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Check out These 5 Franchise-Altering MLB Trades that Almost Happened

Sometimes, the best trades are the ones you don’t make. That couldn’t ring more true for what we’re about to talk about.

The trade deadline is literally right around the corner and things are starting to get interesting. With new rumors surfacing every 20 seconds, it’s easy to get lost on social media in order to follow along. It’s also harder for teams to keep these negotiations as private as they used to, which makes their jobs a little more difficult.

This couldn’t have been more evident over the past year with potential deals that fell through with the general public looking on. Situations involving Wilmer Flores, Brandon Phillips, Michael Saunders and Jay Bruce were just some of the ones we’ve recently watched break down right in front of our eyes.

After seeing a number of trades fall apart in a short period of time, what about old proposed trades that never happened, but would’ve been ridiculous if they did? I was led to the following five near-deals that had the power to transform the looks of every franchise involved.

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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 2 – April

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

The Cubs will top our list for a second straight week despite losing 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at Wrigley Field this weekend.  The biggest reason is the pitching.

Jake Arrieta is 3 – 0, and has picked up right where we he left off in 2015, and Jon Lester has thrown awesome too.  The Bullpen has also been good.

The bats are too solid not to come around and gel as the season moves along.  They are playing .750 baseball after a 4 – 2 week still.

Bryce Harper is the best player on the planet, and has homered in 6 straight contests at Citizens Bank Ball Park (4 overall in a row for the MLB this year.)

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are their top players – and all performing like it, the rest of the club is following through in their secondary roles.  This team is scary.

I have the Royals as the top American League club.  This squad is 8 – 1 in games that are not started by back end of the rotation man Chris Young.

The reigning 2 time pennant winners have company on the top of the Division to make it interesting, however this team has the better pedigree the last few years.

Some may say with a weekend series win – that the Dodgers should be put in front of the Giants, yet they are still only one game ahead of San Francisco.

With the Giants – there is no real weakness, while with the Los Angeles team, the Bullpen is not giving everyone confidence in the back half of games.

The Dodger Blue is still in the top 5, so I am high on them. Kenta Maeda could be the steal of the winter with how this guy is throwing so far.  Reinforcements are starting to come back. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB Divisions In 2016: Best Value Bets

Should win between 82 - 85 games in my view - and is one the best odds on the board for this wagering.

Should win between 82 – 85 games in my view – and is the best odds on the board for this wagering in any category this week.  Picking them to win the AL East for a +1200 is full value.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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ODDS courtesy of bet365.com

Bad Value – Red Block

Good Value – Blue Block

AL East

As stated in an article this week, I am loving the value of the O’s across the board.  Picking them to win the Division at +1200 should be ranked 1st, to win the American League Pennant at +2800 is 2nd – and to win the World Series at +5000 is third.

Since Baltimore would have a tough NL matchup for the Fall Classic, the best cash should be thrown on the AL East win, then to win the Pennant.

Boston and Toronto are both listed at 87.5 regular season win odds – whereas the Jays are favored to win over that amount just slightly ahead of the Sox.  Here they are evenly slated.

David Price is a regular season beast, and Craig Kimbrel solidifies the Bullpen, but I just can’t put money behind them winning this Division.

It was a good job by BET365 handicapping this Division

Boston Red Sox +175 (6)

Toronto Blue Jays +175

NY Yankees +350

TB Rays +800

Baltimore Orioles +1200 (1)
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2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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With just 5 weeks to the regular season – and all of the important Free Agents finally being locked up with Ian Desmond signing with the Rangers, it is time to see where all 30 MLB clubs stack up.

We are going to be running weekly power rankings once the year starts on Apr.3, 2016.

The way I compile the Power Rankings is best on confidence to win the World Series.  Some clubs may be more talented (or playing better) than a squad they are behind in the rankings,  but the Division (and strength of opponents) plays a massive factor.

It is the reason why teams like the Royals or Astros will be selected above a team like the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might win 90 games (which may only see one AL club join them), but because they have to contend with the Cards and Cubs in the NL Central, it will be tough for them to receive a great ranking (at least until games are played). Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

best Division odd value on the board this week.

Best Division odd value on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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As the season approaches we are seeing more and more gambling entities finally display and update their Division odds on a daily basis.

Over the course of the year we will be doing a weekly post on both the World Series and the MLB Divisions for best value.

I have selected one good value pick and one bad value pick for each Division.  Next to a good pick, or a bad one, there will be an assigned parenthesis number for the degree I love the wager compared to the other Division picks.

The Chicago Cubs are the biggest favorite to win their own Division which is not surprising.  In the American League, the KC Royals have the lowest odd.

I like how this establishment has the Royals as their favorite lock to make the postseason, yet still have the Red Sox and Blue Jays favored over them for the World Series odds.

This goes the same for the Giants in the National League.  San Francisco is +900 to win the ‘Fall Classic’, yet the Mets and Nationals are more of a favorite to win the NL East, then they are the NL West. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium - with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D'Backs have the worst on the board this week.

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium – with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D’Backs have the worst on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I was all set to pounce on my 1st American League bet for the Fall Classic in 2016 earlier this week – when the O’s were at +5000, and presumably bringing both Dexter Fowler and Yovani Gallardo into the stable. 

With Fowler opting back to Chicago, the odd also dropped to +4500 in the meantime (also following the Gallardo wait time for the physical fiasco), and the value is no longer there. 

Baltimore is a low 80 wins team in my view, and will not have enough for the postseason.  Fowler would have added a few W’s for sure.

Of course with the chaos that has ensued,  the Cubs have gone from +700 to +650 prohibitive best odd.  There is no doubt in my mind they should be the consensus favorite. 

One of these years the #1 seed will capitalize and win.  I am still not plunking down cabbage at that clip though.

If I were to do my year end picks right now, I would still have Chicago ending their World Series 108 seasons drought – but I can’t place them as twice the favorite as the St. Louis Cardinals.

Still not sold on the Cubs Bullpen either, and I think Jon Lester can be had in the postseason.  The Mets also line up favorably versus Chicago based on pitching matchups.  New York has the better odds to wager with.

I am currently writing a faceoff piece between the Cubbies and Cards that I will post over the weekend.  The difference is not a whopping 8 or 10 games like FanGraphs and PECOTA say.  St. Louis should still be in the mid 90’s for victories by years end. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The Overall Homer Crown In 2016 MLB Baseball: Battle Of The Big Fly’s

Stanton has light tower power - and should lead the NL in Homers if he can remain healthy for a whole year. While it doesn't lock up a postseason berth having an MVP type season - coupled with a CY Young caliber pitcher on the field, it should translate in a chance to contend for the year.

Stanton has light tower power – and should lead the NL and Majors in Homers if he can remain healthy for a whole year.   In just 74 Games Played last campaign, the big slugger belted 27 HRs.  The problem is always staying on the field.  There is no reason to think he can’t crack 50+ HRs if he played a full season.  To aid his efforts as the biggest favorite to win this years MLB Homer crown – is that Marlins Park is bringing in the fences and also lowering them.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I am flat-out wondering why these guys failed to include Chris Carter on this list?  For a prolific Home Run Hitter over the last 3 years (90 bombs), this guy is getting no respect.

I mean they have Corey Seager, Matt Adams and Freddie Freeman at the +20000 clip, but no word for a guy who finished 2nd in 2014 MLB Homers?

Carter is headed to the best home run park in the Major Leagues in Milwaukee, and will not be on a competitive club, where his AB may be in question.  Sure the guy might fan 250 times in 600 AB this season, but he may crack 40 taters for all we know.

I have requested this gambling website send me the odd for Carter (you can request a player that wasn’t listed), and I will get back to you shortly.

Let me start by saying that if Giancarlo Stanton remains healthy for a full year that he should definitely lead the Majors in longballs.  Despite us predicting him to do this, his odd only is listed as our #5 value best bet on the board. Read the rest of this entry

Okay Angels: Why Not Sign Both Gurriel Brothers?

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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We had an old saying when I worked as a baggage handler backs eons ago at an undisclosed airport.  It said “The Beatings will continue until morale improves.”  Almost perfect to bashing the ownership of the Halo’s until they start spending again

Since the Angels are not eating at the ‘big boy table’ anymore the recent defection of Yulieski Gurriel and his younger brother Lourdes Jr. may have just provided a decent alternative.

Why not sign both of them to your roster?  Perhaps big bro ‘Yulieski’ will give you a hometown discount on his deal if you also ink his little brother.  Clearly you could use a 3rd Baseman, and flip Yunel Escobar over to 2nd base in this instance. Read the rest of this entry

The Angels Are Going Cheap In 2016 When They Need To Buck Up One More Time: Sign Fowler!

Billy Eppler and Arte Moreno really need to evaluate how much the 2016 Angels are going to need offense. Easily the worst bench in 2015, coupled with the loss of David Freese so far, the club has not addressed the weaknesses they have at LF and 2B. With Pujols hurt to start the year, this club may be out of it before he returns. At $164 MIL projected they are $25 MIL underneath the limit for payrolls before paying a penalty. Many players are coming off the books after 2016 as well. Spend the dough needed to compete, or risk missing the playoffs - and burning another year of Mike Trout.

Billy Eppler and Arte Moreno really need to evaluate how much the 2016 Angels are going to need offense. Easily the worst bench in 2015, coupled with the loss of David Freese so far, the club has not addressed the weaknesses they have at LF and 2B. With Pujols hurt to start the year, this club may be out of it before he returns. At $164 MIL projected they are $25 MIL underneath the limit for payrolls before paying a penalty. Many players are coming off the books after 2016 as well. Spend the dough needed to compete, or risk missing the playoffs – and burning another year of Mike Trout.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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I won’t be the first one to be on this wave of people who think that the Angels are rotting away the career of Mike Trout in a Halo’s uniform.

The best overall player in the American League (and at least for right now) plus the Major Leagues must be furious with the lack of offensive help arriving in Anaheim this off season.

New Angels GM Billy Eppler is following the directive of Arte Moreno not to spend over the Luxury Tax Threshold.  Now it is catching up with them on the field.

Throw in a disastrous move of bringing in Josh Hamilton a few years back – a debacle that will see the club fork out $53.4 MIL over the next 2 year to see him play in Texas. (more…)

The Padres Should Definitely Not Pursue Yoenis Cespedes: But The Angels Should

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.  The 30 Year Old would not be a good fit in San Diego – where they have a similar player in Matt Kemp already.  His presence with Trout and Calhoun in Los Angeles would be the best all around Outfield in the Majors should he sign there.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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With Yoenis Cespedes still on the open market a lot of speculation is running rampant on which squads should be in the running for his services.

While I am not sure I buy the theory at all, the Padres have been said to be checking in on the big Cuban star.

This type of signing would be a monumental mistake in my view.

I would hope that A.J. Preller would have learned his lesson by acquiring high strikeout, low OBP players that have power that may not translate to their home park in Petco Park. (more…)

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