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The 2016 Battle of the Bay Preview

Today marks the beginning of the “Battle of the Bay” regular season contests between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. They are always intense games, more so for the fans than the players. 

Battle of the Bay

Dave Stewart. Game 3 1989 World Series. Otto Gruele Jr./Getty Images.

Both teams have passionate fan bases (although one team’s fans are much more knowledgeable than the others) and the cross-bay rivalry always gets heated.  It’s been a battle since the original “Battle of the Bay” World Series in 1989. The Athletics swept the Giants in four games. 

Many a Giants fan will blame the enormous earthquake that rocked the Bay Area just before the beginning of Game 3 as the reason their team lost. Many have told me that it was unfair because the A’s were able to use their top two starters twice; Dave Stewart and Mike Moore, due to the 11-day break the series took so the Bay Area could begin to recover from the death and destruction the earthquake brought with it. 

The reality here is that the Giants also were able to use their two best starting pitchers Scott Garrelts and Rick Reuschel so really the argument doesn’t hold water. They start Garrelts in Game 3 and Don Robinson in Game 4, that was their choice. It only says that at that time the A’s had a better pair of top two starters or just a better team as described by Tim Keown of ESPN.com,

“Games 3 and 4 were repeats of Games 1 and 2. The Giants had to face Dave Stewart and Mike Moore all over again, which meant it wasn’t really a seven-game series, but more like a pair of two-game series, and the Giants weren’t built to compete with the A’s under those — or maybe any — parameters. The A’s were the better team regardless of schedule, but the Giants of ’89 will go to their graves believing they’d have made a better showing if they’d been able to get deeper into the Oakland rotation.”

Still, the A’s would have likely swept the Giants anyway as Keown indicates. The 1990 AL Cy Young Award winner and the last pitcher to ever win at least 25 games in a season, Bob Welch (he won 27 games in 1990), would have pitched game three and likely taken home the win. 

Things have changed in the Bay Area since then, but the rivalry has not changed. One game out of four is already in the books with the Athletics winning by the score of 8-3 but there is plenty more Bay Area baseball to play! 

For a full preview of this week’s Battle of the Bay on BBST CLICK HERE

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Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers Week Five Rankings: 5/2-5/8

Below you can find the two start pitchers for week five (5/2-5/8) and their match-ups. If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me @dynasty_digest. If you enjoyed this post, please follow my blog for more updates!

  1. Matt Harvey (vs. ATL/ @ SD)

  2. Dallas Keuchel (vs. MIN/ vs. SEA)

  3. Jake Arrieta (@ PIT/ vs. WAS)

  4. Johnny Cueto (@ CIN/ vs. COL)

  5. Gerrit Cole (vs. CHC/ @ STL)

 

To see the rest of the rankings, click the link below:

 

SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS

Will the San Francisco Giants’ Aggressive Winter Lead to Big Results?

Throughout any given winter, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what certain MLB front offices are trying to accomplish. The San Francisco Giants were definitely not one of them this past offseason.

After all, it’s an even year. They have a reputation to uphold. Following an 84-78 record in 2015, San Francisco was one of the winter’s biggest spenders, which doesn’t happen very often.

With so many major acquisitions made by the Giants, Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, the NL West was undoubtedly one of baseball’s busiest divisions this past winter. On paper, the Giants are a favorite to return to the postseason and keep the even-year trend alive. However, these moves are the epitome of high risk, high reward.

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Regular Season Win Over/Under Totals Updated For MLB 2016 Wagering + Best Bets

I think the Mets have a chance to win in the mid 90's for wins, which is way less than the 89.5 over/under total they are listed for. They will beat up on the Braves, Phillies and I also believe they will truck the Marlins too. I like the Nationals a few wins behind them.

I think the Mets have a chance to win in the mid 90’s for wins, which is way less than the 89.5 over/under total they are listed for. They will beat up on the Braves, Phillies and I also believe they will truck the Marlins too. I like the Nationals a few wins behind them.  New York should also have a good look at returning to the World Series this fall with that pitching staff.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I am continuing the theme of wagering on the Baltimore Orioles.  They were my favorite American League club growing up.  Now I favor no one but the clubs I can win money on.  Perhaps this season I will rekindle my fondness again for the Birds.

This set of odds represents the best set of over/under win total odds I have seen for any establishment.

These are better than PECOTA, FanGraphs and most Las Vegas odds.

The best bet on the board has to be the KC Royals over 84.5   At least these guys give them a projected winning season, but how can KC be a +1200 World Series favorite, to the Indians +2200 mark, meanwhile the Indians listed as an over/under of 84.5.

I am not even questioning the ‘Tribe’s” win total here.  This is a nice reflection of what they should have in their victory pile for the upcoming campaign.

Out of a lot of things that don’t make sense, I point this out. Read the rest of this entry

2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

Featured Image -- 1364

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

The White Sox Need To Sign 1 Of Fowler Or Desmond To Stay Competitive

The White Sox have had a decent offseason however every team that was near or beneath them in the standings have also upgrade their rosters going into 2016. With a need for an upgrade for the OF, and the chance to out forth an incredible homer centric Infield, I would love to see them go after Ian Desmond, and/or Dexter Fowler.

The White Sox have had a decent offseason however every team that was near or beneath them in the standings have also upgrade their rosters going into 2016. With a need for an upgrade for the OF, and the chance to put forth an incredible homer-centric Infield, I would love to see them go after Ian Desmond, and/or Dexter Fowler.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I like the moves the White Sox have done in the offseason.  The only problem is what the Royals and Tigers also have done this winter will make it tough for Chicago to keep up.

The Pale Hose finished a disappointing 76 – 86 in 2015 and almost 20 games behind Division winner KC for the AL Central.

2014 winter moves of Adam LaRoche, Jeff Samardzija and Melky Cabrera just didn’t work out like they thought.

Despite the poor results off those player acquisitions Rich Hahn acquired Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie so far in the hot stove this year, and also inked catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro as key moves.

I love this aggression – and even believe that LaRoche and Cabrera will have bounce back seasons for the White Sox this season.  Cabrera was pretty decent in the 2nd half, and LaRoche suffered the Adam Dunn NL to AL syndrome.

Having said this already, the Royals are sitting with a talented squad as reigning World Series Champs, and the Tigers added Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, and bushel full of relievers and Cameron Maybin.

There is no doubt in my mind that Detroit will be much better than their cellar dweller 2015 campaign.

The White Sox have a decent pitching staff in its entirety. Maybe not as talented as the Cleveland Indians, but the Tribe doesn’t have the sticks as Chicago either.

KC has the best bullpen in the Division, and will rely heavily on it again with their grinder offense backing it up.

Minnesota has a ton of young offensive superstars in Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton, yet also lost team leader Torii Hunter.

Chicago is still spending at a decent clip – having a budget of near $123 MIL so far, but Detroit has crept up to near $200 MIL, and KC has paid for its title, by going near the $140 MIL team salary barrier. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

This weeks best bet.

This weeks best bet.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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Howie Kendrick signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past week, and the club has learned that Yasiel Puig has dropped 15 LBS in the offseason.

While I still peg the Dodgers for about 90 – 91 wins as of right now, they have the best odds on the board this week.

There is no doubt the San Francisco Giants lineup 1 – 8 is way better and Pitching Staff is also more rounded, however the gap between the two clubs is not a difference of +600.

I would put the Giants about 93 – 94 wins.  Their roster moves while decent this winter with Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Denard Span, they all come with a little question mark here or there. (more…)

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

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 tied for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.  New York brought him back for at least another year, where he helped the Mets go 34 – 23 down the stretch.  Expect more of the same in 2016.  Mets are the best bet of the week for the ‘Fall Classic’ value wise.

Hunter Stokes (Featured Writer) 

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A couple of things have happened over the last week.  The Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes and no odd was changed after this.  Very strange indeed.

With adding the Cuban slugger, the Mets have almost assured their fanbase for another post season berth in 2016.  This club is more like it was in the last 2 months than it was in the 1st four months.

Even if the Nationals were to have an unbelievable year – the Mets should still make the postseason as the #1 Wild Card seed.

I have the Mets as a 96 win team after this move, with the Nats listed about 93 victories.  Had the Nats picked up Cespedes, I would have given Washington a 95 – 92 win advantage over New York. (more…)

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

LA-Dodgers-logo

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Not that much has happened since we last checked into these numbers over the last 3 weeks.  The biggest jump on the board was the Giants going to favorites of the NL West after the Johnny Cueto signing.

The Dodgers have since countered and are making this race for the NL West that much better again.  It wasn’t long ago that the Los Angeles NL franchise were the favorites to win the entire World Series.

I think it is almost a dead heat right now between San Francisco and LA – and could come down to the transactions that are done in the next 8 months.

New York did pick up Aroldis Chapman but are still only listed as the 3rd favorite in the Division.  New York has the best Bullpen, the Jays the best offense – and Boston might be the best overall club in the AL East.

If you believe the Yankees will continue to spend $ like Washington is printing it everyday should they contend this coming season, that +200 for the Division is a good odd. (more…)

Los Angeles Dodgers State Of The Union For 2016

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D'Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming - or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentelmen

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D’Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming – or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentlemen.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.

If everyone remembers that year, they rejected a couple year contract with Grant Balfour, when he failed a physical, and they did the same thing with Grady Sizemore.

That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson.  By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.

Key cogs in the wheel were new Closer Zach Britton, and Super Utility man Steve Pearce.  A lot of parallels can be made between that squad and the Dodgers.

Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.

For the whole winter they have watched the Giants sign Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks stole Zack Greinke way from them, while trading a kings ransom for Shelby Miller. (more…)

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