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Robinson Cano’s 2016 Season Was a Flashback to His Yankee Days

Handing out a lucrative, multi-year contract to a player is always risky for an MLB organization, no matter how much of a no-brainer it appears to be. That risk factor goes through the roof when it’s a 10-year, $240 million deal, like the one Robinson Cano signed prior to the 2014 season.

Outside of a dip in power, his first season in Seattle was a success. He hit .314/.382/.454 with 14 home runs and 82 RBI, producing a wRC+ of 137 and a 5.2 fWAR – the fifth consecutive year he surpassed 5.0.

It was the first half of 2015 when people likely started to freak out, to a degree.

He limped into the All-Star break with a lackluster triple slash of .251/.290/.370, accompanied by just 6 home runs, 30 RBI and an wRC+ of 86. Providing power as a second baseman had always been one of his best attributes, but a .118 first-half ISO showed that the only thing his power was doing was continuing to deteriorate.

Cano did start to look like himself again following the midsummer classic — he hit .331/.387/.540 with 15 home runs, 40 RBI, a wRC+ of 157, and most importantly, his ISO jumped back up to .209.

That second-half performance ended up being a sign of what was to come.

Were there any similarities between 2016 and his prime years in the Bronx from 2010-12 when Cano’s ISO never dipped below .214 while posting a .311/.370/.539 line with a combined 90 homers and 321 RBI?

Yes, but there are also some interesting differences showing how his game has transformed over the years.


MLB’s Best Hitters in Each Inning During the 2016 Season

According to Earl Wilson, the game of baseball is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings. Regardless of the team you root for, just about every fan can relate to that in some way.

While it takes a full nine innings – or, nine nervous breakdowns – for a game to be complete without suboptimal weather sabotaging it, there are countless moments within each inning that can alter the eventual outcome, whether it’s in the top of the first or bottom of the ninth.

With that in mind, I was interested in finding out which hitters mashed the most in each inning throughout the course of 2016. Thanks to FanGraphs’ Splits Leaderboard, it was pretty easy to do.

Using the very arbitrary benchmark of 80-plus plate appearances for the first through sixth innings, 50-plus plate appearances for the seventh through ninth innings and 20-plus plate appearances for extras, below are the top three hitters from every inning in 2016, based off wRC+.


MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 2 – April


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

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports Selections For MLB Action Apr 11, 2016


Josh Robbins (Featured Fantasy  BBBA Writer/ 

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Hi, my name is Josh Robbins.  I would like to share my Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) strategy with you throughout the MLB season on weekdays.  Fanduel is my preferred game of skill.

Welcome to the 2nd week of the 2016 MLB season.

3-Strikes: Here’s what you expect from my daily articles:

My Top 3 Starting Pitchers (aces, mid-level, bargain)

My Top 3 Stacking Options (multiple players from the same team)

My Top 3 BVP (Batter vs. Pitcher) Options Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 AL MVP In The MLB: Best And Worst Bets

Miguel Cabrera won this award back in 2012 and 2013 - and is fully healthy this upcoming campaign, on a club that is much improved and will be in contention for a playoff spot all year. His +700 odd is a great value bet.

Miguel Cabrera won this award back in 2012 and 2013 – and is fully healthy this upcoming campaign, on a club that is much improved and will be in contention for a playoff spot all year. His +700 odd is a great value bet.  We are picking the man to win the American League MVP this year.  Mike Trout will likely finish 2nd again, and that is based solely on his team probably not vying for a playoff position this year in my view.  Trout should still win the AP Player of the Year and Sporting News player of the year as well..

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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There is no doubt in the world that Mike Trout is the best overall player in the American League, and he is still the best player in the Majors (at least for now – until Bryce Harper has a better 2016 than him again in 2015), but his team is going to make it tough for him to win the MVP over the next few years.

The 2014 winner, and 3 time runner-up in 2012, 2013 and 2015 has to be wondering what his franchise is doing wasting his talent – by surrounding a mediocre supporting cast?

Having said this, the +175 odd is still about where it should be.  If the Angels are in the race down the stretch, and he has better number than the field, Trout will take his 2nd trophy this season.

Honestly the odd that surprised me the most was the Manny Machado odd at +500.  I am not questioning his talent, or the fact he should be a top 5 player for years in the AL;  I am questioning the website for having the O’s ranked 14th out of 15 AL Clubs! Read the rest of this entry

3 lessons we learned during the first week of spring


With one week of spring training in the books, here are the top three things we learned

It’s’ the beginning of a new season. Spring Training began as pitchers and catchers reported late last week and position players started to arrive early on this week.

Of course there are going to be at least a few interesting situations that will go down in this first week or two of Spring Training. It happens every year beginning with almost every player declaring “I’m in the best shape of my life” to there being so many new faces on some of the teams that the players literally need  to meet one another for the first time.

That was the case for the Oakland Athletics last year after many offseason trades and it appears to be the case in Seattle this season with the Mariners. New GM Jerry Dipoto turned over more than 40% of the Mariners roster in hopes to improve the team enough that they can compete in what is going to be a very competitive race to win the AL West or at least slide in as one of the two AL Wild Card teams.

Some free agents are still signing agreements and getting their physicals while other players are already incurring injuries such as the San Francisco Giants Matt Cain and the Detroit Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez.

While injuries and guys without jobs are no joke …. Here are a few very fun and somewhat  interesting things we’ve already learned in 2016: Continue reading on BBST

Why Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto Won the 2015-16 MLB Offseason

Heading into 2015, the Seattle Mariners not only had playoff aspirations, but some analysts even tabbed them as a World Series team. Upon eventually crossing the finish line with a disappointing 76-86 record, change at the top was bound to happen.

Once it did, plenty of other changes took place, too.

Former general manager Jack Zduriencik was out of a job before the calendar flipped to September, followed by Jerry Dipoto being tabbed as his successor by the end of that month.

From that point on, the Mariners went through as close to a complete makeover as one organization possibly could in one offseason. We knew Dipoto had a clear vision as to what kind of team he wanted to field on Opening Day since the changes were coming fast and furious within his first few months on the job.


Odds To Win The Overall Homer Crown In 2016 MLB Baseball: Battle Of The Big Fly’s

Stanton has light tower power - and should lead the NL in Homers if he can remain healthy for a whole year. While it doesn't lock up a postseason berth having an MVP type season - coupled with a CY Young caliber pitcher on the field, it should translate in a chance to contend for the year.

Stanton has light tower power – and should lead the NL and Majors in Homers if he can remain healthy for a whole year.   In just 74 Games Played last campaign, the big slugger belted 27 HRs.  The problem is always staying on the field.  There is no reason to think he can’t crack 50+ HRs if he played a full season.  To aid his efforts as the biggest favorite to win this years MLB Homer crown – is that Marlins Park is bringing in the fences and also lowering them.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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I am flat-out wondering why these guys failed to include Chris Carter on this list?  For a prolific Home Run Hitter over the last 3 years (90 bombs), this guy is getting no respect.

I mean they have Corey Seager, Matt Adams and Freddie Freeman at the +20000 clip, but no word for a guy who finished 2nd in 2014 MLB Homers?

Carter is headed to the best home run park in the Major Leagues in Milwaukee, and will not be on a competitive club, where his AB may be in question.  Sure the guy might fan 250 times in 600 AB this season, but he may crack 40 taters for all we know.

I have requested this gambling website send me the odd for Carter (you can request a player that wasn’t listed), and I will get back to you shortly.

Let me start by saying that if Giancarlo Stanton remains healthy for a full year that he should definitely lead the Majors in longballs.  Despite us predicting him to do this, his odd only is listed as our #5 value best bet on the board. Read the rest of this entry

The Top 5 Home Run Hitters In MLB For 2015 + Homer Stats

Giancarlo Stanton should contend for the NL HR championship crown in 2016. He is capable of cracking 40 - 50 HRs if he can play a year completely healthy. The Marlins are lucky to have one of the best young hitters in the game on offense, and to also have Jose Fernandez as their #1 Pitcher. Finances dictate the club will only be able to secure one long term - and Fernandez has more years left of team control, and is going to cost the team less cash.

Giancarlo Stanton should contend for the NL HR championship crown in 2016. He is capable of cracking 40 – 50 HRs if he can play a year completely healthy. The Marlins are lucky to have one of the best young hitters in the game.  In 2015, he clubbed 27 HRs in just 279 AB for the season.  That is about a HR every 10 AB. If he could play 150 games in a year, he may easily crack the 50+HR mark.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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There were 9 guys who tallied 40+ HRs in the Major Leagues and 6 of them came from the AL and just 3 came from the NL. Furthermore, out of 20 players that cracked 30+ HRs, only 6 came from the Senior Circuit.

The National League has also seen that Todd Frazier joined the White Sox in the offseason. (more…)

Top 10 Active List: Homers Per At Bat

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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I guess I was pretty surprised to that despite 181 HRs in just 2567 AB – Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t have enough AB to qualify for the career lead in this category.

For the record Stanton has gone deep for every 14.18 AB thus far, including his 2015 year where he did yard work 27 times in just 279 AB – which is just 10.33 AB per jack.

Mike Trout is operating at a Home Run so far at 1/17.61 AB.  Bryce Harper is just 3 HRS shy of the 100 Homer plateau.  He has a HR/per 18.86 AB in his career, but he was at an incredible 1 longball per 12.40 AB last season. (more…)

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