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Atlantis Casino Wagers For 2017 MLB Win Totals

over-under

The old adage here is ‘you want to know the truth, follow the money.

We have been talking projections for win totals in the upcoming MLB Year on a all offseason basis here at the MLB Reports. While we agreed a lot with the fangraphs.com prognostications, we had a problem with Baseball Prospectis’s PECOTA System yet again.

In the 1st total listed below are the official Win/Loss Over/Unders For All 30 MLB Clubs posted by Atlantis Casino.

We have to say that they pretty much mirrored what we have on the board for our projections.

Casino’s have a vested interest since it will cost them serious money if there are poor predictions.

In the last week, we have seen the Royals ink Travis Wood, but more importantly Alex Reyes was lost for the season by the Cardinals due to his upcoming Tommy John Surgery. Read the rest of this entry

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5 MLB Teams That Could Be Real Contenders – Or Real Pretenders In 2017

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Each year we are enlightened to a few surprises in the MLB we were not expecting.  This year there are 5 teams that seem could flip either way based on the talent coming to fruition.

We tried to pick a club for each Division here, but simply couldn’t come out with a AL Central team.

Tampa Bay Rays:

With Alex Cobb potentially coming back healthy to the rotation that features Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi already. the Rays will have decent chuckers to start this campaign.

Add Blake Snell, Matt Andriese and recently acquired Jose DeLeon (who should contribute quality innings this campaign and all of a sudden this club doesn’t look too shabby for depth.

The Relief Core is also solid if Brad Boxberger can reclaim his form, and see a similar year for Alex Colome.

Evan Longoria,  and Brad Miller both put forth 30 HR seasons in 2016, and Matt Duffy may prove to be a decent Batting Average guy at Shortstop now.

The Rays Outfield will feature Kevin keirmaier, Mallex Smith, Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza, while one of those guys may also see some time at Designated Hitter. 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

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) 

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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

Who Owned Baseball September 3, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Mark J. Terrill – AP Photo

Rich Hill took a no hitter into the 6th and finished with 6 innings of 1 hit shutout ball as the Dodgers topped San Diego.

Adonis Garcia reached base 3 times, including 2 homers and 3 runs scored as the Braves topped Philadelphia in 10 innings 7-4.

Rick Porcello was perfect into the 6th and threw 7 strong innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs for his 19th victory for the Red Sox, 11-2 over Oakland.

Mike Trout missed the cycle by a double, helping the Angels bombard the Mariners, 10-3.

They all owned baseball on September 3, 2016.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 8/4/16

P- Matt Moore (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): $8,400. Thursday is an absolutely brutal day for potential starting pitcher choices in daily fantasy. I decided to go with Matt Moore as he makes his debut for the San Francisco Giants. Over his last three starts with the Rays, he has a 2-1 record, 2.14 ERA, and 12 strikeouts. Over the last seven games, the Phillies have a .694 OPS, which is ranked 20th in baseball. They also rank 28th in OPS against left-handed pitchers this season, which is a great sign for Moore. If Moore can limit his walks, he could go very deep into this game.

 

P- Nathan Eovaldi (vs. New York Mets): $7,300. Eovaldi had a terrible June, but he has been very sharp recently. Over his last six appearances, he has only allowed six runs. The New York Mets’ offense has been very lackluster this year, so hopefully Eovaldi shows more success. I would typically go with a more “for sure” option, but the pitching slate is very slim on Thursday.

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings – 7/27/16

PJon Gray (vs. Baltimore Orioles): $10,500. The Orioles have been horrendous over the last seven games. They are ranked last in OPS with a .599. Meanwhile, Jon Gray has been absolutely filthy over his last few starts. In his last three starts, Gray has struck out at least eight batters and he has only given up three runs in 20.1 innings pitched. Over his last 11 starts, he owns a 2.93 ERA.

P – Matt Moore (vs. Los Angeles Dodgers): $7,500. Over his last nine starts, Moore has thrown at least six innings. He is facing a Dodgers’ lineup who has struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. In 831 at bats against lefties, the Dodgers are batting .218, with a .295 OBP, and a .350 slugging percentage.

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Who Owned Baseball July 17, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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TED S. WARREN/AP

Jose Altuve went 4 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBI as Houston pounded Seattle, 8-1.

Starling Marte reached base 4 times, drove in all of the Pirates runs, including a dramatic 18th inning homer to give them the win in Washington, 2-1.

Cole Hamels threw 8 strong innings, allowing just an unearned run, walking none and giving up 4 hits to earn Texas’ 4-1 victory over the Cubs.

Jacob deGrom threw a 1 hit complete game shutout masterpiece, walking 1 and striking out 7 Phillies for the 5-0 Mets final.

They All Owned Baseball on July 17, 2016.

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In Memoriam Video For all baseball family who have passed since 2015 ASG.

Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 7/2/16

P – Jose Fernandez (vs. Atlanta Braves): $13,800. Jose is expensive on Saturday, but he is worth it. He is facing one of the worst offenses in baseball and he has been red hot recently. Fernandez is coming off an absolute gem against the Chicago Cubs, in which he threw seven innings, striking out 13, and allowing only one run. He is now averaging 13.12 strikeouts per nine innings this season.

P – Adam Wainwright (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $7,500. This is a bit of a risky pick, but it was necessary to choose a cheaper option since Jose Fernandez was so expensive. Wainwright has struggled this season, but he is facing an offense he has dominated throughout his career and they are ice cold over the last seven days. In 137 career at bats against Wainwright, the Brewers’ offense is batting .234, with two home runs, and a .274 OBP.

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Who Owned Baseball June 27, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES

Kris Bryant went 5 for 5 with 3 homers, driving in 6 and scoring 4 to lead the Cubs in a wild 11-8 slugfest in Cincinnati.

Jon Gray struck out 8 Blue Jays over 7 innings, walking none and worked around a pair of homers to get the 9-5 victory for Colorado.

Nick Franklin singled, doubled and homered, driving in 5 runs as the Rays snapped their losing streak, 13-7 over Boston.

Danny Duffy pitched 8 innings, allowing 2 runs, walking none and struck out 8 Cardinals batters to earn the 6-2 decision for the Royals.

They all owned baseball on June 27, 2016.

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Who Owned Baseball June 26, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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RICH SCHULTZ/GETTY IMAGES

Tyler Duffey did not allow a hit until the 6th and finished with 8 innings, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 1 run as the Twins clobbered the Yankees, 7-1.

Jose Fernandez struck out 13 Cubs and allowed just 4 hits and 1 run to earn the 6-1 decision for the red hot Marlins.

Lonnie Chisenhall collected 9 total bases with his 4 hits, including a homer and 3 RBI as the Indians continued to roll, 9-3, in Detroit.

Freddie Freeman reached base 4 times, including a homer and a pair of runs scored in the Braves 5-2 victory over the Mets.

They all owned baseball on June 26, 2016.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 6/11/16

P- Chris Archer (vs. Houston Astros): $10,400. I’m taking a pretty big risk here, but Archer’s strikeout ability and the Astros free swinging bats could be a great combination for this matchup. In Archer’s last start, he struck out 12 batters in six innings pitched, so hopefully he can transfer this success to Saturday. In 64 career at bats against Archer, the Astros’ lineup is batting .172, with only two XBH, 22 strikeouts, and a .229 OBP. The Houston Astros are currently ranked last overall in strikeouts, with 605 strikeouts, which is 40 more than the second place team.

 

P- Eduardo Rodriguez (vs. Minnesota Twins): $7,100. E-Rod has only had two starts since returning from an injury, but they have been against some very difficult offenses, the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. He will face a much easier offense on Saturday, the Minnesota Twins. In his one career start against the Twins, the Twins recorded 24 at bats, with only one run, seven strikeouts, and a .125 BA. The Twins offense is currently ranked 26th overall in runs, 19th overall in batting average, and 22nd in on base percentage.

 

To see the rest of the picks, click the link below:

 

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Who Owned Baseball June 3, 2016 (Daily #MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Chris Carlson – AP

Corey Seager launched a trio of solo homers that led the Dodgers past Atlanta, 4-2.

Evan Gattis went 4 for 5 with a homer and 4 RBI to help Houston clobber Oakland, 12-2.

Drew Pomeranz threw 7 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and struck out 8 Rockies batters to earn the 4-0 decision for San Diego.

Danny Salazar held the Royals to 1 run over 8 innings, striking out 9 and giving the Indians an important 6-1 divisional victory.

They all owned baseball on June 3, 2016.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings – 6/3/16

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

If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me. I post daily DFS lineups for Draft Kings everyday, so please make sure to follow my blog.

P – Jesse Hahn (vs. Houston Astros): $7,200. In 43 career at bats against Hahn, the Astros’ offense is batting .163 against Hahn, with one home run, three RBIs, 11 strikeouts, and a .217 OBP.

The Astros have the worst strikeout rate in baseball, so Hahn could put up quite a few K’s, which is a great source of points on DraftKings.

P – Gio Gonzalez (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $8,800. In 63 at bats against Gio, the Reds’ offense is batting .190, with two home runs, eight RBIs, 17 strikeouts, and a .264 OBP.

Gio Gonzalez has been very consistent in 2016, so he should be able to handle a struggling Reds’ offense. So far in 2016, Gio is 3-3, with a 3.57 ERA, 53 strikeouts, and 17 walks in 58 innings pitched.

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

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Trey Rose: Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Draft Kings 5/2/16

Johnny Cueto

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

P- Jon Gray (vs. San Diego Padres): $7,900. This is a pretty risky play on Monday, but many factors point towards Gray having a big game.

Gray struggled in his first two starts this season, but they have been against two very tough teams, the Pirates and Dodgers, and they were played at Coors Field.

Coors Field has not been kind to Gray in his 7 career starts at home. In those starts, he has thrown 29.1 innings, with a 9.20 ERA, 52 hits against, 9 walks, and 29 strikeouts.

In 4 career starts on the road, he has thrown 20 innings, with a 2.70 ERA, 16 hits, 8 walks, and 25 strikeouts. Luckily, Gray will be on the road on Monday.

Not only will he be on the road, but he is pitching at a pitcher’s park in San Diego against a mediocre offense. In his only career start versus the Padres, he threw 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts.

Gray’s impressive career strikeout rate (9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings), success on the road, and favorable matchup all point to a great performance on Monday.

P – Johnny Cueto (vs. Cincinnati Reds): $10,800. This start is going to be an emotional one for Cueto. He will be returning to Cincinnati for the first time since he was traded.

He played 8 years in Cincinnati, so the fans will be behind him and I’m sure he wants to put on a show.

Not only will his emotions play a factor, but he is facing one of the worst offenses in Major League Baseball.

The Reds are ranked as the 28th overall offense, which is clearly a huge advantage for Cueto. In Cueto’s first 5 starts in 2016, he is 4-1, with a 2.65 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and only 5 walks.

In his 98 career starts at Cincinnati’s home stadium, he has a 48-22 record, and a 2.91 ERA.

All signs point to a huge day for Cueto on Monday. He is averaging 25 points per game on Draft Kings this season.

To see the rest of the picks, click the link below:

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The Numbers Behind John Jaso’s Early Success

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

To say nothing of his more-than-capable defense at first base, John Jaso has been a revelation at the top spot in the batting order for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

John Jaso has put up some solid slash lines over his career, so it should not come as much of a surprise that he currently carries a .414 on-base percentage as part of an .897 OPS.

How has Jaso been able to acclimate himself so quickly and effectively to the top of the Pirates’ lineup?

A Solid Foundation

For Jaso, his propensity for quality plate appearances starts with the first pitch.

His F-Strike percentage (percentage of plate appearances that start with a strike) clocks in at 53.3 percent. That figure represents the third-best on the club, behind Starling Marte (52.5) and Gregory Polanco (51.6). While the importance of first-pitch strikes has been debated in recent years, good things happen for Jaso on a 1-0 count. More on that later.

In looking a bit deeper at what Jaso is actually seeing on the first pitch, the four-seam fastball is seen the most at 46 percent. It likely may not even matter what type of pitch Jaso sees first, as chances are it won’t be anywhere near the strike zone.

His Zone % (percentage of pitches seen in the strike zone) is 47.8 percent, which is not significant on its own until coupled with his O-Swing % (percentage of pitches outside of the zone that a batter swings at).

Jaso’s O-Swing percentage clocks at 16.5 percent, nearly two-thirds better than the league average of 30 percent. Incredibly, he isn’t even the best on this Pirates team in this regard. That honor belongs to David Freese and his 15.7 percent clip. Regardless, Jaso’s rate is fourth-best in the National League for anyone with 50 or more plate appearances.

The foundation that Jaso lays in his plate appearances almost feels as if he dictates to pitchers how the PA will go. He absolutely refuses to chase anything out of the zone, and such an approach can force an opposing pitcher to offer something he may not necessarily want to offer on the next pitch, which usually comes at a 1-0 count.

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Who Owned Baseball April 19, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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CHARLES KRUPA/AP

Drew Smyly allowed 1 hit over 8 innings, striking out 11 Red Sox in the process. He did not get the decision but he set up the Rays 3-0 extra inning win.

Jed Lowrie hit three singles and a double, tied the game with an RBI hit and scored the go ahead run in the 11th for the A’s come from behind 3-2 victory.

Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 Marlins over 8 innings of three hit shutout ball, earning the 7-0 decision for the Nationals.

Neil Walker homered twice to help the Mets crush the Phillies 11-1.

They all owned baseball on April 19, 2016.

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Who Owned Baseball April 18, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Getty Images

David Wright homered twice and sparked the Mets offense as they beat Philadelphia 5-2.

Andrelton Simmons went 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI as the Angels blanked the White Sox 7-0.

John Lackey struck out 11 Cardinals while throwing 7 shutout innings and earning 5-0 decision for the Cubs.

Hector Santiago threw 7 shutout two hit innings, striking out 10 for the 7-0 Angels victory over the White Sox.

They all owned baseball on April 18, 2016.

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Who Owned Baseball April 17, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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STEVE NESIUS/AP

Brandon Guyer went 4 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI to help Tampa Bay beat the White Sox, 3-2.

Aaron Sanchez held Boston to 2 hits and 1 run while striking out 7 in 7 innings and earning the 5-3 decision for Toronto.

Nolan Arenado provided all of the offense with a pair of solo homers as Colorado shut out the Cubs, 2-0.

Tyler Chatwood threw 7 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and 1 walks while striking out 7 Cubs and getting the 2-0 win for the Rockies.

They all owned baseball on April 17, 2016.

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Who Owned Baseball April 15, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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STEVE NESIUS/AP

Chris Sale threw a complete game 2 hit shutout, striking out 9 Rays and walking none to earn the thrilling 1-0 decision for the White Sox.

Joe Ross threw into the 8th, finishing with 7 2/3 innings, 3 hits and no runs as the red hot Nationals ran over the Phillies 9-1.

Jonathan Schoop homered twice and added another hit to drive in 3 and help the Orioles pound the Rangers 11-5.

Enrique Hernandez doubled and homered twice (all off of Bumgarner) and led the Dodgers to a 7-3 victory on Jackie Robinson Day.

They all owned baseball on April 15, 2016.

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Who Owned Baseball April 12, 2016 (Daily MLB AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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Matt Slocum / AP

Charlie Morton pitched shutout ball into the 7th, finishing 6 2/3 innings, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts, getting the 3-0 decision for Philadelphia over San Diego.

Trevor Brown continued his surprising power surge with a pair of homers and 4 RBI to lead the Giants to a 7-2 victory in Colorado.

Derek Holland gave the Rangers 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4 in the 8-0 blowout in Seattle.

Justin Upton went 4 for 5 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored in the Tigers 8-2 win over Pittsburgh.

They all owned baseball on April 12, 2016.

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Who Owned Baseball April 8, 2016 (Daily AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + 2016 #WOB Standings

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LEON HALIP/GETTY IMAGE

Jordan Zimmermann held the Yankees to 2 hits and no runs over seven strong innings and earned the 4-0 decision in Detroit.

Brock Holt collected a pair of hits including a grand slam that sparked Boston’s 8-7 comeback win in Toronto.

Jacob deGrom threw six solid innings, allowing 1 run and no walks as the Mets made quick work of the Phillies, 7-2.

Starling Marte launched a go ahead grand slam and added two more hits as the Pirates came from behind in Cincinnati, 6-5.

They all owned baseball on April 8, 2016.

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Odds To Win The 2016 NL MVP In The MLB: Best And Worst Bets

Yasiel Puig looked like he could be an all world player when he first started his career, however his lackluster attitude over the last few years has people wondering whether or not he will ever make good on his talent.

Yasiel Puig looked like he could be an all world player when he first started his career, however his lackluster attitude over the last few years has people wondering whether or not he will ever make good on his talent.  His OPS has gone from .925 to .863 to .758 in the last 3 years respectively.  At his optimum output in 2013, that would at least put him consideration for votes toward the award.

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part _Owner – Chief Writer) 

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Much like the ‘Senior Circuit’ itself, the contenders for the 2016 NL MVP is very top heavy.  Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt and Giancarlo Stanton are the top 4 favorites to win the Award.

Harper at +200 is not a foregone conclusion, and as just 2/1 odds, the number is not great to wager.  I do think the man will win 5 of the next 10 MVP Awards, so I am not placing that mark in the bad value either.

Giancarlo Stanton would have a great chance to win the honor if he could stay healthy – with the Marlins being over .500 for the first time since 2008.  It is possible the big slugger could bash out 10 more Home Runs to the next day.

Andrew McCutchen is a perennial contender who should also be in the mix this season.  If the Pirates win 90 games again, which I project them to, then Cutch should have another top 5 finish.

Paul Goldschmidt at +550, with a chance for the D’Backs to be in the fight all year could finally be the defining moment for the guy who has finished 2nd in the voting for the last 2 years he has played a full year. Read the rest of this entry

Is Matt Joyce The Answer To The Pirates’ 4th Outfielder Spot?

Matt Joyce had a down year in 2015, but his history as a starter in the outfield could make him the Pirates’ best fourth outfielder option come Opening Day.

Matt Joyce had a down year in 2015, but his history as a starter in the outfield could make him the Pirates’ best fourth outfielder option come Opening Day.

Jason Rollison (Featured Baseball Website Writer – piratesbreakdown.com) 

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The final signing of the Pirates’ off-season might have happened last week when the team signed outfielder Matt Joyce to a minor league contract.

The move wasn’t a major one, but it may have filled one final need the Pirates had before heading into spring training: the fourth outfielder position.

He’ll be competing with Sean Rodriguez, Jason Rogers, Mike Morse, and Jake Goebbert for playing time, and to be the primary outfielder off the bench come Opening Day. Out of the available choices, is Joyce the best option the Pirates have for that role?

I’d argue yes. As a fourth outfielder, a player is the first option off the bench to give either Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, or Gregory Polanco a day off, and would also be used as a pinch-hitter and possibly a late game defensive replacement.

Joyce has by far the most major league experience in the outfield (5163.0 innings) compared to the next closest in Morse (3061.2) and Rodriguez (662.1).

He also has a higher career WAR at 9.0, the next closest being Rodriguez at 7.3. He’s the only one of the group to be an All-Star may be arguably the best overall offensive player of the group (Morse has more power, but has fallen off since his career 2012 campaign).

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BBBA Audio Podcasts For The Week That Was

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

(Sully has a Streak of 20 minute shows everyday since Oct.24/2012 – archives for the week listed below)

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MLB Power Rankings: Early Win Total Predictions For Spring Of 2016

Just because there is parity in the American League it doesn't mean that the Junior Circuit will not club the National League in Interleague this upcoming season. In fact, I am calling for them to be 50 games over .500 versus the Senior Circuit in the AL vs NL schedule. Most of that will be versus the weaker NL clubs, however the better NL clubs will not entirely dominate the whole AL either.

Just because there is parity in the American League it doesn’t mean that the Junior Circuit will not club the National League in Interleague this upcoming season. In fact, I am calling for them to be 50 games over .500 versus the Senior Circuit in the AL vs NL schedule. Most of that will be versus the weaker NL clubs, however the better NL clubs will not entirely dominate the whole AL either.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

Updated on Feb.18, 2015

There is parity in the American League and their is a growing distance between the good and the bad clubs in the National League.

One could argue that the top 7 teams (NYM/CHC/SF/WSH/STL/PIT, LAD) in all of the Majors reside in the NL right now, and you then you can counter that by saying they have the 6 worst squads as well (PHI/ATL/MIL/CIN/SD/COL).

The funny thing about this whole ordeal is that the AL is absolutely going to cream the NL in Interleague this forthcoming season.  On a 12 year win streak already,  I am predicting a 175 – 125 W – L for the games between both leagues. The AL speedbags the National League in my view.

Last year, the American League held a 167 – 133 mark over the National League so that prediction up there is not foreign by any means. 

Read the rest of this entry

Pittsburgh Pirates State Of The Union For 2016: All Hands On Deck To At Least Start 2016!

Pittsburgh had the 2nd best record in the Majors with 98 wins, yet were samarily dismissed in the Wild Card Game by the Cubs - and a lightning hot Jake Arrieta at the time It may actually get worse for the Bucs in coming years with the emergence of the young NL Chicago squad and the continued dominance of the St. Louis franchise. My idea is to spend some money this offseason, but if you are 5 or 6 games behind the playoff bar near the Trade Deadline, to deal all guys on the remainder year of their contracts and to retool for 2017.

Pittsburgh had the 2nd best record in the Majors with 98 wins, yet were samarily dismissed in the Wild Card Game by the Cubs – and a lightning hot Jake Arrieta at the time It may actually get worse for the Bucs in coming years with the emergence of the young NL Chicago squad and the continued dominance of the St. Louis franchise. My idea is to spend some money this offseason, but if you are 5 or 6 games behind the playoff bar near the Trade Deadline, to deal all guys on the remainder year of their contracts and to retool for 2017.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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I start this blog by praising Neil Huntington and his management for how they assembled this team over the last 6 – 7 years.

It follows the Royals and Twins before them as smaller market clubs that finally used the draft to their advantage after struggling for years.

Here is the thing though..You have a team that needs the final pieces now to compete for a championship!

Heading into 2016 the teams core nucleus comes back, and the club will attempt for a 4th straight playoff appearance.

There are 8 players on the last year of their deals, and you have several other players that will become increasingly more difficult to keep as their Arbitration Dollars exponentially grow over the coming years. Read the rest of this entry

The 2nd Wild Card Team In The NL For 2015 Could Be Right Near .500

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, 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 see a squad break the worst record ever to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card seed this campaign.  The AL is not as big with the dominant clubs, and as such will have many teams hover around 90 wins that make the postseason.  With the AL winning the Interleague matchup for 10 years consecutive, you also have to factor in a few more W’s per team.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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With all due respect to the rest of the Senior Circuit clubs, the Nationals and Dodgers are heads above the rest of the league.  I am also throwing in stalwart franchise St. Louis and Pittsburgh (94 wins and 88 wins in the last 2 years) as other teams that should lock down the NL Central and the other 1 to win the 1st Wild Card – to round out the top 4 seeds in the NL.

Then there are the rest of the clubs.

From the surface odds wise, the gambling pundits are saying the Padres and Giants would be next on the list for wins, followed by the Mets, Cubs and Marlins.

Just below those last 5 teams, you have the fight for competing coming from Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and finally the teams most thought to struggle this campaign are the Rockies, D’Backs and the Phillies.

I believe Washington is going to run away from the rest of the league – and near 100 victories. The Dodgers while not as talented as they have been the last few seasons, should not have a problem topping 90 wins again with their Starting Rotation being so strong.

The Pirates did lose Russell Martin and Edinson Volquez, but you have to think bringing A.J. Burnett back replaces Volquez, and the internal improvements from Gregory Polanco, and a return to power from Pedro Alvarez should be enough to compensate for that.

When it comes down to my final prognostication for the Division, I may just jot the Bucs down to win the Division.  Josh Harrison and Neil Walker at 3B and 2B, and if they receive anything from their Starting Catcher and Shortstop then look the hell out.

Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte also help Polanco round out the Outfield, and I think by the end of the year, they will be pronounced the best trio of players beyond the Infield, rather than the Marlins or Padres. Read the rest of this entry

Who Owned Baseball For 2014 – The Final Regular Season Tally

Getty Images, USA Today Sports and The Seattle Times

Getty Images, USA Today Sports and The Seattle Times

Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates… Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers… Mike Trout of the Angels… Felix Hernandez of the Mariners.

They all owned baseball in 2014.

After a full year of checking each game and determining which player owned the game for that day, there were 4 winners.

McCutchen beat out Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman by a 9 to 7 1/2 final.

Kershaw had the highest overall WOB total, 14 1/2, topping Johnny Cueto‘s 11.

The American League races were razor thin.

Trout beat Oakland’s Josh Donaldson by a final of 9 1/2 to 9. Meanwhile King Felix squeaked past Corey Kluber of the Indians 11 to 10 1/2 (with Chris Sale close by at 9)

If I turned in a ballot with McCutchen winning NL MVP, Kershaw winning NL Cy Young, Trout winning AL MVP and Hernandez winning the AL Cy Young, could anyone protest?

Sure I could make valid arguments for Giancarlo Stanton winning the NL MVP. (His WOB total was a surprisingly low 4.) And of course Kluber and Hernandez is basically a coin toss right now. But the above ballot would certainly be acceptable.

WOB works. Adding the 1/2 WOB dynamic made it more accurate than last year.

Thanks for following it for the year. For the post season, I will have new tallies for “Who Owned October?” (WOO) and “Who Owned the World Series?” (WOWS.)

To view the Final Tally of Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

Who Owned Baseball Sept 28, 2014 (Daily AL/NL Pitcher + Hitter MVP’s) + FINAL 2014 #WOB Standings

Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

Jordan Zimmermann threw the first no hitter in Washington Nationals history (and the franchise’s first since Dennis Martinez‘s perfect game for the Expos in 1991). He allowed only 1 walk while striking out 10 Miami hitters en route to his 1-0 masterpiece.

Sonny Gray provided relief for 2 months of Oakland frustration with a post season clinching 6 hit complete game shutout of the Rangers, striking out 5 and walking none.

Anthony Rizzo went 3-4 with a homer and 2 RBI, helping the Cubs win against Milwaukee 5-2.

Ian Kinsler homered, hit an RBI single and added another hit to lead the Tigers to the Division Title with a 3-0 victory over Minnesota.

They all owned baseball on Sept 28, 2014.

To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.

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