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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

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Odds To Win The American League Rookie Of The Year

The American League has some young talent, however about only half of the guys on this list will even break camp with their parent big clubs,and others will be blocked for various reasons -including against each other on their own squads. There is really only one good bet and one bad for entire 15 guy list.

The American League has some young talent, however about only half of the guys on this list will even break camp with their parent big clubs,and others will be blocked for various reasons -including against each other on their own squads. There is really only one good bet and one bad for entire 15 guy list.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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1st off the Twins have the top 3 players listed for the category in Buxton, Ho-Park and Berrios.

All Minnesota youngsters could make the squad, although Buxton is posting just a .567 OPS  in Spring Training –  after only putting up a .576 OPS in his 129 AB for 2015. He will be given the starting job to either make it or not, after the trade of Aaron Hicks.  Don’t like the favorite status for most of these categories, this will ring true one more time.

Ho-Park has looked solid at the dish so far with a 3 Slash of .283/.306/.543 – with 3 HRs and 13 RBI in his 46 AB, and at 29 years of age – coming over from the KBO, he has years of experience next to his classmates.

Jose Abreu and Ichiro Suzuki both came over as later in life rookies to the Junior Circuit and took the honors  Ho-Park was a beast in Korea – blasting over 50+ HRs in each of the last 2 years there for his club team Nexen.

While you have to temper expectations coming overseas to North America from there, what I love is that the guy improved his numbers in each of the last 5 years.  This bodes well for him in Minny.

With a 4 year deal in his back pocket, Park will and should remain on the big roster based on his early success.

I am not sure he will win the Award, and I am not placing any cabbage on him too, but at least he won’t be subjected to service time restrictions like other rookies. Read the rest of this entry

New York Yankees Need To Go Full Bore To Start 2016: Seek Reinforcements Midway Through If Need Be

The Yankees were almost flawless in their 1st 33 games to start the 2015 campaign. Quick starts by Teixeira and A-Rod fueled the offense, while Miller and Betances did not yield a run in this stretch either. Pineda was 5 - 0, Tanaka was healthy, and their duo of Ellsbury and Gardner were hitting north of .300

The Yankees were almost flawless in their 1st 33 games to start the 2015 campaign. Quick starts by Teixeira and A-Rod fueled the offense, while Miller and Betances did not yield a run in this stretch either. Pineda was 5 – 0, Tanaka was healthy, and their duo of Ellsbury and Gardner were hitting north of .300.  The club was able to coast for the last 129 games of the year when injuries and age caught up to them.  Considering they spent no real money in the winter, they should go for bore early in the season, and then bring in a boatload of people late via trade  to compensate for injuries that will probably occur to their roster.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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On May.11, 2015 – the New York Yankees had just finished an 11 – 5 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Rays – and this led to a record of 21 – 12 to start their first 33 games.  It would be important on so many levels in completing the campaign.

You see – in the next 129 games the club would go just 66 – 63 to secure the 1st Wild Card Berth.

Mark Teixeira had clubbed 11 HRs over the wall with 27 RBI.  Alex Rodriguez had 8 big fly’s with many of them giving the Bronx Bombers a shot in the arm for victory.

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances both had not yielded a run to that point. Michael Pineda was a brilliant 5 – 0, and that was about the time that Masahiro Tanaka began having health issues.

You throw in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner both hitting well over .300 – and it was easy to see how the Pinstripers had taken off to a great start. Read the rest of this entry

Bold Predictions For The 2016 MLB Year

a bold predictions

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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Every year we do an article called “Bold Predictions”.  I love this concept as most of these ideas are so preposterous that none of them will actually happen.  I liken it to the “Riverboat Gambler Theory” where you can really get rich quick if it were to come to fruition.

There may not be too many secrets in the National League where the clubs seems to be either really good or really bad.  The American League has a lot more parity.

I suppose I could start off by saying that the NL would win the Interleague series versus the AL, but that it is probably not going to happen based on a 12 year losing streak. (more…)

New York Yankees State Of The Union For 2016

The 2015 New York started off extremely strong at 21 - 12, before they finished the last 129 Games at just 66 - 63. With surprising years from Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, the club still made the Wild Card Game with 87 wins. The club has done a couple of nice winter moves in picking up Starlin Castro and Aaron, however the Bullpen is weaker, and the Starting Rotation has many health concerns. New York will need to address those before the season opener.

The 2015 New York Yankees started off extremely strong at 21 – 12, before they finished the last 129 Games at just 66 – 63. With surprising years from Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, the club still made the Wild Card Game with 87 wins. The club has done a couple of nice winter moves in picking up Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks for backup players, however the Bullpen is weaker, and the Starting Rotation has many health concerns. New York will need to address those before the season opener.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Okay so one of the things that happens when you own a website is you lose some of the hardcore enthusiasm for the team you love the most.  This is my story with he Yankees.  Don’t get me wrong, they are still my favorite club, it is just I cover all 30 MLB teams a lot more than I used to.

Having said this, I have been railing on the Yankees for a long time on how they have conducted themselves.  I traced it back to 2014, when they could have rest the Luxury Tax Threshold by trading Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda and Brett Gardner at the Deadline.

Instead, the club went for a half ass attempt to make the playoffs with Derek Jeter in his last season as Shortstop.

I do give Brian Cashman some credit in 2015 for the club making the postseason.  I maintain that his building of the team was still flawed.

Bullpen withstanding, he has known his Starting Pitching situation has been in health peril since  Masahiro Tanaka was diagnosed with a UCL injury in July of 2014.

Joe Girardi squeezed every ounce of the Veteran Lineup that he could last year.  Who would have predicted the squad would have had 30+ Homer years from Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira?

That helped the club jump out to a fantastic start, and then coasted with a .500 record for the last 4 plus months to the 1st playoff Wild Card spot.  They lost to the Houston Astros in that game at Yankee Stadium.

(more…)

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