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Diamondbacks Gaining New Vision for 2017, But With The Old Regime’s Players

Dave Stewart, Tony La Russa and the Arizona Diamondbacks stunned baseball last winter with a handful of bold moves in order to win in 2016. Unfortunately for them, instead of improving from a 79-83 showing in ’15, the club regressed to 69-93 this past season.

The organization will now take a more conservative approach this offseason. Not necessarily because new Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Hazen believes that’s the proper course of action to begin turning the Dbacks around, but he doesn’t have much of a choice.

Hazen made the most impactful move of his first offseason in Arizona by recently hiring Torey Lovullo as manager. It was an important hire because the organization’s 2017 results will already hinge significantly on the success or failure of players the previous regime brought in.

The Dbacks’ new executive is familiar with this kind of situation, though.

With the Boston Red Sox, he watched Dave Dombrowski inherit a roster that was also basically set. But he at least still had the flexibility to make impactful acquisitions, like signing David Price and trading for Craig Kimbrel.

The situation out in the desert is different, and for three major reasons.

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Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 5/28/16

P- Zack Greinke (vs. San Diego Padres): The Padres’ offense has been one of the worst in Major League Baseball all year long. Not only have they struggled this year, but they have struggled against Greinke every time he stepped on the mound. In 178 career at bats against Greinke, the Padres’ batters are batting a cool .191, with one home run, eight RBIs, 44 strikeouts, and a .237 OBP.

Greinke has struggled at some points in 2016, but he has been very good in his last two games, which were against the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. Greinke has thrown one game against the Padres this year, in which he threw 7.1 innings, giving up six hits, two earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts.

 

P- Wade Miley (vs. Minnesota Twins): $9,100. In Miley’s last six starts, he is 5-0 with a 3.12 ERA. So far this season, he hasn’t had a noticeable “easy” matchup, so it should be nice to face a struggling Twins’ offense.

The Minnesota Twins have by far the worst offensive stats against left-handed pitchers this season out of all Major League Baseball teams. In 263 at bats against lefties, they are hitting a whopping .209 (last in MLB), 21 runs (last in MLB, and a .285 OBP. Well folks, we are in luck because Wade Miley does in fact throw with his left arm.

 

To view the rest of the picks, 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

Loss of Pollock won’t end DBacks’ chances

Now, the fact that I have a second favorite team may surprise many of you. Sometimes when I really think about it – it’s surprising to me as well. That team would be the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Over the years, I’ve had known players traded there, been friends with some and am still friends with others. I’ve watched the team prosper but mostly flounder and this was looking like a year where they could beat the San Francisco Giants and even the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be beatable in 2016.

The DBacks beat out two of their division rivals to get the great  Zack Greinke. They’ve got one of the classiest, not to mention best players in the league in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. And until yesterday they had an up and coming star center fielder, an All-Star last year, in A.J. Pollock.

Now Pollock is out for an unknown amount of time with a broken elbow that will require surgery. That’s a big loss to the Diamondbacks, but it shouldn’t kill their postseason chances ….

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

Yasiel Puig looked like he could be an all world player when he first started his career, however his lackluster attitude over the last few years has people wondering whether or not he will ever make good on his talent.

Yasiel Puig looked like he could be an all world player when he first started his career, however his lackluster attitude over the last few years has people wondering whether or not he will ever make good on his talent.  His OPS has gone from .925 to .863 to .758 in the last 3 years respectively.  At his optimum output in 2013, that would at least put him consideration for votes toward the award. 

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Much like the ‘Senior Circuit’ itself, the contenders for the 2016 NL MVP is very top heavy.  Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt and Giancarlo Stanton are the top 4 favorites to win the Award.

Harper at +200 is not a foregone conclusion, and as just 2/1 odds, the number is not great to wager.  I do think the man will win 5 of the next 10 MVP Awards, so I am not placing that mark in the bad value either.

Giancarlo Stanton would have a great chance to win the honor if he could stay healthy – with the Marlins being over .500 for the first time since 2008.  It is possible the big slugger could bash out 10 more Home Runs to the next day.

Andrew McCutchen is a perennial contender who should also be in the mix this season.  If the Pirates win 90 games again, which I project them to, then Cutch should have another top 5 finish.

Paul Goldschmidt at +550, with a chance for the D’Backs to be in the fight all year could finally be the defining moment for the guy who has finished 2nd in the voting for the last 2 years he has played a full year. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 NL Cy Young In The MLB: Best And Worst Bets

Max Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters in 2015, and carried no - no's into the late innings on a few other occasions. The man set highs in Strikeouts, Innings Pitched, ERA, WHIP and BB per 9 innings. On a club that will win 90+ games, I believe Scherzer will mop up the NL East all season. I am calling for the guy to win his 1st Cy Young in the National League - after winning the AL honor in 2013.

Max Scherzer threw 2 no-hitters in 2015, and carried no – no’s into the late innings on a few other occasions. The man set highs in Strikeouts, Innings Pitched, ERA, WHIP and BB per 9 innings. On a club that will win 90+ games, I believe Scherzer will mop up the NL East all season. I am calling for the guy to win his 1st Cy Young in the National League – after winning the AL honor in 2013.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Clayton Kershaw finally didn’t win a NL CY Young Award last season – and it took historical seasons by Jake Arrieta and Zack Greinke to usurp him of the throne.

The Dodgers chucker still fanned over 300 batters (301) for the 1st time in over a decade, was 16 – 7 – while leading the League in CG/SHO/IP/SO/SO per 9 IP – with still fashioning a ridiculous WHIP of 0.881.

Kershaw finished 3rd in the races, and now has 5 straight campaigns of top 3 finishes.  His +125 odd to win again is about par for the course per this odd, however – just like the American League, I am going to go for the value play more on this list than the favorite.

Last year’s winner (Arrieta) is next on the faves with a mark of +400.  I absolutely hate this odd, and for one – think it will be an impossible feat to do what he did all over again.  Based on the Cubs offense he won’t need to either.

I see Arrieta still putting forth a great season, with a top 15 Cy Young Vote, but have to call his odd of +400 value the 2nd worst on the board. Read the rest of this entry

2016 MLB Player Props: Futures Betting (Year Over/Unders)

On this list of player over/unders it may be worth a well solution to wager over on all bets across the board and go for about a 60 percent win factor. I did bet a few unders on the board.

On this list of player over/unders it may be worth a well solution to wager over on all bets across the board and go for about a 60 percent win factor. I did bet a few unders on the sheet near the end.  I continue to find value on the whole gambling aspect of listed odds.  I will throw down some more money on these selections.  I am just hoping that I don’t become too over confident for my own good.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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We will be going hard and heavy on these kind of articles.  I will put an advisory and write-up if I think the bet is worthy.

Las year I went 9 – 4 in Player Props, and I am looking to keep that kind of win percentage.

The 1st sector will be any player bets.  There is some serious value and things I have already earmarked for bets.  I honestly can’t believe all of the value that has been out there for picking this year.

Never did I imagine I would have bet this much already, but it is a bettors market.  I hope it doesn’t backfire on me. Read the rest of this entry

2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

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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

MLB Reports Placed Bets: Gambling 101 In 2016

I take my betting style from a philosophy used from a few decades of research. This book was one of the templates followed for success

I take my betting style from a philosophy used from a few decades of research. This book was one of the templates followed for success.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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So I have let my profits ride on this winter heading into futures betting in 2016 MLB.  I thought I would take you into a little look on what I have thrown down so far.

In 2014, I made 3 over/under selections (Washington over 91.5 wins, Kansas City over 81.5 Wins, and the Padres under 79.5 wins).  Made a nice profit of a few hundred dollars for that.

For my initial World Series picks I wagered the Rangers, Rays but I was smart enough to take a +2500 preseason SF Giants selection.

Halfway through the season I plunked down some money on the Royals when they were near .500, talking of firing Ned Yost, and running at an +8000 odd to win the World Series.

I also was able to win money on the Orioles for the AL East Division, and at +5000 to win the World Series, I was able to hedge bet both KC and BAL in the 1st round of the postseason, and also the World Series. Read the rest of this entry

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