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These 6 MLB Hitters Have a lot To Prove in 2017

Now that it’s been about a month since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and we’re assured there won’t be a work stoppage related to Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, baseball’s full focus can officially shift to 2017.

With MLB’s Winter Meetings on the horizon, we’ll soon be engulfed in countless rumors as front office executives attempt to improve for next season.

While that’s all taking place, players — who are obviously the subject of these impending rumors — are likely at home watching it all happen as they mentally and physically prepare for 2017 themselves. Some are feeling confident after a solid showing over the past several months, but others are looking to regain their old form.

Just as we recently pointed out a handful of starting pitchers who are entering next season with a lot to prove, we’ve chosen six hitters also feeling that same kind of pressure. However, unlike those hurlers, not all of the below hitters are coming off disappointing campaigns. 

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Amidst Great Year, Blue Jays’ Michael Saunders Still Has One Issue

HE’S HAVING A GOOD YEAR, BUT JAYS FROM THE COUCH LOOKS INTO WAYS OF IMPROVING TORONTO BLUE JAYS LF, MICHAEL SAUNDERS’ STRIKEOUT RATE.

 

 

Michael Saunders is one hell of a hitter, and it seems like everyone is now noticing. For example this and this, have both recently been published on Fangraphs about the Canadian. As fans, we have seen him hit balls hard, off lefties and righties, we’ve seen him hit from foul pole to foul pole, showing a prime example of “power to all fields” that we have come to love and expect from most of our elite hitters. There is one small rather large issue with his current numbers, and I am not talking about his uncharacteristically high .375 BABIP.

No, for those who started reading this, the fans who have been paying attention and check Fangraphs leader boards every hour or so to gain insight, they know. Michael Saunders has an astronomically high 26.1% strikeout rate, good for top 20 in the league.

 

READ FULL POST at Jays From the Couch

 

Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 5/24/16

If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me @dynasty_digest. Please follow my blog for daily updates on my daily fantasy baseball rosters for DraftKings (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com).

 

P- Stephen Strasburg (vs. New York Mets): $13,400. Strasburg has had a great year so far. In 61 innings pitched, he has a 7-0 record, with a 2.80 ERA, 75 strikeouts, and 16 walks. In his last start, he faced the New York Mets, and he dominated them. He threw six innings, giving up six hits, one earned run, and striking out 10 batters. Strasburg should dominate again on Tuesday considering the Mets offense is struggling (.216 BA in the last seven games) and they lost a key bat in Lucas Duda.

 

P- Julio Teheran (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $9,400. The Brewers’ offense has struggled all year long. In the last seven days, they are hitting a whopping .207 with a .269 OBP. This should bode well for Teheran. In 44 career at bats against Teheran, the Brewers are batting .227, with 11 strikeouts, and a .274 OBP. These numbers are very encouraging for this matchup on Tuesday.

 

To view the rest of the picks, click the link below:

 

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For Draft Kings 5/1/16

P- Rich Hill (vs. Houston Astros): $8,900. Rich Hill has been on fire in 2016. In his first 5 starts, he has thrown 26 innings, with a 2.42 ERA, and 37 strikeouts. His strikeout rate in 2016 is what makes him such an attractive choice for daily fantasy. Well, tomorrow is quite possibly the best match-up for Hill when it comes to potential strikeouts. The Houston Astros rank as the worst team in Major League Baseball in the strikeout category. They have struck out a whopping 233 times in 2016. Needless to say, Hill could put up a lot of points in Draft Kings tomorrow.

P- Danny Salazar (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): $10,800. Salazar has been quite the workhorse for the Cleveland Indians this year. In his first 4 starts, he has thrown 23 innings, with a 2.35 ERA, giving up only 11 hits, and 26 strikeouts. He has always been known for his impressive strikeout rate, which should be great on Sunday, considering he is facing the Philadelphia Phillies, whom is ranked 21st in that category. He comes at a steep price, but there are many other elite pitchers throwing on Sunday who are more costly and have tougher match-ups. Keep a close eye on this match-up, as there is some potential issues with the weather forecast.

 

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

 

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The 2016 Baltimore Orioles May Break The ALL – Time Single Year Team Homer Record

Featured Image -- 4171

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Last season the Baltimore Orioles cranked out 217 jacks to finish 3rd in the Major Leagues behind the Toronto Blue Jays (232 HRs) and Houston (230 HRs).

Since the end of the year they have added Pedro Alvarez and Mark Trumbo.  These guys have several years of clubbing 25+ HRs each.

The squad also has the reigning AL HR champ of Chris Davis at 47, while Manny Machado bashed out 35 big flies to tie for 13th overall last year (Yoenis Cespedes and David Ortiz also smacked 35 longballs).

J.J. Hardy is capable of hitting 20+ HRs in a year despite his production being hampered by injury the last few seasons.

Matt Wieters compiled 20+ HR campaigns in each of the 2011 – 2013 seasons – before battling to recapture his power streak after Tommy John Surgery.

Nolan Reimold may hit 1st or 9th depending on the pitcher, and he has shown a penchant for hitting a ball beyond the fence as well.

Playing in a home park like Camden Yards helps.  Having road games in Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and the Rogers Centre for an additional 26 – 27 contests also bodes well. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB World Series

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium - with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D'Backs have the worst on the board this week.

The Cardinals continued their great play in the MLB since the turn of the millennium – with an MLB best 100 wins in 2015. The organization has transitioned to the next core of a young nucleus, while still holding on to a couple of capable veterans. Considering they have plenty of depth, and lots of payroll flexibility coming forth, the franchise could orchestrate a blockbuster trade soon. While I would favor Chicago over them slightly for the NL Central, the RedBirds, Mets, Dodgers Tigers and Mariners have the best value, while the Angels, Giants, Padres, Red Sox and D’Backs have the worst on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I was all set to pounce on my 1st American League bet for the Fall Classic in 2016 earlier this week – when the O’s were at +5000, and presumably bringing both Dexter Fowler and Yovani Gallardo into the stable. 

With Fowler opting back to Chicago, the odd also dropped to +4500 in the meantime (also following the Gallardo wait time for the physical fiasco), and the value is no longer there. 

Baltimore is a low 80 wins team in my view, and will not have enough for the postseason.  Fowler would have added a few W’s for sure.

Of course with the chaos that has ensued,  the Cubs have gone from +700 to +650 prohibitive best odd.  There is no doubt in my mind they should be the consensus favorite. 

One of these years the #1 seed will capitalize and win.  I am still not plunking down cabbage at that clip though.

If I were to do my year end picks right now, I would still have Chicago ending their World Series 108 seasons drought – but I can’t place them as twice the favorite as the St. Louis Cardinals.

Still not sold on the Cubs Bullpen either, and I think Jon Lester can be had in the postseason.  The Mets also line up favorably versus Chicago based on pitching matchups.  New York has the better odds to wager with.

I am currently writing a faceoff piece between the Cubbies and Cards that I will post over the weekend.  The difference is not a whopping 8 or 10 games like FanGraphs and PECOTA say.  St. Louis should still be in the mid 90’s for victories by years end. Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Should Trade For Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun has been the starter in RF for the Brewers for almost a decade. Greeted warmly at the team's convention recently, a multitude of fans gathered for autographs. Speaking to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, Braun said that he has felt embraced in Milwaukee since his suspension, insisting he had only one "challenging conversation" with a fan while calling around last year to apologize to season-ticket holders. "It wasn't surprising in any way," Braun said of that one tough talk. "I made a mistake; I made a big mistake. I don't expect everybody to be supportive or everybody to be understanding or everybody to understand where I was coming from. I certainly didn't anticipate the amount of support I received." Before the Biogenesis scandal took center stage, he was hitting .298 with 9 HRs and 38 RBIs. Expect those numbers to climb dramatically and be much closer to his career .312 average, and tack on 30-40 HRs.

Ryan Braun has been the starter in RF for the Brewers for almost a decade. However, he has battled several thumb injuries, and is now 32 Years Old.  Since Milwaukee will not likely be contenders for the next 3 – 4 years in a tough NL Division, they should really start to rebuild.  Toronto also needs to look past 2016 – when both Encarnacion and Bautista are Free Agents.  If they can’t come up with the funds to sign either of them in extensions, they should pursue Braun in the next 6 – 8 months.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Toronto Blue Jays have played it conservative for 2016, but still have a realistic shot to win in 2016 because of their offense.  Going beyond 2016 looks extremely difficult when you factor in they may lose both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista following next year.

This would be a shame, but both players should be able to command around $20 MIL per year for at least the next 2 – 3 years after this upcoming one.  That may be too much for the Canadian club to afford.

Our website has spoken at length of how Toronto must capitalize on this opportunity.  As of right now, I don’t think they have enough pitching to get it done in the playoffs either.

Free Agency will be a tough sell for the franchise to bring in any ace pitchers or premiere offensive stars in the coming years.  You also may have a tough time to crack those deals when the Canadian dollar is hovering around 70 cents for every American Greenback right now.

I say go after Ryan Braun via a trade in the next 6 – 8 months. Read the rest of this entry

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