Seager, Tommy Joseph and Nick Topeano all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

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Jose Altuve Taking a Page out of Bryce Harper’s Book During Monster Year

Just when it looked like Houston Astros second baseman (and now four-time All-Star) Jose Altuve couldn’t get much better at the plate, he proves us wrong.

Since debuting in 2011 as a 21-year-old, Altuve has displayed quite the ability to collect base hits. Not only does he already have a batting title under his belt, but also no American League player has collected more hits than him since 2014. As Houston continued building a powerful lineup around him, he was incredibly valuable to the club has a top-of-the-lineup table setter.

From 2014-15, he posted a .327/.365/.456 triple slash with 22 homers, 87 doubles, 125 RBI, 171 runs scored and 94 stolen bases. It can’t get much better than that, right? Since Altuve is in the midst of his sixth MLB season, we tend to forget that he’s still young and can actually improve.

That’s exactly what he’s done this year as a 26-year-old, and it seems like he’s taken a page straight out of Bryce Harper’s book in the process.

Chances are slim he actually chatted with Harper about it – and Harper isn’t the first young player to experience the kind of jump in production he did in 2015 – but it’s interesting to see two very different hitters experience similar results with regard to a similar shift in plate approach.

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Could Jose Altuve Win The American League MVP Award?

Houston Astros’ second baseman, Jose Altuve, has had quite an impressive 2016 season so far. He has been so impressive that he could be a legitimate contender for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. He has some very tough competition that includes Mike Trout, Ian Desmond, Robinson CanoXander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and many more.

 

Altuve’s chances at the MVP award could drastically change considering there are still 84 games left in the season, but he is currently one of the favorites. His biggest competition will more than likely be Mike Trout, but Jose Altuve could have a huge advantage on Trout if the Astros continue to win. If Altuve leads the Astros to a playoff appearance, then he could be at a distinct advantage over Trout since the Angels will more than likely finish in the bottom half of the American League West.

 

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Astros’ Prospect, Alex Bregman, Hit In The Head By A 94 MPH Fastball

Many Houston Astros and fantasy baseball fans have been wondering when Alex Bregman will finally make his MLB debut. Unfortunately, it might be delayed after taking a fastball to the head on Monday night. Luckily Bregman got up on his own power and he seems to be okay, but he sat out last night as a precautionary measure. Hopefully this event doesn’t hurt Bregman physically or his approach at the plate.

 

To view the rest of the article, click the link below:

 

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These 3 MLB Teams Could Really Use Jonathan Lucroy at Catcher

Spring is quickly turning into summer, which means one thing around Major League Baseball: the trade market is starting to heat up. What’s a little unfamiliar is seeing a catcher become the most desired target among position players, but that’s the world we live in today.

After thinking about selling low last winter, the Milwaukee Brewers are happy they decided against trading Jonathan Lucroy. While he’s returned to being one of baseball’s best catchers and leads the position with a 2.3 fWAR, there are four main reasons why he’s become a hot commodity:

  • After a rough season in 2014 that led to his lowest OPS since 2011 (.717), Lucroy has bounced back in 2016, hitting .311/.368/.527 in 222 at-bats.
  • He’s not just an offensive catcher, either. Lucroy is an asset behind the plate when it comes to throwing out runners and framing pitches.
  • He’s primarily a catcher, but also has some experience at first base.
  • His contract makes him an incredibly affordable, non-rental player ($4 million total salary in ’16, $5.25 million team option for ’17).

Now that over 60 regular-season games are in the books, it appears the teams who could really use his services the most – and have a somewhat decent chance of making it happen – all reside in the American League West. And no, we’re not talking about the Los Angeles Angels or the Oakland Athletics.

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