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MLB Power Rankings: Early Win Predictions In 2017

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Last Updated: Jan 23, 2017

Over the last week we have seen some factors that have changed some win totals and rankings.  Unfortunately the saddening loss of Yordano Ventura will cause the Royals to lose a win or 2.

We saw Jose Bautista re-sign with the Jays, Mark Trumbo re-sign with the O’s and the Phillies sign Michael Saunders.  These are significant signings for the 1st 2 – and Saunders becomes one of Phlladelphia’s best clubs.

The Marlins also traded for Dan Straily.

For the MLB Rankings, we are also factoring in the World Series chances of each club.

It is important to also recognize the 300 games of the MLB Interleague.  The American League holds a 13 year winning streak, and adds to their victories in the year.

So far in 2017, we have the Junior Circuit registering a record of 167 – 133 vs the Senior Circuit.  Before you throw stones at me – it was exactly this record that the AL hung vs the NL in 2015.

Going back to Kansas City….I really hope I am wrong about their pending 2017 record.  Hopefully they also go and sign a Jason Gammel or Doug Fister to help the rotation.

Lets also hope that we don’t have any more deaths have to be figure out where we have teams wins at.  It is awful.  I hate using the Miami Marlins win total as a struggle to grip with the loss of Jose Fernandez. Read the rest of this entry

Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

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Look, there is no way to sugar coat it, the Jason Heyward contract is about the biggest dumpster fire of a contract there may ever be.  Having said that, everyone receives one mulligan. 

Even 3 time World Series winning GM Brian Sabean has had a horrible Matt Cain contract to contend with the last half decade.

Theo Epstein hasn’t made too many blunders – and winning a World Series with both the Red Sox and now the Cubs has solidified a position for him in Cooperstown.

Also lucky is the brilliant signing of Anthony Rizzo of a 7 YR deal prior to 2013, and when he asserted himself as a perennial MVP contender.

Despite carrying a projected payroll in 2017 of around $171 MIL – the team has plenty of expiring contracts in the name of Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Jon Lackey, Jon Jay, Pedro Strop, Miguel Montero and Koji Uehara. to replenisg te talent again in 2018 – and going forward

There are only 4 players signed for $79.2 MIL so far.

This is a perfect contrast to the Heyward pact.  Should Rizzo's Team Options be picked up for 2020 and 2021 (for $16.5 MIL each year), then the club will still only have paid him $74 MIL from 2013 - 2021, spanning 9 years at an Annual Value of $8.2 MIL.  That is completely lights out for the organization going forward.

The Rizzo longterm deal a perfect contrast to the Heyward pact. Should Rizzo’s Team Options be picked up for 2020 and 2021 (for $16.5 MIL each year), then the club will still only have paid him $74 MIL from 2013 – 2021, spanning 9 years at an Annual Value of $8.2 MIL. That is completely lights out for the organization going forward.

The one factor of brilliantly drafting and then rostering a club full of guys the same age is that they are all on entry level contracts for a few years before the squad becomes increasingly expensive before Arbitration rights kick in.

2018 will see Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell all hit 1st year Eligible on Arbitration, and then 2019 has Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras and Carl Edwards JR. hit the 1st year. 

it will be at this point the team shoots up the salary page.

Other than Jon Lester, Heyward and Ben Zobrist,  there are no real big salaries on the table for the team to digest.

The biggest dilemma will be the status of Jake Arrieta.  My guess is that he will want too much money and walk away from the Cubs.

More important than that even is simply signing Free Agents (not named Arrieta) by Epstein.

Epstein is creative.  It is okay to figure out a Starting Pitcher in Free Agency, and also add another Closer if need be.  Who knows, by 2018, Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards JR. may be able to lock down that role.

There is still money to spend in the 2017 and 2018 winter markets for sure.

Also playing in the NL Central provides them with security of being able to outspend all the other teams – with the Cardinals only being in the atmosphere.

It is not like they are fighting in the tough NL West with the Giants and high spending Dodgers.  It will still mean facing off against those clubs. and contending with the aging Nationals roster, and New York Mets young staff for a few seasons.

Wrigley Field will be sold out, the revenue streams will break out to record levels, all freely flowing cash into the Ricketts family pockets.

The good news is they are not in cap hell yet  The bad news is that it would only take one more bad deal/paired with Heyward, in order to prevent the club from signing all of their young superstars to extensions.

Epstein is too smart for that.  Look for high value Annual Average Value’s that have expiring contracts before the 2018 and 2019 seasons.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade for an existing ace pitcher.

Think Zack Greinke now, or a guy like Justin Verlander in 2018 or 2019, where the other club may eat some of the salary, ask for a high level prospect, and then have a legitimate Starter to lug some innings in the playoffs.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the brass orchestrates a trade for a guy like Chris Archer – or Sonny Gray (midway through this year if he has healed himself).

Maybe it would cost you a Javier Baez, or a combinations of Carl Edwards JR./Albert Almora JR. to do it, however with Ben Zobrist still in town, defense alignment can be configured in a lot of different ways for at least the next 2 – 3 years.

Like I stated in the Giants Payroll article, the new CBA has also reeled in the Dodgers spending $300 MIL on team payroll.  The best thing that could happen for the Cubs is if Clayton Kershaw were to opt out of his deal beyond 2017.

That would either bring up the price for the Dodgers to sign him, or even give them the chance to sign the guy themselves.  Yes. the Cubs have more flexibility than the Dodgers for at least a couple of offseasons.

Guaranteed Contracts/POS/AGE:

Jason Heyward – OF (28):  With a grand sum of $184 MIL from 2016 – 2023 ( 8 years) this is a brutal deal – and the club is lucky to have already won a World Series in season 1 of this pact.

Heyward will make an astonishing $28.2 MIL for both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.  Epstein at least frontloaded the contract to erase some of the burden by the time the young talent comes up for raises.

This deal is the 13th richest in history for a guy who carried a .631 OPS. in 2016  I tend to think that Heyward will be closer to his Career OPS of .761 the next few years with the pressure somewhat off him now. 

Hit him 7th or 8th and let him work out his kinks. Defense is at least not a problem here with him winning a 4th Gold Glove.

This could end bad in 2017 – with Heyward riding pine for some of the year – if the club opts to use Zobrist, Schwarber and the tandem of Jon Jay and Almora JR. as the OF.

You also have to think that Joe Maddon won’t hesitate to find Willson Contreras reps as well.

Jon Lester – SP (33):  Lester is in the 3rd year of a 7 YR/$165 MIL deal, and is set to reel in $25 MIL in 2017. The deal calls for $27.5 MIL in both 2018 and 2019, before scaling back to $20 MIL in 2020. 

There is a 2021 Club Option as well. Details on that: $25M Team Option, $10M Buyout option guaranteed with 200 innings in 2020 or 400 IP in 2019-20. 

With the Buyout that large, the man would have to fall from grace hard, to not get the Option.  Although he would be nearly 40, $15 MIL extra will probably not be that bad.

Lester is worth every dollar the club has spent so far.  It is hard to find playoff proven commodities on the open market.

Ben Zobrist – UT (36):  Zobrist is the only player in the MLB who was won 2 straight World Series, as also being a member of the 2015 WS Champ KC Royals.

With the availability to play 5 defensive positions, Zobrist was the perfect compliment to the Cubs defensive roster in 2016 – although he played predominantly at 2B. 

With the emergence of Baez in the playoffs, he will likely rove more around in 2017.

Zobrist earns $16.5 MIL in both 2017 and 2018 – before retreating back to $12.5 MIL in 2019.  He will be in his Age 39 season at that point, and it may not look so hot at that point, but one can’t argue at his flexibility on the Roster providing so many options in the title run.

You can even say that his positional switching gives the club a better chance to hold onto Kyle Schwarber (instead of trading him in the American League).

John Lackey – SP (38):  Lackey joined Lester, David Ross. and Epstein as guys who have won World Series in 2013 with Boston and the Cubs in 2016.  He will make $16 MIL in 2017 before hitting Free Agency in 2018.

Lackey lugged 188.1 IP and gave the Cubs a 3.35 ERA in the process.  It doesn’t even matter that he was being pulled in the early innings of the postseason.

Jake Arrieta – SP (31):  Arrieta earns a tidy $15.6 MIL this year and will likely head out into Free Agency as a Scott Boras client.  Unfortunately the man is going to be 32 heading into 2018.

I would not offer him higher than a 4 year deal at $20 – $21 MIL after, yet that will not get the job done when he hits the open market.  Someone will pony up 5 YRs/$125 MIL for him, you watch.

Miguel Montero – C (34);  Montero will make $14 MIL in 2017 – and I am not sure he will Catch more than about 60 games.  Contreras at last is on an entry level contract to offset this salary.  I am surprised the team has not ventured out to trade him.

Wade Davis – CL (32):  It cost the club Jorge Soler and 4 years of Team Control, yet this was the way to go.  $10 MIL for one year of Davis (who Closed for the 2015 wS Champion Royals) is smart business practice.

To acquire an elite Reliever such as this is a great move – when you consider the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants spent $86 MIL, $80 MIL and $62 MIL to sign Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon respectively.

Soler was going to be their 7th option as an OF.  Davis, by the way, has a 0.83 ERA in 32.2 IP for his postseason career – and has carried a mid 1 ERA from 2014 – 2016 as a late inning Reliever – spanning 183 IP.

I would also think the club will extend the Qualifying Offer to him this winter ( $17.5 – $19 MIL range for one year), so they may even recover a 2nd or 3rd Draft Pick back all for just $10 MIL.

Jon Jay – OF (32): Has a 2017 contract or $8 MIL to play OF.  He has a career .352 OBP, so could hit 1st or 9th for Maddon, working as an on base guy for the big boppers.  Brilliant little move.

Anthony Rizzo – 1B (28):  Rizzo will take him $7 MIL for 2017, coming after the heels of an ALL-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and top 4 MVP season in which he clubbed 30+ HRs and added 100 RBI for a 2nd straight season.

Rizzo also makes $7 MIL in 2018, $12 MIL in 2019, and two Team Options in a row call for $16.5 MIL and $2 MIL Buyouts for both 2020 and 2021.

It is contracts like this that setup championship caliber clubs for the organization.

Other valued deals that compare to it last decade or so.  Paul Goldschmidt (5 YRs/$32.5 MIL), Madison Bumgarner (6 YRS/$35.6 MIL) and Andrew McCutchen ( 6 YRs/$51 MIL)  that coincided with 4 straight top 5 NL MVP finishes.

Rizzo should challenge for an MVP every year of that remains on this deal.

Koji Uehara – RP (42):  $6 MIL for one year seems like a lot or a guy of his age, but Uehara has plenty of playoff/Closer experience that is invaluable to a club like this.  I would take it easy on him in the regular season and save the bullets for playoffs.

Hector Rondon – RP (29):  $5.8 MIL for this former Closer is not a bad deal in 2017. Rondon has one more year left of Arbitration before hitting Free Agency in 2019.  He has 77 Saves and a career ERA of 2.97.

Brian Duensing – SP/RP (33):  Makes $2 MIL in 2017 and a Free Agent in 2018. A spot start here and extra Bullpen arm,

Justin Grimm – RP (29): Avoided Arbitration with a $1.8 MIL, has 2 more years left of Arbitration before he is a Free Agent.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $157.5 MIL (13 Players)

Arbitration Eligible/POS/AGE

3rd  year

Pedro Strop – RP (33):  Is projected to to earn $5.5 MIL in Arbitration, and is a Free Agent in 2018.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $5.5 MI:  Total money is now $163 MIL

Pre-Arbitration – Entry Level Contracts:

Tommy La Stella – INF (28):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Kyle Hendricks – SP (27): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Kris Bryant – 3B Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2021 as a “Super 2” and a Free Agent in 2021.  Bryant is only 25 Years old, and will have 4 years of Arbitration kick in starting next season.

Since the club opted to start his 2015 after the 10 days of service time, they wll retian his rights until the end of 2021.  Bryant is on pace to end up recording Arbitration cash if he keeps his career trajectory.

The club should really look to extend him similar to the Mike Trout 6 YRs.$144 MIL deal he got.

Addison Russell – SS (23):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2021 as a “Super 2” and a Free Agent in 2022.

Comparisons to an extension similar to what he may get are:  Jason Kipnis and Matt Carpenter (6 YRs and $52 MIL)

Matt Szczur – UT (28): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Javier Baez – 2B/3B (24):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Mike Montgomery – SP/RP (29): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Kyle Schwarber – OF (24): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Willson Contreras – C (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Albert Almora JR – OF (23):   Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Rob Zastryzny – RP (25) Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $6.0 MIL MIL Toral Money Oveall – $169.0 MIL

Buyouts/Dead Money

Jason Hammel – $2 Million Buyout for 2017 that was agreed to in a gentleman’s deal. There is no dead money on he books past 2017 thus far.

Conclusions:

Despite the Heyward mistake of a deal, Epstein has done everything right.  It will be a constant maneuvering of the incoming talent – to surround the plethora of young superstars the club has.

The Cubs have the availability to sign an elite pitcher in Free Agency in the year or 2, or trade for one.  Beyond that, the team can’t make another top 50 ALL – Time Salary roster mistake.

The brass should also investigate early extensions for Bryant, Ruseell and Contreras immediately while they may afford to wait for Hendricks and Schwarber yet. 

Some sort of guaranteed money to the budget would be wise

As for Arrieta, he is just too old – an unorthodox in order to grant him the cash he will seek.  Epstein has to find creative ways to bring in a #1 or $2 beyond this campaign. 

Chicago is fantastic shape financially to spend as much as it takes to ensure a dynasty in the next half-dozen years. 

If I were in charge I would try to limit any big historic contracts to their own young superstars from this point forwards. 

Also don’t be afraid to trade one of the premiere young offensive players for a quality Starter (#1 or #2 Starter)like Baez, Contreras or Almora.

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*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015.  It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

To Subscribe and listen daily to  ‘Our Lead Personality’  Sully’s 20 Minutes Daily (every day since Oct.24, 2012) Podcast click here.  Guaranteed listening to the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast will be the best time you invest in online!

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 15, 2017

giant-splash-san-francisco-ap9202270238It is time for The SUNDAY REQUEST.

It is hard to make the argument that the region is giving great support to two teams when one of them is always threatening to move because of lack of support!

Besides, supporting two franchises is hard for any city not named New York.

Recorded as I finished giving a friend a movie location tour for this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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

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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

Korean Infielder Jae-Gyun Hwang Linked to Giants

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The latest news involving your San Francisco Giants is that they’re linked to Korean infielder Jae-Gyun Hwang. It’s being reported that the Giants are showing continued interest. I’m not sure what the need is for him with Eduardo Nunez at 3rd, Brandon Crawford at short and Joe Panik at 2nd.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

SF Giants: New 3rd Base Coach Phil Nevin Picks Tim Flannery’s Brain About The Hot Corner

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I have some good news for San Francisco Giants fans… We all know that the Giants have parted ways with 3rd base coach Roberto Kelly. Kelly was often criticized by Giants fans for holding up way too many runners at 3rd base, and that’s because we were spoiled with Tim Flannery at the hot corner for 7-years. I do feel like Kelly wasn’t ever going to cut it, especially taking over after Flannery. No one would ever live up to the Flan-man after him sending us home safely to 3-World Series Championships!

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 26, 2016

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Gerardo Mora/Getty Images North America

As the holidays pile up, I wish I could go to a ballgame. I will do the next best thing.

For my birthday, I went to a ballgame at AT&T Park with podcast superfan Marcel, aka @CU8SFAN (Cubs Fan with an 8.)

That podcast can be heard HERE.

Well, there was part of the recording I did NOT use and make it a new episode for you all. @cu8sfan and I talked about Cap Bingo and other things.

So take yourself out to the ballgame this December on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Follow Cubs Fan With an 8 on Twitter by clicking HERE.

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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

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 21, 2016

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Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

Jimmy Rollins will continue his wonderful career as a member of the 2017 San Francisco Giants. Has he had a Hall of Fame career? Would have been a Hall of Famer had be played earlier in time?

The narrative meets the numbers on this episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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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

Latest on RHP Sergio Romo

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I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the San Francisco Giants aren’t likely to bring back any of their free agent bullpen arms. There still hasn’t been many teams linked to any Giants free agents.

Giants sources have said that reliever Sergio Romo has a few offers on the table from other clubs. The Brawley native is confident that he’ll find a good fit.

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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

Giants Trade Chris Heston to the Mariners

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After the San Francisco Giants signed one of the elite premier closers in the game Mark Melancon, they had to figure out who would be the odd man out on the 40-man roster. The Giants decided that they would be willing to part ways with pitcher Chris Heston. Let’s not forget that Heston tossed a no-hitter for the Giants a little over a year ago. Which is probably why they were able to trade him last night to the Seattle Mariners for a “Player to be Named Later”.

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Giants On The Verge Of Signing Closer Mark Melancon

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With the Winter Meetings underway… This is the time where you’ll start to see a lot of names fall off the free agent board. Right now the San Francisco Giants are on the verge of taking off one of the three top closers on the board.

It’s been reported that the Giants have agreed to terms with closer Mark Melancon.

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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 – November 26, 2016

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Leon Halip/Getty Images North America

The Giants want Pablo Sandoval back? Holy cow, whatever they want, the Red Sox should make the deal NOW!

Meanwhile the Diamondbacks continue to be very very strange.

Dump the baggage on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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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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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 24, 2016

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Four Years… A New Podcast every single day. I reflect on what has changed since I started doing the show and what else needs to be done.

It is an entire Presidential Term worth of episodes on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October, click MLB Reports.

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 12, 2016

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Scott Strazzante, San Francisco Chronicle

The Giants season is over and it was a crushing surreal game. Meanwhile super fan Cubs Fan with an 8 (@CU8SFAN ) asked an interesting question.

This could be wrapping up.

It is an Even Year episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

Adrian Gonzalez, Aroldis Chapman, Clayton Kershaw, Ben Zobrist, Matt Moore, Conor Gillaspie and Daniel Murphy all added to their Who Owns October totals.

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October, Click MLB Reports

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 11, 2016

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AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

I watched the classic Game 3 of the 2016 Division Series, not knowing who the hero would be nor who would get to claim the game for themselves. It was a thriller that showed why baseball is the best game of them all.

It is a predict the narrative episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

Joe Panik, Coco Crisp, Jayson Werth, Derek Law and Jake Arrieta all added to their Who Owns October totals.

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October, Click MLB Reports

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owns October In MLB Playoffs 2016? (#WOO) Tallies Updated For October 8, 2016

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Getty Images

Only one game played today and holy cow was there a series of unlikely heroes tonight.

Time to see who owned October.

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO’S to a worthy player on the losing team.

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 8th.
NL Division Series Game 2:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

Dexter Fowler doubled, scored and provided some sparkling defense to help the Cubs top the Giants, 5-2.

Travis Wood earned the 5-2 Cubs victory by recording 5 outs, striking out 2  Giants and hitting the first post season homer by a relief pitcher since 1924.

 

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Gregor Blanco came off the bench to smack an RBI double. He would come around to score and provide virtually all of San Francisco’s offense in their 5-2 loss to the Cubs.

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Javier Baez – Cubs 1, Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 1, Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1, Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1,Jason Kipnis – Indians 1, Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Justin Turner – Dodgers 1,, Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2,  Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1, Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 1, Jon Lester – Cubs 1, Andrew Miller – Indians 1,  Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 1, Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1,  Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

Who Owns October In MLB Playoffs 2016? (#WOO) Tallies Updated For October 5, 2016

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Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports

 

The leaves turn, the weather gets colder and Madison Bumgarner is unhittable. It must be October for an even year.

Not too hard to see who owned October tonight!

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO’S to a worthy player on the losing team.

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 5th. NL Wild Card Game:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

Madison Bumgarner was his typical dominant self, throwing a complete game 4 hit shutout striking out 6 Mets and pushing the Giants to the Division Series in a 3-0 thriller.

Conor Gillaspie got 2 hits including a dramatic 3 run homer in the 9th that was the difference in the Giants 3-0 Wild Card win over the Mets.

 

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Noah Syndergaard kept the Giants hitless into the 6th, finishing with 7 shutout innings with 2 hits and 10 strikeouts. He would not get the decision as the Mets were blanked 3-0.

Curtis Granderson did not get a hit but made a dramatic catch to end a Giants rally in the 6th inning. In the end the Mets season ended with a 3-0 Wild Card game loss.

 

 

 

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1,  Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 28, 2016

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It may not be Sunday, but I decided to answer a Tweet anyway.

 

If a team clinches a division early they don’t owe another team a damn thing. Play hangover lineups as much as you want.

It is a “Look out for number one” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Moore, Hunter Renfroe, Joey Votto and Eduardo Escobar all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 22, 2016

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SNY

Will the Ender Inciarte catch be one of the moments that haunts the Mets? Will it be totally forgotten in 2 weeks?

All narratives, good and bad, are written in retrospect.

It is a hindsight episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

 

Gary Sanchez, Paul Goldschmidt, Felix Hernandez Chad Kuhl Brad Miller, Jose Peraza, Aaron Sanchez and Bartolo Colon all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 21, 2016

11 games to go and 3 teams have identical records in the Wild Card Game. Who will win it?

It is an 11 game sample size for a trip to October.

It is anyone’s guess on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Jose Fernandez, Matt Boyd, Odubel Herrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Tanner Roard, Edinson Volquez, Yunel Escobar and Asdrubel Cabrera all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 14, 2016

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I had an exchange on Twitter with a listener that did not go well.

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Instead of fighting, I stood in his shoes and realized the two teams I am rooting for, the Red Sox and the Giants, are the two contenders with the least amount of urgency in baseball.

So @AllenSpeir … please accept my olive branch. I seek peace, not fighting.

It is an attempt to mend fences episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

 

Taijuan Walker, Jorge Polanco, Noah Syndergaard, T. J. Rivera, Danny Duffy, Gorkys Hernandez and Jose Altuve all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

Read the rest of this entry

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