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5 MLB Starting Pitchers With a lot to Prove in 2017

With the 2016 MLB season officially in the rearview mirror, the entire baseball world now shifts its focus to the offseason and preparing for 2017.

Some players and teams hope to build upon the progress they’ve made over the last six months, but others are out to re-establish themselves and prove that recent subpar performances were a blip in the radar. That’s easier said than done, of course.

Plenty of players have an eye toward rebounding in 2017, but the following starting pitchers find themselves in an unfamiliar situation. They’ve each experienced a period of dominance on the mound – some longer than others – but had to deal with tough times in 2016.

To regain their status of being one of baseball’s top starters, these five hurlers have plenty to prove once April rolls around. 

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Matt Harvey’s Struggles Will Continue Unless The New York Mets Take Action

New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey could use a few days, or even weeks, off. The Dark Knight currently sports a 3-7 record, with a 6.08 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 17 walks in 53.1 innings pitched. Based on his career stats (28-25 record, 2.92 ERA, 493 strikeouts, 111 walks in 480.1 innings in four seasons), there is clearly something wrong with Harvey, and the Mets need to do something about it.

 

Many people believe the Mets should skip Harvey’s next start, but they have stated he will continue on his normal pitching schedule. The only noticeable anomaly in Harvey’s statistics is his drop in fastball velocity from an average of 95.2 MPH in 2015 to 94 MPH in 2016 and decreased breaking ball efficiency. This drop in velocity could be from fatigue, injury, mechanical flaws, or loss of confidence and pressure from lack of success.

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Draft Kings 5/19/16

If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me @dynasty_digest. I post daily DFS lineups for Draft Kings everyday, so please make sure to follow my blog (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) and my Twitter for updates.

 

P- Matt Harvey (vs. Washington Nationals): $9,700. Harvey has really struggled this year, but Thursday could be the day that Harvey comes out of his slump. In 134 career at bats against Harvey, the Nationals lineup is batting .209, with only 9 RBIs, and a .271 OBP. Harvey’s price has dropped significantly due to his regression, but this could be time to buy him when he is low. Staying away from the incredibly expensive pitchers (Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, etc) has helped my offensive lineup for Friday.

 

P- Marco Estrada (vs. Minnesota Twins): $8,100. Estrada has been lights out in 2016. In 43.2 innings pithed, he has a 2.89 ERA, 41 strikeouts, and 18 walks. He will be facing a struggling Twins lineup on Friday, so this should be a great matchup for Estrada. In 62 career at bats versus Estrada, the Twins lineup is batting .226, with 12 strikeouts, and a .294 OBP.

 

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Re-Drafting The 2010 MLB Draft: Bryce Harper Remains Elite

As the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft approaches, it is time to take a look back on previous draft results. With that said, I am starting a new segment where I will give you my personal redraft of previous MLB Amateur Drafts. Today I will focus on the 2010 draft, which had some of the best talent in the past few decades. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to tweet me @dynasty_digest. If you enjoyed this article, please follow my blog for more updates on other drafts, fantasy baseball, and other baseball topics (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com).

  1. Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper (Actual Pick: Bryce Harper)

  2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Manny Machado (Actual Pick: Jameson Taillon)

  3. Baltimore Orioles: Chris Sale (Actual Pick: Manny Machado)

 

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

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Draft Kings 5/3/16

If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me @dynasty_digest. I post daily DFS lineups for Draft Kings everyday, so please make sure to follow my blog (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) and my Twitter for updates.

P- Michael Wacha (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): $9,000. Wacha will be facing the 22nd ranked offense of the Philadelphia Phillies at home on Tuesday. In Wacha’s first 5 starts, he is 2-1, with a 3.07 ERA, 24 strikeouts, and 9 walks in 29.1 innings. He should thrive in this game since he is pitching against a mediocre offense and he is at home.

P- Matt Harvey (vs. Atlanta Braves): $10,300. Harvey will be facing the 21st ranked offense of the Atlanta Braves at home on Tuesday. In Harvey’s first 5 starts, he is 2-3, with a 4.76 ERA, 21 strikeouts, and 9 walks in 28.1 innings. His ERA is very inflated considering his FIP is a 3.56. This matchup is perfect for Harvey to get back to his old self.

 

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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:

 

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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

The Nats Need Stellar Years From 1/2 SP Punch Scherzer + Strasburg Similar To Johnson + Schilling Duo In 2001 – To Win World Series

Max Scherzer was filthy in the 1st half of 2015 - with a 2.11 ERA heading up to the ALL - Star Break, and Stephen Strasburg ended the 2nd half of the year with a 1.90 in his Post ALL - Star games. If these 2 day aces can be in top form for the whole year, and then carry through to the playoffs, it would go a long with their chances to win a World Series. Since Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister left, the rotation is not as deep as it once was, yet these guys could make for an unforgettable 1 -2 punch in the postseason, and combined with Bryce Harper, potentially win the Fall Classic this year.

Max Scherzer was filthy in the 1st half of 2015 – with a 2.11 ERA heading up to the ALL – Star Break, and Stephen Strasburg ended the 2nd half of the year with a 1.90 in his Post ALL – Star games. If these 2 day aces can be in top form for the whole year, and then carry through to the playoffs, it would go a long with their chances to win a World Series. Since Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister left, the rotation is not as deep as it once was, yet these guys could make for an unforgettable 1 -2 punch in the postseason, and combined with Bryce Harper, potentially win the Fall Classic this year.

Chuck Booth (BBBA President) 

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With Zack Greinke flying the coop in Los Angeles over the winter, all of a sudden, this dynamic pair of Nationals chuckers should be the best back to back starting tandem in the Majors right now.

It is a walk year for Stephen Strasburg.  He has shown flashes of brilliance, but has yet to put it together for the whole year.  You could say his career has kind of been like Schilling’s prior to his arrival in Arizona.

I think both guys could near 20 wins each. have mid 2 ERA’s – and both compete against the NL’s elite for the NL Cy Young Award.

If they have great seasons, it should equal a playoff berth – and if not the NL East Division.  Strasburg’s best two years were in 2012 and 2014, so maybe he is just a better even year pitcher himself.

Scherzer is 53 – 20 with a near 1.00 WHIP and ERA of 3 since the start of the 2013 season.  No doubt these 2 guys will pull up awesome numbers in playing the Marlins, Phillies and Braves for almost 40% of their total games.  Add in the Brewers, Reds, Padres, Rockies to the fold, and that becomes half of the year.

Should Washington make the playoffs, that is exactly why they doled out $210 over 7 years for Scherzer in the first place.  The former Tigers pitcher was pretty damn good in the 1st RD of the postseason for Detroit, going 3 – 1, with an ERA of 2.79 and WHIP of 1.034 in 29 Innings worth of work in the LDS rounds.  I think he could take the next step beyond that.

Last year Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters and nearly tossed 2 more.  He has shown he can last longer than ever before.  He was a workhorse with his 228.2 IP. It was a career high, just like his 276 Strikeouts in that timeframe and his incredible WHIP of 0.918 were.

It is time to for Strasburg to leave it all on the table.  Much like his 34 Game Starts in 2014, where he logged 215 Innings and a NL Leading 242 Strikeouts, the former #1 overall pick could really make a fortune in Free Agency with a banner year. At Age 27 until late July when he turns 28, he is still in his prime years coming for the next few campaigns. Read the rest of this entry

New York Mets Pitcher, Matt Harvey, Could Miss Opening Day

Two years ago,  New York Mets right-handed pitcher, Matt Harvey, was sidelined after tearing his UCL. This injury required Tommy John Surgery, which sidelined Harvey for over a year. After returning from Tommy John Surgery, Matt Harvey had a great 2015 season in which he threw 189.1 innings with a 13-8 record, 2.71 ERA, 188 strikeouts, and 37 walks. Through his short 2.5 year career, he has posted some incredibly good numbers that include a 2.53 ERA and 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings. So far this spring training, he has thrown 10 innings with a 6.30 ERA, seven strikeouts, and eight walks. His inflated ERA comes from his last start against the Houston Astros in which he gave up six runs, seven hits, and four walks over three innings of work. . Whenever medical concerns surface about the New York Mets right-hander, many baseball fans and fantasy owners cringe. To read the rest of the article, click the link below:

 

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Cy Young Hopeful Matt Harvey Got His Slider Back

Cy Young Hopeful Matt Harvey Got His Slider Back

Another year removed from Tommy John Surgery, and Matt Harvey is feeling better than ever this Spring down in Port St. Lucie. With the feel of his slider back, MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden has already picked him as the 2016 NL Cy Young Award Winner. The pitch was responsible for 20% of his swing and misses a couple of years ago and to have it back in his arsenal makes him even more of a threat to hitters batting averages.

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