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Dexter Fowler Has Been The Biggest Key During the Chicago Cubs’ World Series Run

For the first time in over 70 years, the Chicago Cubs are National League champions and have an opportunity to end the most excruciating drought in pro sports. While the roster is loaded with talent, a trip to the Fall Classic wouldn’t have been possible without one player in particular.

With the kind of star power Chicago possesses, Dexter Fowler probably isn’t the “X-factor” kind of player to roll off your tongue first, but he should be.

The Cubs won 103 games during the 2016 regular season, and it happened because their entire team is solid. Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta led a pitching staff that produced a league-best 3.15 ERA, while the offense boasts two MVP candidates in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

So, why was it such a big deal when Theo Epstein and Co. agreed to a one-year dealwith Fowler (including an option for 2017)? Let us count the ways as the Cubs prepare for their first World Series appearance since 1945.


These 6 MLB Players Have Been Incredible Free Agent Bargains so Far in 2016

During this past winter, the MLB free agent market seemed to move a lot slower than in recent memory. While there were plenty of legitimate players available after the holidays and with Spring Training fast approaching, a number of them still managed to bring in huge paydays.

Zack Greinke and David Price both broke records for starting pitchers with their respective $200 million deals, and there were five others who landed a payday of $100-plus million (Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Chris Davis). Those huge contracts are great, but they also come with high expectations. Some have dealt with them just fine in 2016, and some are off to a slow start.

There’s plenty of baseball to be played, but with about a quarter of the regular season schedule complete, the following six players have been incredible free agent bargains thus far — especially considering the ever-growing cost of acquiring top talent on the open market.


5 of the Biggest Surprises so far During the 2016 MLB Season

The MLB’s regular-season schedule is 162 games long for a reason – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. While we’re not even at the three-week mark yet, it’s still long enough for us to get a good glimpse as to which players are off to surprisingly great starts.

Baseball is a game of failure, but it’s also a game of averages. Even if a player is white-hot for a certain period of time, they’ll eventually come back down to Earth and maybe even go into a slump to even things out (unless your Bryce Harper). However, some players may use a hot start to propel themselves to a new benchmark moving forward when it comes to their career norms.

Whether the current narrative about players is good or bad, they still have five months of games left to prove themselves, one way or the other. With that in mind, here are five players who have been pleasant surprises thus far.

And yes, I know the obvious ones like Harper, Tyler WhiteTrevor Story and others are not on this list. I did that on purpose.


Cubs and White Sox had Different Offseason Strategies, But Could Experience a Similar Summer

The journey toward fielding a competitive baseball team can happen in a multitude of ways, but as long as winning is the result, the other details will take care of themselves.

A perfect example of this is what’s going on in Chicago right now with the Cubs and White Sox.

Based on their young roster and improvements made over the winter, the Cubs are a popular pick to win this year’s World Series. Predictions be damned, they still have to go out and prove it. Even though the season is barely two weeks old, the results have been excellent. Chicago’s National League squad is entering Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies with an MLB-best 8-1 record.

Meanwhile, the White Sox have seemingly flown under the radar in their own city with an equally impressive 7-2 record. At the moment, they’re tied for first place in the competitive AL Central with the Kansas City Royals.

The schedule is 162 games long for a reason and what happens over the first couple weeks brings no guarantee for the remainder of the year. Still, it’s interesting to see how these two Chicago teams have taken completely different routes with regard to roster construction and on-field play before seeing similar results through nine games.


MLB Power Rankings: Week 1 Results – April 2016

The Cubs are the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 World Series, butcoming year.

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.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (5 – 1)  (1):  The Cubs weathered the loss of their slugging OF Kyle Schwarber this week – by taking 5 of the 1st 6 games played, and all on the road.  After these 6 contests – the squad is outscoring their opponents 42 – 15.

Love the idea of setting the table with Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist 1-2-3 prior to the boppers coming after in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

Having the 2015 NL ROY may help Rizzo win the NL MVP this season.  He had 10 RBI this week – including a 6 RBI effort.

Jake Arrieta is already 2 – 0, and this team shows no signs of slowing down.

(2)  KC Royals  (4 – 1) (2):  This club just knows how to win with the dominant Bullpen and clutch hitting.  They have only yielded 11 runs thus far, and this team has not even hit huge strides on offense yet.

The AL Central is better in 2016 there is no question, however KC will be ready to take them on.  There may not be a more filthy Late Inning Reliever right now than Wade DavisEdinson Volquez has picked up right where he left off in 2015 as well. Read the rest of this entry

What Does Kyle Schwarber’s Injury Mean For The Chicago Cubs And Fantasy Baseball?

Yesterday the Chicago Cubs organization announced that Kyle Schwarber will miss the rest of the season due to an injury. This news came after a collision with Dexter Fowler that resulted in Schwarber tearing his ACL and LCL. This is incredibly unfortunate news for the Chicago Cubs organization and for all of Schwarber’s fantasy owners. Luckily for the Cubs, they have some of the best depth in the major leagues, which will help them rebound from this tough loss. As for the fantasy owners, this is going to be a much harder loss to rebound from. To read the rest of the article, click the link below:



FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports Selections For MLB Action – Apr 8, 2016


Josh Robbins (Featured Fantasy  BBBA Writer/ 

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Hi, my name is Josh Robbins.  I would like to share my Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) strategy with you throughout the MLB season.  Fanduel is my preferred game of skill.

Welcome to the first full weekend of the 2016 MLB season.

3-Strikes: Here’s what you expect from my daily articles:

My Top 3 Starting Pitchers (aces, mid-level, bargain)

My Top 3 Stacking Options (multiple players from the same team)

My Top 3 BVP (Batter vs. Pitcher) Options Read the rest of this entry

The Chicago Cubs Offense Will Lead to Many World Series Titles

Could this be the year that the Chicago Cubs break their curse of not winning a World Series title since 1908? Many baseball fans and critics believe they have the best shot out of all teams in Major League Baseball. The Chicago Cubs organization has done an amazing job at developing homegrown talent over the past 4 to 5 years and this young talent is starting to make a massive impact in the big leagues. Not only are the Cubs producing homegrown talent, but they made a huge splash in the free agency market this Spring. This team has so much talent that there are multiple very talented players who currently don’t have a spot in the lineup. In this article I will highlight each position and share the key organizational depth that could possibly bring home a World Series title in 2016. Each position will list players who are projected to start and prospects that could have an impact within the next 2-4 years. Players with multi-positional eligibility will have this listed in their bio. Prospects will be listed at positions that they are projected to play when they arrive in the big leagues. Please click the link below to see my analysis on Miguel Montero, Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo, Dan Vogelbach, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Gleyber Torres, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Ian Happ, Albert Almora, and more:





2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

Featured Image -- 1364

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

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

Get Ready For The ‘Zombie Cardinals’ Version 11.0 In 2016: Cubs Are Favored In Division – But Gap Isn’t Huge

St. Louis has been an elite team in the National League for the last 15 years. While Chicago deserves to be favorite in the NL Central - and to win the World Series, never sleep on the St. Louis Cardinals. This team has 9 LCS Appearances since 2000, and did win 100 win games last campaign. Throw in a championship pedigree - and a brilliant youth movement, aided by a few cagey veterans, and the gap is just not that great compared with the Cubs.

St. Louis has been an elite team in the National League for the last 15 years. While Chicago deserves to be favorite in the NL Central – and to win the World Series, never sleep on the St. Louis Cardinals. This team has 9 LCS Appearances since 2000, and did win 100 win games last campaign. Throw in a championship pedigree – and a brilliant youth movement, aided by a few cagey veterans, and the gap is just not that great compared with the Cubs.  A huge effort by Adam Wainwright, with less than perfect years from Arrieta and Lester may be all it takes for the RedBirds to remain the kings of the NL Central.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter 

The Cubs have signed Dexter Fowler and traded away Chris Coghlan yesterday, and the Cards will have another week this winter where they are not the focus of the NL Central.  It probably suits them just fine.

On the heels of a 100 win campaign during 2015, the gambling websites, PECOTA and FanGraphs are all projecting a massive regression for St. Louis in 2016.  I am not one of those people.

I, for one, think the Cardinals are still to be reckoned with.

Switch out a potentially healthy Matt Holliday, coupled with full years from Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk – for the departed Jason Heyward to the Cubs, and I like that.

Throw in Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake, for the loss of Lance Lynn and John Lackey, and I still like that almost as even.

No doubt that Ben Zobrist was a good singing for the Chicago Cubs this offseason, but lets not throw St. Louis over the cliff just yet. Read the rest of this entry

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