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MLB Power Rankings: Week 1 Results – April 2016

The Cubs are the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 World Series, butcoming year.

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.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (5 – 1)  (1):  The Cubs weathered the loss of their slugging OF Kyle Schwarber this week – by taking 5 of the 1st 6 games played, and all on the road.  After these 6 contests – the squad is outscoring their opponents 42 – 15.

Love the idea of setting the table with Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist 1-2-3 prior to the boppers coming after in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

Having the 2015 NL ROY may help Rizzo win the NL MVP this season.  He had 10 RBI this week – including a 6 RBI effort.

Jake Arrieta is already 2 – 0, and this team shows no signs of slowing down.

(2)  KC Royals  (4 – 1) (2):  This club just knows how to win with the dominant Bullpen and clutch hitting.  They have only yielded 11 runs thus far, and this team has not even hit huge strides on offense yet.

The AL Central is better in 2016 there is no question, however KC will be ready to take them on.  There may not be a more filthy Late Inning Reliever right now than Wade DavisEdinson Volquez has picked up right where he left off in 2015 as well. Read the rest of this entry

2016 Dodgers vs Giants

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Dodgers versus Giants. Long-standing, time-honored rivalry of blood. Which team holds the edge on the field in 2016? Who is the better player at each position? Time is running short before the season kicks off, so let’s break it down.

 

The Ace:

MadBum or Kershaw? Of course, Madison Bumgarner has three World Series rings and that is impressive. However, despite those three rings, MadBum has zero Cy Young awards to Clayton Kershaw’s three. More importantly, last year Kershaw’s numbers were better, proving the theory that his arm is far fresher; MadBum has pitched 352 more innings over their respective careers, and history has shown time and again that there is a finite number of pitches in a major league arm. 

Advantage: Dodgers (1 point).

 

Rest of Starting Rotation:

Numbers 2 – 5 are actually close for the two teams. Johnny Cueto and Scott Kasmir have had their ups and downs; if Cueto is back to the dominating pitcher of old (not his 2015 second-half self), he tops Kasmir. Dodger Japanese import Kenta Maeda looks to be making an excellent transition and figures to be better than Jeff Samardzija, who is coming off a terrible season (why did the Giants pay this guy so much money?). Jake Peavy and Alex Wood seem to cancel each other out with the 34-year-old Peavy on his way out and primed to get hurt again, and the young Wood still trying to find himself…

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Dodgers Closing In On 2016 Roster

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Who will make the final cut this season?

As the Dodgers are getting ready to break camp on Wednesday and head home to begin the annual Freeway Series with the Angels, it is a perfect time to speculate on the final 25-man roster. Team officials are surely losing sleep over all of the injuries the team has endured throughout spring training and are crossing fingers the blood-letting is over. The 14-car pile-up that is the Dodgers current injury list (yes, that many) could make for some interesting roster decisions.

 

Starting Pitching Staff (5 spots)

One through four is an easy call with ace Clayton Kershaw (great spring, raring to go as usual) leading the way, followed by Scott Kazmir (luckily his abdominal issue turned out only to be a dehydration cramp the other day), then a very solid looking Kenta Maeda, an ever-improving Alex Wood, followed by, drum roll, please…the insert-a-new-name-every-five-days-guy. I am only half-kidding. Due to injuries to #5 frontrunners, Mike Bolsinger (left oblique), and Brandon Beachy (left arm soreness), and no clearcut winner for the job between Carlos Frias and Zach Lee, it looks like we will get a combination of the two depending upon match-ups. Then when Bolsinger and Beachy are ready, they, too, will probably join the #5 parade. This sounds a lot like last year’s “drive to find number five,” which was pretty much a disaster…

 

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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

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

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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…)

MLB Power Rankings New Year Of 2016

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Perhaps the Back to the Future Prediction was off by just one year. The Cubs , who are immensely loaded with young offensive superstars added another to the mix with the Jason Heyward signing. Add that to a revamped Bullpen, strong Starters signed last year in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, coupled with John Lackey this year, and this team is the clear cut #1 ranked team. Oh yeah..They even have depth to make another trade should they need to.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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(1) Chicago Cubs: Big additions of Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey.  Tonnes of young superstars only ging to get better.

(2) NY Mets:  Starting Pitching best in the Majors.  Offensive depth better in offseason.  Need David Wright to stay healthy.  NL East easiest bottom 3 teams in the bigs.

(3) Kansas City Royals:  Easiest Division in the Majors.  Back to Back AL Pennants and defending World Series Champs.  Look for some more mid year deals. (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…)

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) 

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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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