Blog Archives

Who Will Win The 2017 National League Divisions Polls? Your Chance As A Reader To Vote

The National League is a very top heavy league with the Nats, Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates having the best odds to qualify for the postseason in 2015. With parity at an all time high in the Senior Circuit, we may a squad break the worst record ever to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card seed this campaign.

The National League is a very top heavy league with the Nats, Dodgers, Cubs Mets, Giants and Cardinals and  having the best odds to qualify for the postseason in 2016. With 6 teams possibly challenging the 100 loss barrier in the Senior Circuit (Padres,  Reds, Brewers, Braves and Phillies),

Since it is the middle part of January, we will offer these polls for all teams in all of the Divisions.

MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far

Some MLB Teams have had a tough winter so far, and we take a look at why this is. We understand that not all clubs have to be in win mode, and some mabe rebuilding, however the process and mindset is what we are questioning here

Some MLB Teams have had a tough winter so far, and we take a look at why this is. We understand that not all clubs have to be in win mode, and some maybe rebuilding, however the process and mindset is what we are questioning here.  For a team that is not going all in and should be based on their limited window of winning opportunity, we also call them to the carpet.  Stop taking a powder in 2017 and give your head a shake!

MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far

There are certain clubs who have done a nice job improving their clubs year over year, some that have done nicely in maintaining, well, and there are teams that are not looking so hot in 2017.

Let me also qualify this in saying that the Toronto Blue Jays are dangerously close to falling into this pegging themselves.  You guys can’t seriously think that you can enter into the 2017 campaign with the Outfield trio of Melvin Upton Jr., Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera can you?

Give Jose Bautista a 1 Year Deal worth $15 MIL – with a 2nd year Team Option of $19.4 MIL – or a Buyout Clause of $2.2 MIL  The Player could also opt out if he wants to after 2017.  You may risk losing a Draft Pick at all with the way this is going Toronto.

With the 1st ED pick attached to Joey Bats. and the looming future QO’s never receiving as much again,  how could a team justify losing that high of Amateur Draft Selection for an aging 36 year old slugger.

Here is the thing though Blue Jays brass:  You need him..Both at the turnstiles and in the lineup.  He doesn’t cost you anything but money – and the guy still carried out a .815 OPS despite a rough down year.

With a chip on his shoulder, I think he will bounce back big time.  You can defensive replace him every night if you wish, or use Kendrys Morales at First, and let Justin Smoak ride pine for some DH AB to open up for Bautista.

Losing Edwin Encarnacion, Bautista and Michael Saunders is not made up by Morales and Steve Pearce fellas!  You drew 3.4 Million Fans in 2016.  Toronto will keep the faith if you bring back #19 for one more year. Read the rest of this entry

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

MLB Power Rankings: Early Predictions For 2017

Indians_Logo

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

ON BLUE JAYS & PLUNDERING THE PIRATES FOR LEFTY RELIEF HELP

 

JAYS FROM THE COUCH LOOKS AT THE POSSIBILITY OF THE BLUE JAYS EXPLORING SOME OF THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES POSSIBLE BULLPEN TRADE PIECES.

 

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On Monday, JP Morosi tweeted out some nuggets on the Blue Jays longing for lefty help out of the bullpen, mentioning interest in Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan. These are names that have been mentioned on Jays From the Couch before (Blevins here and Logan here), but Morosi went further to whet the mouths of Blue Jays fans with reported interest in recently-crowned World Series Champion, Travis Wood.

A tweet and poll later on Monday afternoon over from Pirates Breakdown led to some interesting thoughts in regards to acquiring lefty relief. The Pirates bullpen is a honey hole of strong left-handed relievers, enough that the team will likely consider moving at least one this offseason. Tony Watson and Antonio Bastardo highlight the list, but Pirates Prospects blogger Tim Williams also mentions Felipe Rivero, Wade Leblanc and Tyler Webb all as possible candidates to be dealt…

 

READ FULL POST on Jays From the Couch

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

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 Be Hurt Most By The New CBA

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharin and tougher Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing for Oakland and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014, the best time the A's have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014 when they first joined the Division from the National League, This time frame was the best the A’s have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Yesterday we talked about 6 teams that stand to gain an advantage under the new CBA,  Today we explore the 6 teams that were hurt most.

While the news of taxing the higher revenue generating teams will work to bridge the top teams to the mid – market revenue clubs. the abolishing of a 1st RD Draft Pick compensation pick being lost to franchises for having signed one of their Qualifying Offer rejected players will hurt many franchises.

Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Oakland. Colorado, San Diego and Milwaukee all had days in my opinion.  The Rays, Twins, Reds and Marlins are not too far from list either, however all of those organizations also are not good shape with the new pact either, however they are not as bad as the top 6 clubs.

The Pirates were already thinking about trading Andrew McCutchen, and this should give a violent shove in that direction. 

It will also show that players such as Carlos Gonzalez, Sonny Gray, Charlie Blackmon, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Gerrit Cole, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Nolan Arenado will all be dealt before their Team Control expires. It is the new landscape of the CBA. 

I would hate the new CBA as these clubs.

Under the old agreement . these teams may have been more apt to take their chances on a playoff run – sighting at least a 1st RD Draft Pick would be coming back their way should their superstars leave their squads. 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

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.
Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

Gregory Polanco Had A Great 2016 Season, but 2017 Could Be Even Better

Gregory Polanco made huge strides in 2016, but this Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder could be in store for an even bigger 2017 season. At only 25 years old, Polanco made significant improvements to his swing and approach at the plate in 2016. He finished the season with a .258/.323/.463 slash line, 34 doubles, four triples, 22 home runs, 86 RBIs, 79 runs, and 17 stolen bases. Out of all Major League hitters this year, only 14 had more than 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Out of those 15, only five are 25 years old or younger (Gregory Polanco, Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Wil Myers). As you can see, Polanco is in a very elite group of young talent, but after looking more into his numbers, his game could explode in the upcoming seasons.

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

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:

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Fanduel, DraftKings, and Fanpicks 9/8/16

DailyRoKC04aA01

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (9/8/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanduel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (9/8/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanpicks Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (9/8/16): MLB DFS Advice


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DailyRotoHelp.com 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.


Daily Matchups for 9/8/2016

Pitcher

Ivan Nova

A.J. Cole

Trevor Bauer

CC Sabathia

Jaime Garcia


CATCHER

Gary Sanchez

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PICKS

Andrew McCutchen: Small Changes Add Up to Big Drop In Performance

Andrew McCutchen is slogging through the worst season of his professional career. His drop in production is a case of death by 1000 tiny cuts.

Andrew McCutchen‘s season is officially a cursed one.

What started off as an unsurprising bad start quickly mushroomed into one of the biggest storylines for the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, something that was previously thought to be unthinkable has occurred. McCutchen has been benched for an entire series.

The search for answers is wide-ranging. Many have offered their own theories as to McCutchen’s struggles. The 29-year old center fielder is himself at a loss for words. He responded with exasperation when asked if he felt he needed to take a breather.

“I wouldn’t be taking days off”

Andrew McCutchen

The fact of the matter is that he is working to pull his bat out of its summer doldrums. But, as you will see, there is no easy fix. Rather, many small changes in McCutchen’s approach make up the large picture of a struggling former MVP.

Debunking The Lack Of Hittable Pitches

Andrew McCutchen has offered that he does not get many ‘hittable pitches,’ but the data culled from pitch f/x shows otherwise.

McCutchen

The table above shows the Zone percentages (percentage of pitches in the strike zone) as well as percentages of fastballs seen overall. McCutchen is seeing the most pitches in the zone than he ever has before, and 4.4 percent more than his 2013 MVP campaign.

On their own merits, Zone and fastball percentages can’t tell the full story. They are imperfect metrics. Just because a pitch lands in the zone doesn’t mean the pitch did not have enough deception to freeze the batter, or outright fool him. In this particular instance, fastball percentage lumps in all fastball types. Thus, we can’t fully lean on it to help explain away McCutchen’s inability to drive the ball.

READ MORE AT PIRATES BREAKDOWN…

What would a Nationals trade for Mark Melancon look like?

The Pittsburgh Pirates historically move closers at the right time. Is history about to repeat itself?

Today, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been in talks with teams regarding Mark Melancon.

With the Washington Nationals specifically named, how do the Pirates line up as trade partners with the franchise formerly known as the Expos?

Before we can delve into that, we should note that the Nationals were in on Aroldis Chapman. As Jon Heyman reported:

The Nats declined to give up  Lucas Giolito for Chapman, then they declined to give up Joe Ross. After those two attempts by the Yankees, New York is said to have requested a four-player package centered around young pitching. Anyway, the Nats didn’t do it and never got close

Jon Heyman

First, let’s be very clear. In the closer market, there is Chapman, and then there is everyone else. We can use logic to tell us that the Nats will not give up Lucas Giolito – the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball entering 2015 – in any type of 1-for-1 deal. Thus, any deal that includes Giolito and Player X or Prospect Y likely will not work either.

Joe Ross is interesting as he can be seen as somewhat expendable. He’s been a very solid performer, with an ERA in the mid 3.5 or lower range with low-enough walk and home run per nine rates. This year he is averaging about 7.5 K/9. He is controllable through 2022, and is pre-arbitration.

Despite all these accolades, the Nationals are set at the top of their rotation with Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Giolito. Tanner Roark is in tow and controllable through 2020. Gio Gonzalez has a team option for the next two years, but the club might want to clear space for Erick Fedde, another talented starting pitching prospect.

Putting Together the Package

Taking all of that into consideration, and it would appear that Ross or Roark would be imminently available. Roark might have a slight edge over Ross in esteem due to a slightly longer track record and having slightly better control.

It is easy to envision a 1-for-1 swap of either Ross or Roark for Melancon’s services. We have seen a plethora of “baseball trades” in recent years, afterall.

But, as is often the case, trade deadline deals are rarely that easy. If we expand our criteria to see how the team’s farm systems match up, there is a lot of similarity. The Nationals have an abundance of infielders with multiple position chops as well as the usual assortment of pitching. Much like the Pittsburgh Pirates, their pipeline is surprisingly well-stocked for a team that traditionally has been built through free agency.

I could easily see a swap of B-level prospects being included in a potential deal, or a prospect going to the Pirates as a throw-in.  Regardless, any deal with the Nationals would have to involve either Roark or Ross. Both are young, controllable and capable.

With just over 72 hours left until the deadline, the club might just be able to find a better deal elsewhere, but it’s clear that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals line up well as trade partners.

Midseason Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings Analysis (21-30)

Below you can find my analysis for the prospects ranked between 21-30 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. Orlando Arcia (MIL, 21 Years Old, SS): The smooth-fielding shortstop has struggled a little during the 2016 season, but his future remains bright. In 382 plate appearances at Triple-A, Arcia is batting .269, with seven home runs, 44 RBIs, 56 runs, 13 stolen bases, .325 OBP, and a .407 slugging percentage. He still profiles as an above average shortstop in the big leagues, but I’m not convinced he is going to be an elite fantasy baseball player. He has the ceiling to produce 15-20 stolen bases, .270 BA, 10-15 home runs, and a .340 OBP once he reaches the bigs. If he does put up those numbers, I retract my statement about his fantasy baseball value.

 

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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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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 6, 2016

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Bob Levey/Getty Images North America

The All Star rosters are set and I wonder if the Reds should sell high with Adam Duvall.

It is an “resume highlights” episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Masahiro Tanaka, Josh Donaldson, Zach Eflin, Giancarlo Stanton, Wil Myers, Danny Valencia and Madison Bumgarner all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

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Who Will Be The Next Superstar Baseball Prospect Called Up?

Following the promotion of Lucas Giolito, MLB’s #1 overall prospect, many people are wondering who and when the next superstar prospect will be called up. There are quite a few people who come to mind when pondering this question. Some of those names include Alex Bregman, Manuel Margot, Alex Reyes, Orlando Arcia, Tyler Glasnow, Aaron Judge, and many more.

 

It is difficult to predict when a prospect is going to be called up, but it can be even harder to predict if that prospect is going to be a superstar. Every one of those guys listed above have the potential to be something special, but who will make that superstar impact this year? Could it be Alex Bregman taking over third base for the Houston Astros? How about Alex Reyes toeing the rubber in St. Louis? Both of those individuals will be superstars, but they are not who I have in mind.

 

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The Most Recent Cycle Hit For All Teams (Updated for Freddie Freeman, 6-15-2016)

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KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES

The First Cycle of the Year!

And true to 2016 Atlanta Braves style, the team almost lost the damn game. It took extra innings, but Freddie Freeman made the list. This might be the highlight of Atlanta’s season!

Here is the list, updated for today’s action!

Jameson Taillon’s First MLB Win Took a While, But the Timing Was Perfect For the Pirates

From the moment he got drafted to the moment he officially earned his first big-league victory, this was not how Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon imagined it would all happen. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the wait, though.

Expectations were high within seconds of him learning he was taken with the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft — right after Bryce Harper and right before Manny Machado. Those expectations continued growing after just 23 career minor league starts when analysts began mentioning him as one of baseball’s top 20 prospects. He continued proving those analysts right as he rose all the way up to Triple-A as a 21-year-old in 2013.

And then suddenly, everything had to be put on hold. In the blink of an eye, Taillon went from being a stud top prospect on the verge of his big-league debut to being sidelined with injuries for two full seasons.

Then, it happened – the call Taillon was anticipating on getting sometime during 2014 finally came on June 8 in front of the home crowd at PNC Park against the New York Mets. It wasn’t a Stephen Strasburg-like debut, but it wasn’t too shabby. The right-hander delivered a quality start by allowing three runs on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts in six innings of work.

Little did he know how soon and how important his second MLB start would be.

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The Time Has Finally Come… Jameson Taillon To Be Called Up To The Big Leagues

You read that correctly folks, Pirates’ right-handed pitching prospect, Jameson Taillon, is finally getting called up! As many of you well know, I am a huge fan of this pitcher. He has the potential to be a frontline starter in the Pirates rotation in the future and he could be there faster than you think.

 

Taillon has had a very difficult road to the major leagues. He was drafted in the first round (second overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010. From 2011 to 2013, he shot up the organization and was on the fast track to a promotion to the big league team. Unfortunately, he was sidelined in 2014 after receiving Tommy John Surgery.

 

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Yu Darvish Is Returning On Saturday… All Fantasy Owners Can Rejoice

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Trey Rose (Featured BBBA Fantasy Baseball Writer/Owner – dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) 

Fantasy owners, the time has come, Yu Darvish will be making his season debut on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Darvish is returning after 22 months of rehab following Tommy John Surgery.

He has made five rehab starts in the minor leagues and he has been very sharp. In those five starts, he has thrown 20 innings, with a 0.90 ERA, and 21 strikeouts. He has also hit 97 MPH with his fastball, which is a great sign of positive health. It looks like Darvish is back and ready to dominate for the Texas Rangers.

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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 7 – May

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Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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MAY 15, 2016

Well not much has changed from this week as compared to last week.  Detroit carried its free fall to 4th in the AL Central, the Yankees took 5 of 7 contests – and 7/10 in their homestand to save their season for now.

Miami and Philadelphia continue to stick around in the NL East, and the Giants and Dodgers finally had winning weeks to make the NL West Division Leader respectable.

Nobody looks scarier right now than the Boston Red Sox offense, who led by David Ortiz, Jackie Bradley JR. and Xander Bogaerts, plated 10 runs or more in 5 of the last 6 games, after going their 1st 32 games without doing so.

I am still awaiting for a Jays big winning streak.  Houston has not played winning baseball since the 1st 6 weeks of the 2015 – and are tending to resemble the 2007 Tampa Bay Rays more than anything.

All offense and little pitching and defense.

There is nobody struggling worse than Logan Morrison, Russell Martin, Carlos Gomez and the consortium of LF’s in Anaheim! Recently bouncing out of this list are Jason Heyward and Chase Headley.

We are nearing the quarter pole and rapidly approaching Memorial Day Weekend, so it is not early anymore.
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Red Sox + Padres Have Completed 2016 MLB Runs Scoring Survivor, 23 Teams Left

Waited 32 games to score 10 or more runs, then did the feat 2 times in 3 nights thanks to the heroics of Jackie Bradley JR. and a crazy good lineup.

Waited 32 games to score 10 or more runs, then did the feat 2 times in 3 nights thanks to the heroics of Jackie Bradley JR. and a crazy good lineup.

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Majority Owner/Lead  Analyst)

We are starting to get down to the nitty gritty of this contest.  7 of the 23 clubs have now completed their 11 different run variations, now that the Red Sox and Padres have accomplished the feat over the last few days.

Boston finishes 6th, and unless the Indians knockout run scores of 8 and 9 runs in any order over the next 2 contests.

San Diego looked to end as one of the last to finish this category early in the year being shutout 3 straight games to start the campaign, and also 5 of their 1st 11 matches.  They have been better as an offense of late.

The Padres swept a twinbill versus the mighty Cubs on Wednesday, and are just 2.5 Games Behind the Giants and Dodgers for the NL West lead at 15 – 20.  Good rally for these guys to finish in the top 10.

The Red Sox waited until game 32 to score more than 10 runs, and then they did the maneuver 2 nights later versus the A’s yet again, with another 2 HR, 6 RBI game from Jackie Bradley JR.

Most of the teams now have 9 or 10 variations covered, with the trailing squad in the whole MLB being the Philadelphia Phillies with just different 7 totals.

The Phightins’ are at least one of 4 rosters still alive in the MLB Shutout Survivor (A’s. Rockies and Pirates). Read the rest of this entry

Do The Pittsburgh Pirates Miss Pitching Guru Jim Benedict More Than Expected?

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Jason Rollison (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – piratesbreakdown.com) 

This past off-season the Miami Marlins hired away former Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitching guru, Jim Benedict and named him their Vice President of Pitching Development, which is a new position specifically created for the for the former minor league pitcher turned advance scout.

Despite being credited hand-in-hand with Ray Searage for their numerous reclamation projects, Benedict’s specific contributions were at times difficult to fully quantify.

With Benedict gone, the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates have seen their pitching devolve from an area of strength to a current weakness. Is this simply due to the loss of Benedict? Or are there other factors at play? Can we draw any conclusions from Benedict’s new team’s performance?

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