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New York Mets, Cleveland Indians Traveling Similar Paths in Search of a World Series Title

Like most professional sports, Major League Baseball is a copycat league.

When the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals displayed how crucial a dominant bullpen can be en route to winning championships, other teams tried to duplicate their strategy in hopes of finding similar success.

Now, after seeing what it took for the Chicago Cubs to end their excruciating 108-year title drought, even their most bitter rivals are taking notes for the future.

Although they haven’t yet won a World Series, the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets have rebuilt their respective rosters in such a way that many opponents are likely jealous of. There aren’t many organizations around baseball with the type of top-flight and mostly homegrown starting pitching these two have.

That’s not where the similarities end, either.

In fact, Cleveland recently signing Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year deal on the eve of Christmas further strengthens the similarities between these two teams, and it’s much more than just reaching the Fall Classic one year apart.

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Francisco Lindor’s Postseason Showcasing Why He’s Baseball’s Best Young Shortstop

Baseball is currently enjoying a period full of young, elite shortstops. Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is in this group, but often gets overlooked –by myself included – because guys like Carlos Correa and Corey Seager grab most of the headlines.

Well, I’m done overlooking and ready to put him at the top of the list. Lindor has been front and center in October and the 22-year-old is making the most of his opportunity as the Indians are on the verge of their first title since 1948.

Manager Terry Francona is getting a ton of credit for the masterful usage of his bullpen, and rightfully so. However, as important as preventing runs is in the postseason, teams still must score in order to advance.

Lindor has been a catalyst for Cleveland throughout the past month, but this isn’t anything new. His full range of skills and ability to put it all together in the big leagues from the minute he was promoted makes him special and worthy of being the game’s top young shortstop.

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Foul Call: Jim Joyce Ruling Exposes Flaw in Major League Baseball Umpire Judgment Calls

I am not at all a fan of  many Major League Baseball umpires. I especially dislike Jim Joyce and would love to see him leave the game. I’m a lifelong Tigers fan and the image of him blowing a call that cost Tigers starter Armando Galarraga his perfect game is still very fresh in my memory. So when he makes a foul call, I tend to jump all over him.

September 2016 gave me another reason to dislike Joyce. I fell for a “foul ball” call by Joyce. Joyce, behind the dish during a Houston Astros – Cleveland Indians game was brutally maligned on Twitter for a wild pitch call during a Lonnie Chisenhall at-bat. People, including well-respected reporters all jumped on the “Bash Joyce” bandwagon. I am embarrassed to admit my own distaste for the man colored my response too…until I went to the official Major League Baseball rule book. Then I changed my mind. Kind of.

It was on September 7, 2016.

This is the play that awaken the disdain:

 

Houston Astros hurler David Paulino threw a pitch into the dirt. The ball hit about a foot in front of the plate and bounced up. Chisenhall, the Indians’ batter, checked his swing and the ball caromed off to the left of the catcher.

 

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Greatest Strength of Mets & Indians is Now Their Biggest Concern, But They’re Not Dead Yet

The old adage in baseball is you can never have enough pitching. While every team can vouch for that, the two organizations currently feeling this the most are the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians.

Heading into 2016, both squads had one clear strength: a solid starting rotation expected to be one of the best in baseball. By solely looking at the cumulative statistics – and paying no mind to who contributed – New York and Cleveland received the kind of production necessary to be on the verge of a playoff berth (via FanGraphs):

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When it comes to fWAR production, the Mets rank second in baseball, while the Indians are second in the American League.

But with October on the horizon, they’ll each be forced to use a much different group than those who toed the line on Opening Day. With a seven-game lead in the American League Central, the Indians are all but assured a spot in the postseason. The Mets still have some work to do with just a one-game cushion in the National League Wild Card race, though.

Each situation is distinctly different, but the Mets and Indians will have a similarly steep hill to climb once the regular season comes to a close, and there seems to be quite a few naysayers.

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Despite choosing to leave Oakland for Cleveland, Coco Crisp still beloved by A’s fans

Coco Crisp: Still the epitome of loyalty and leadership for A’s fans

It’s going to be hard for Oakland Athletics’ fan to say goodbye to Coco Crisp. His trade to the Cleveland Indians was finalized Wednesday, just in time to make sure that Crisp would be eligible for the Indians’ postseason roster.

Seven years is also half Crisp’s career and until recently he stood apart from other players because he always talked about how he wanted to stay in Oakland. It’s something that you don’t hear a lot of from the players. The stadium is old, the payroll is low and the A’s are either really good or really bad. They’re either a shoe-in for the postseason or last in the American League West.

A fan-favorite, Crisp was also the longest tenured member of the A’s. Crisp played seven seasons with the Athletics, which is considered a VERY long time in Oakland, a place where the filthy-rich ownership refuses to put money into the team’s payroll to keep players long-term. Therefore the majority of players are traded for prospects just prior to becoming free agents.

Still when his contract was up after the 2013 season, Crisp signed a two-year contract extension with the team. The contract included a $13 million vesting option for a third year based on his number of games played in 2015-16. When he signed that extension he had this to say,

“This is the place I wanted to be. This is home for me. So I’m happy with coming back more than just this year.”

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Yankees Switch Roles at Trade Deadline, Help Fuel Potentially Historic World Series Matchup

Whether you’re a fan of the New York Yankees or not, a couple things are universally known about the organization: they’ve won a lot of World Series titles and normally do whatever it takes to win. The Bronx Bombers could have an impact on the Fall Classic again come October, but not because they’re participating in it.

Actually deciding to be a seller at the MLB trade deadline wasn’t the shocking part. Given their average play, it made sense for general manager Brian Cashman to trade Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller (among others) when their perceived value was high. However, helping the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians – two teams suffering through very long championship droughts – possibly get over the hump was a rather interesting twist.

It’s been a while since either of these organizations reached the pinnacle of the sport, but they each have reason to believe this is the year it comes to an end.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Fanduel, DraftKings, and Fanpicks 7/7/16

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/7/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanduel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/7/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanpicks Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/7/16): MLB DFS Advice


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Daily Matchups for 7/7/2016

Pitcher

STUDS

Drew Pomeranz- Dodgers don’t hit very well vs. lefties. On a small slate, Pomeranz stands out as the top option with a high potential for strikeouts.

Trevor Bauer- Since the start of June he owns a 1.81 ERA and a WHIP under 1.00. He faces a Yankee offense that…..well, is just bad.

MID RANGE

Danny Duffy- Over 10 strikeouts per 9 innings and a WHIP under 1.00. Seattle is just middle of the pack vs. lefties.

Jason Hammel- Current Braves hitters actually have good numbers vs. him, but they are the Braves and haven’t been very good this year. I’d consider him a low owned tournament play.

VALUE

Doug Fister- Oakland bats really don’t scare me here and Fister has quietly been a solid arm this year, with an ERA of 3.66. Won’t strikeout many but could you a W if the Astros can get to Hill.


CATCHER

STUDS

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks for Fanduel, Draft Kings, and FanPicks 7/5/16

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/5/16): MLB DFS Advice

Fanduel Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/5/16): MLB DFS Advice

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Daily Matchups for 7/5/2016

Pitcher

STUDS

Carrasco, Price, and MadBum…… All with sketchy match ups.  I’m personally fading all three, if I had to choose one, I’d go Carrasco. He’s kept the Tigers in check with exception of Miggy, but the Tigers can blow up at any time. More of a tourney play.

MID RANGE

Masahiro Tanaka– Whitesox hitting a combined .224 vs him and he’s been pretty reliable this year.

AJ Griffin– Current Sox 9-38 off him and he’s limited the HR’s this year. Sox do appear to be heating up, so there’s some risk but he could pay off nicely,

VALUE

Tim Lincecum- Rays have made a lot of below average pitchers look good this year, they K a bunch vs righties and its in the Trop.  Not high upside here, but 6 innings, 2 ER with 5-6 K’s and the W is a reachable line.  And his price could allow you some big bats.


CATCHER

STUDS

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Fanduel, DraftKings, and Fanpicks – 7/3/16

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/3/16): MLB DFS Advice

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Daily Matchups for 7/3/2016

Pitcher

Corey Kluber

Jon Lester

Noah Syndergaard

Jose Quintana

Adam Conley

Cole Hamels

Matt Shoemaker


Catcher

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MLB Trade Rumors: Andrew Miller To The Texas Rangers

Let me preface this article by saying that this deal will only be made if the New York Yankees are out of the playoff race near the trade deadline. As of right now, the New York Yankees are 22-24, and 6.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. Considering how competitive the American League East is, there is a good chance the Yankees will be out of contention near the trade deadline, which means they will be sellers in the trade market.

 

The Yankees’ number one asset to move will be one of their three elite relief pitchers, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, or Aroldis Chapman. Of the three, Andrew Miller is the most likely to be dealt. Miller is under contract until 2018 (signed a four-year/$36 million contract in 2015), which is what makes him so valuable to a contending team. So far in 2016, Miller has appeared in 19 games, with a 2-0 record, 0.96 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and one walk in 18.2 innings pitched.

 

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