2015 Wildcard Games and MLB Awards

usa today playoff bracket
I’m hoping for a Mets/Blue Jays World Series, but as long as the Cardinals aren’t the team from the NL I’ll be happy.

2015 Wildcard Games
AL – Tuesday Oct 6th: Astros (Keuchel) @Yankees (Tanaka)
Keuchel is undefeated at home and just an average pitcher on the road, still he’s the likely AL Cy Young winner and a lefty, Yankee Stadium heavily favors lefty pitchers. Keuchel is also throwing on only 3 days rest, which is never a good thing. He also leads the league with 232 IP, more than a 30 IP increase from last year. However, in the extremely small sample size of 24 IP, Keuchel has shutdown the Yankees. If Keuchel can’t pitch at 100% or can’t remain in the game too long then the Yankees have a very good shot at beating this weak Astros bullpen, and on short rest this task doesn’t seem so insurmountable. Tanaka should at least perform decently, I was down on him going into the season, but he’s been above average all year. The bullpen is a huge strength for the Yankees and it’s where they have a huge advantage against Houston.
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First Half Observations

he loves goooold
Fantasy All Stars (5×5, on-base leagues)

National League
C – Buster Posey, SF – Has 3 titles in 5 years and is putting up solid numbers again. I thought where he was going in the draft was too high, 3rd round, but so far he’s been worth it.
C – Derek Norris, SD – He was the 2nd choice in OAK, because Vogt is amazing, but now he’s 1st in SD. He’s been the consolation prize for fantasy players everywhere who missed out on Vogt.
1B – Paul Goldschmidt, AZ – the #1 rated player on Yahoo! for good reason, maybe people will finally start talking about him in real baseball. I can’t not see him going 1st overall next year.
1B – Anthony Rizzo, CHI – Theo’s poster boy, but for some reason ESPN only seems to mention Kris Bryant. The Cubs made out on that deal, but I’m still hoping for Cashner to put it all together. The SBs have been a pleasant surprise, proving that any smart player with an aggressive manager can get to 20 SBs easily. Continue reading

Baseball Stocks Rising: April 2015

So the first month of baseball is technically over, but because the season started so late the first month hasn’t really finished yet. I looked into some players off to great starts to the season and I used fangraphs for all the stats mentioned in my post.
he's on seattle now yeah, but look how cool he looks in this photo!

Nelson Cruz – Well it’s official, I was dead wrong on Cruz. Seattle is where hitters go to die! Cano couldn’t even get to 15 HRs last year and Cruz moving from the hitter friendly Camden Yards to Safeco was supposed to reduce his power, not increase it! He’s hitting fly balls 14% more than last year and his ground ball rate is down by 8%, so the spike in HRs makes sense. Those rates usually don’t stabilize until ~170 PAs and he’s only half way to that mark. His HR/FB is high, but if he can keep generating this many FBs then he might even eclipse last years 40 HRs…he only needs 30 more to go. His walk and strikeout rates look right around career average and he’s swinging a little less outside the strike zone while increasing his contact rate. His age, injury history, and home park gave me concern going into the season, but the stats show there’s little to dislike.
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April Reactions: Hitter Reactions

justin-morneau-and-standeeWhat a great start for Justin Morneau, good thing I recommended him as much as I could on this website that nobody reads! I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that one. Todd Helton was able to play 1B for the Rockies for 40 years, Morneau should be able to do it too. Also those two studs on the left look like twins…too soon?

I’m really glad I held on to Rajai Davis in all my leagues I drafted him in and didn’t drop him for let’s say either Matt Lindstrom or Jose Valverde because I needed saves. I couldn’t have been that stupid right? Right?!

Elvis Andrus has 9 SBs already, he’s so fast because of all those peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches he eats. The King and the Prince are roaming around the Texas infield.

Chris Colabell-who? Somehow he has 27 rbis playing for the Twins and I’ve never heard of him before this year. Somehow the Twins have one of the best offenses in baseball, if only they had just one major league level pitcher…
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What’s in my Portfolio

These are some of the players I ended up owning on multiple teams if you haven’t figured it out already…

stock-chart-blueBecause I own them…they’ll do better!

Trevor Rosenthal – Well I never invest in “elite” closers, but somehow I landed this guy and I’m actually pretty happy about it. With the way that some of the lower tier closers are getting knocked around it feels good to have a guy who could end up as the most valuable closer in the league, even if he went undrafted in most leagues last year. Rosenthal is on a great team (both talent wise and managing wise), pitches in the NL, and strikes out a ton of guys. I think this is going to be a great relationship.
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Foolish Reactions to Opening Day

Cliff Lee is old, he’s turning 36 this season, and the Rangers collapse is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember Roy Halladay? He was an old Phillies pitcher too. What age did Roy Halladay fall off the map you ask? 36. Last year Cliff Lee had above a 6 ERA in July, he was lucky to have under a 3 ERA that year. Trade Cliff Lee while his name still has some value.

Billy Hamilton had 4 Ks in 4 at bats. Did I mention he had no stolen bases?! If he can’t get on base, then he can’t steal, meaning he’ll have no value. I knew Billy Hamilton was going to be a bust and yesterday just cements it.

Mark Trumbo already has 6 RBIs and is primed to finish the season with like 100 times that. He switched from a pitchers ballpark to a hitters paradise, so of course his power was going to skyrocket. 150 RBIs and 50+ HRs is not out of the question. I would trade Cliff Lee for Mark Trumbo in a heartbeat.
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Best Case: Worst Case

Best Case: Bryce Harper
He carries this underachieving Nationals team to the World Series and because of his talent and charisma he becomes the most recognized face in baseball…or a more recognized face in baseball. Instead of crashing into walls, he bursts through them like the Hulk. With literally nothing capable of stopping Bryce Hulk he’s able to fulfill his potential and swat 40 HRs and swipe 20 bases. He becomes one of the youngest players, he’s only 21, since, well, Mike Trout to develop and destroy pitchers so quickly. This also makes the current comparisons of the two players finally appropriate. Harper sparks the rest of the Nationals lineup to produce at his high level and he’s easily able to drive in 110 runs. He starts dating a supermodel and people finally stop asking him “clown questions”. The future of baseball has arrived.
Worst Case: Bryce Harper
Turns out walls have become sentient beings and start running into him. His knee issues from last year still linger and he can never quite find his power, barely getting 20 HRs as he doesn’t play a full season again. The Nationals offense disappoints like always and lack of line up production causes his counting stats to hover around mediocre and boring statlines. New skipper Matt Williams embraces the Moneyball persona and discourages stolen bases, causing Bryce to only steal 5 bases. People continue to praise Harper despite the down year and you can’t even get a discount on him the following year. He starts dating a regular model. The future always seems to be next year, but you were stuck with him for this one.
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