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Carlos Correa Is the Most Important Part of the Houston Astros Offense in 2017

After ending their excruciating rebuilding process a year earlier than many expected with a playoff appearance in 2015, the Houston Astros were supposed to take another step forward in 2016, but it didn’t happen.

Jose Altuve put together an MVP-caliber performance, but Houston experienced regression from some of its young core and ultimately couldn’t overcome a 7-17 start. Their 4-15 record against the Texas Rangers didn’t help, either.

One of those young players who experienced a bumpy year was shortstop Carlos Correa.

Now, it’s tough to say a player who posted a 122 wRC+ and a 4.9 fWAR had a bad year, and Correa didn’t have a bad year – it just wasn’t what the organization was likely hoping for.

After an active offseason (which still may not be finished), expectations are high for the Astros to return to October. There are plenty of important offensive contributors on the roster, but Correa just may be the most important of all.


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.



6 Non-Playoff MLB Teams Under the Most Pressure to Compete in 2017

The 2016 MLB postseason is officially in full swing as the remaining eight teams battle for the right to hoist the World Series trophy within the next few weeks. This also means that 22 other squads are already turning the page with their eyes set on making a run at October in 2017.

Every organization goes into a season with the best of intentions, but a lot can happen over 162 games – both good and bad. For a number of teams, the bad outweighed the good, which is why an invitation to play in the postseason never arrived in their respective mailboxes.

Here are six teams feeling a ton of pressure to compete and secure a spot in the playoffs next October:


High Desert and Bakersfield move to Carolina League

Sad news today. According to a source within Minor League Baseball, the California League will announce the contraction of the Bakersfield Blaze and the High Desert Mavericks later today. In the past few months, you could read here several posts with speculations about possible moves. Now it appears that those speculations were pretty close to the truth.

For years these two clubs have been named in rumors about two Cal League teams that would be moved to the East Coast.

More on the sad news can be read here.

Fayetteville a step closer t0 MiLB ballpark

The city council of the city of Fayetteville has unanimously agreed on a memorandum of understanding with the Houston Astros, continuing the city’s and the MLB team’s discussion about a new ballpark to support an Advanced A Carolina League team and outlining a basic framework as they move towards a more permanent agreement.

In the agreement is written that the stadium will be ready by 2019 and that the lease term will be 30 years. The Astros will pay the City of Fayetteville yearly rent for the stadium beginning in the amount of $250,000 which will increase after every fifth year for a total sum of more than $9 million.


More here

Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve on Track to do Something we Haven’t Seen Since 2004

With about two months of play to go, the National League and American League playoff races are just starting to get interesting. However, the batting races appear to be all but finished thanks to the raking Daniel Murphy and Jose Altuve have done all season.

Entering action on Friday, each second baseman has a stranglehold on their respective league’s leaderboard when ranked by batting average. What’s so special about this? Well, I was looking through the box scores this week and kept thinking to myself, “God, these guys are still hitting close to .360? In August? When was the last time the batting champ in both leagues finished with an average over .350?”

As it turns out, this particular scenario isn’t as common as it used to be. Between 1990 and 2004, it happened eight different times.

A handful of batting champs have come close to reaching this benchmark since 2004, but haven’t quite gotten there. Is this .350 benchmark rather arbitrary? Probably, but oh well. This gets more interesting upon seeing the similarities between Murphy and Altuve, both with regard to the season they’re enjoying and the current situation they find themselves in. Here are four that stood out:


Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Fanduel, DraftKings, and Fanpicks 8/5/16


DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (8/5/16): MLB DFS Advice

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Daily Matchups for 8/5/2016


Noah Syndergaard

Justin Verlander

Jon Lester

Steven Wright

Ervin Santana

Jaime Garcia

Francisco Liriano



Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Fanduel, DraftKings, and Fanpicks 7/25/16


DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Lineup Picks (7/25/16): MLB DFS Advice

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 Daily Matchups for 7/25/2016



Noah Syndergaard- Thor has absolutely dominated the Cardinals in the 1 start he had against them. He held them to a .067 BA (1 for 15) with 5 strikeouts and 4 groundouts. He is the best pitcher on the slate in my eyes tonight even more than the most expensive pitchers in Arrieta and Pomeranz. We are projecting Thor around 45- 50 FP tonight.

Jake Arrieta- He is facing the White Sox who have really come down from earth since the beginning of the season. The White Sox are 2 games under .500 while the cubs are 21 games above. Arrieta has held the White Sox to a .217 BA (18 for 83) with a 20.9 K% and a 5.5 W%. He’s struck out 19 while giving up only 2 HRs and one triple. I like Syndergaard more but you can’t go wrong here either.


Aaron Sanchez- He hasn’t faced the Padres much but he’s held them to 1 hit in 8 ABs. This includes 3 groundouts, 1 single and 1 strikeout. Sanchez comes in with 125 IP, 37 walks, 110 hits allowed, 108 Ks, a 2.87 BA and 10 wins. In his last 10 starts, Sanchez has 6 50+ FP games on FD and tonight could be another one of those games.

Jake Peavy- I think this could be more of a sneaky play but like him as a cheap tournament option tonight. Peavy has held the Reds to a lifetime BA of .250 (19 for 76) with a 30 K% and only a 3.8 W%. He’s struck out 24 while allowing only 4 HRs. He’s a cheap option to help pay up at other positions.


Dallas Keuchel- Now this does worry me some as Keuchel is sporting a 4.70 ERA this season but he has dominated the Yankees in the past. Keuchel has held them to a .211 BA (24 for 114) with a 27.6 K% and 34 Ks to only 3 HRs. Keuchel has 126 IP with 110 Ks and 40 walks but he’s also given up 132 hits. I’m not sure if last season was a fluke but I think he’s only a GPP option tonight.

Jeremy Hellickson- He’s held the Marlins to a .209 BA (31 for 148) with a 16.2 K% and only a 3.2 W%. He’s struck out 25 Marlins while walking only 5. He’s coming off a start last week against this same team where he pitched for 8 innings, a 3.84 ERA, picking up the win and 57 FP on Fanduel.  I like him again tonight against this team that we suggested him last week.




RUMORS: Houston Astros To Call Up Top Prospect, Alex Bregman

Following a very impressive appearance in the the MLB Futures Game, Houston Astros’ top prospect, Alex Bregman, could find himself back in a Major League Baseball stadium very soon. There has been rumors and reports that the Astros could call up Bregman as early as this weekend. While nothing has been confirmed, this is very exciting news for baseball fans and fantasy owners.



Ryan Dull’s record streak ended Saturday

On Saturday Oakland A’s reliever Ryan Dull saw his streak of not allowing an inherited runner to score end at a record setting 36 runners. 

Starter Kendall Graveman had pitched eight beautiful innings but found himself in a bit of trouble in the bottom of the ninth Saturday, when he allowed back to back singles to the Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez. He was relieved by Dull, obviously a pitcher used to entering the game to help other pitchers out of their jams.

Jose Altuve then grounded out to Tyler Ladendorf who tossed the ball to second baseman Jed Lowrie getting Gonzalez out but allowing Marisnick to score from third, thus ending Dull’s streak. Dull offered up one more run when Luis Valbuena singled in Altuve but he struck out Carlos Gomez to get his very first big league save, and preserved the very deserved win for Graveman.

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