Baseball

#43 next week

First off I will be taking next week off, because I’ll be a little busy and there won’t be much to write about except for the wild card games. With that being said I’m going to knock both out today. I’ll be predicting who takes all 4 wild card spots, both AL and NL are extremely tight races so I could be way off the mark but it’s what I think will happen.

Let’s start in the NL, because that race is a little less murky. There’s only 3 teams in this race, the Cardinals, the Giants, and the Mets. Right now it’ll be the Mets and the Giants in the one game playoff in New York. The Cards do have a chance to steal a wild card spot but in my honest opinion they’ll be on the outside looking in. With that said the playoff game will be MadBum vs Bartolo Colon. And if that’s the matchup the Giants win that one 9 times out of 10.

Now to the AL which is much tighter. I’m not going to list every team still in the hunt, there’s at least 5 teams it’ll take too long. But my favorites to win are the Tigers and the Blue Jays. Because both of their offense are extremely tough and it’d be interesting to see a team slug it out with the Rangers and the Red Sox. The Orioles are also still in the race which is another strong offense but I don’t think they have a good enough pitcher to start the win or go home game. The same thing goes for the Tigers and the Blue Jays so I don’t see either going much farther than the one game. If the starters aren’t Justin Verlander for Detroit and Aaron Sanchez for Toronto I’ll be shocked.

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#42 a bright star gone too soon

It is with a heavy heart that I write todays post. Jose Fernadez deserves an entire blog post therefore I feel the need to write about him today. After the emotional game in Miami last night I just have to write about everything. Like I said very emotional so there is a good chance I might shed a tear just writing about this.

In case you were living under a rock Jose Fernadez crashed his boat into some rocks Saturday night/Sunday morning. It was seriously heart breaking news to wake up to. He was having such a great year too. He just turned 24 (same as me) and had his entire career ahead of him. The path he started on was leading to the hall of fame without a doubt in my mind. It really hit home for me not just because of the age thing but because of how he played the game. He played with intensity that often rubbed people the wrong way but at the same time he knew how fun this game is, and that’s exactly how I feel about baseball I honestly believe if I still played I would play like Jose. In recent memory last night was probably the most emotional night in baseball. Every Marlins player wore Jose Fernadez’s number 16. Dee Gordon was the lead off hitter for the Marlins, and came up to bat with Jose’s helmet on stepped in the right handed batters box (Dee’s a left handed hitter) and imitated Fernadez’s batting stance. Even though Fernadez was a pitcher he was a pretty accomplished hitter. Then Dee switched back to the left and a couple pitches later rocketed a pitch into the right field seats. A lead off homer. It gives me goosebumps just writing about it, Dee was crying during his trip around the bases. I can’t blame him at all I even teared up when watching it on TV. It was something else. RIP Jose Fernadez you will be forever missed a bright star gone too soon.

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#41 the Cubs will not win the World Series

I’m sure the title has already ticked off some Cub fans but it’s my opinion. I’ll write a quick post about how I’m 84% sure (odd number but I’ll explain later) they won’t win the World Series. I woke up this morning thinking I was going to write about Gary Sanchez again, who hit his record breaking 19th homer last night in just his 43rd game of the year. But I’ve already written about him plenty so I decided to make some Cub fans mad.

I actually have some statistics to back up my opinion this time. The team with the best record (a little over a week left but it’ll probably be the Cubs) in baseball wins the World Series only 16% of the time. That means there’s an 84% chance of the other playoff teams winning it. It shouldn’t take a mathematical bookie to realize if the odds are 16/84 you bet the 84 every time. Now that’s not saying the Cubs aren’t a good team because of course they are but I’m saying there is actually a very little chance of them winning the World Series. I can see they’re a talented team but people think because I’m not all about the Cubs like everyone else it makes me a hater. The Cubs have a very good lineup with Rizzo and Bryant but other than that I don’t see much, you can throw Russell in there but he’s only hitting .240. Zobrist slowed down big time, same with Fowler, Soler and Baez aren’t even everyday players. Above average hitting team but not the best at all. Now onto pitching where I thought they’ve been weak all year long. The addition of Chapman and Montgomery at the trade deadline really solidified the bullpen, I know Montgomery has made some starts for them but he’s not a starter I assume they’re just stretching him out so he can pitch multiple innings in the playoffs. I still believe the Cubs are one starter behind. Yes, Kyle Hendricks is having a phenomenal year 15-8 with an era a little over 2. Probably a once in a lifetime type of year, not even close to Jake Arrieta last year but still, Hendricks gives up solid contact, doesn’t really strike anyone out, and has a walk rate that’s nothing special. A Cy young candidate but won’t win. I’m sorry this started as I was just going to write a short post about the numbers and how they probably won’t even make it but it lasted a lot longer than I thought. I’d still put my money on the Nats being the NL champs.

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#40 Trea time

Today I felt like writing a little about the Nationals new phenom Trea Turner. The Nats speedster is so electric that he’s easily becoming one of my favorite players. So I’m just going to write a little and maybe make a case for him to win national league ROY. First I just want to say that Thursday I couldn’t think of anything to write about so I decided to take a day off so I’m sorry to anyone who was looking for something to read on Thursday.

When Trea Turner became a full time starter (mostly in CF but some 2B) he solidified the Nats lead off spot. He’s one of the fastest players in baseball and he brings pretty good power to the table as well. Ben Revere has been the Nats lead off hitter for the majority of the season, he’s really fast also but he wasn’t really hitting and brought 0 power. I don’t know about you but hitting .350 11 homers and 27 steals in just a couple months makes for a good lead off hitter. Let’s go back to my “prediction” post, I said Orlando Arcia was my pick was to win NL ROY. And my reasoning was because I thought he’d be called up by June (he wasn’t) and could hit 10+ homers and 20+ steals. Surprise that’s what Turner is doing only better. Right now I still think Corey Seager has the ROY award in his pocket, hitting .313 with 25 homers can do that for you, but I honestly think Trea Turner could steal it from him. Trea should get some serious consideration for rookie of the year.

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#39 New York

Now that the season is winding down I’m running out of ideas to write about every two days. Believe it or not something interesting doesn’t happen in baseball every other day. Today I’m just going to write a quick post about the two New York teams, the Yankees and the Mets. I still think they’re both on the outside looking in but both have been pushing for a wildcard recently.

First I’ll start with the Yankees. Like most baseball fans I have never really liked the Yankees at all. These Yankees are no longer the George Steinbrenner’s Yankees that just flash their money and buy every free agent out there. This is basically a regular team with plenty of young talent and not just young they’re actually producing. After this year C.C. Sabitha is a free agent, Mark Texeria is a free agent, don’t have to pay Arod to underproduce anymore, that is a lot of money coming off the books. So next year it’ll be Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, and Clint Frazier will be pretty close. All those players getting regular at bats I think are in better position to win next year than they have been in recent years. But as for this year, I like how the “Baby Bombers” are swinging it but pitching is the key and I don’t think they have enough pitching to snag a wildcard.

Now lastly the Mets. I stand by what I said at the beginning of the season that the New York Mets were not a playoff team. Yes, I know they’re making a nice push but no I do not think they can actually snag a wildcard. I knew Syndergaard was going to be good this year, both Matz and DeGrom have been injury plagued in the minors so not surprised about them, the only thing I can say surprised me was Harvey struggling and then being injured. Everyone was like “the Mets got Cespedes they’ll be a playoff team again” that was clearly wrong. What people failed to realize is the Mets got David Wright back healthy the same time they got Cespedes. So if you think he was the only reason they made it to the World Series, you’re wrong. So no the Mets are not a playoff team. Maybe they could make it if they called up Tim Tebow.

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#38 the NL east

There are couple things I would like to write about today and they both reside in the NL east, hence the title. Beginning with Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals, ending with Tim Tebow and the Mets.

First and foremost Stephen Strasburg come off the DL to pitch against the Braves but exited in the 3rd inning with an apparent injury. As a Nats fan my heart dropped because he threw a pitch and grimaced clutching his elbow. It is never good for any pitcher to clutch his elbow after throwing a pitch, especially a guy that’s already had Tommy John surgery. In case you didn’t know Tommy John surgery is when they have to repair a torn ligament in the elbow, when you throw a pitch it puts a lot of stress on that certain ligament. If he did tear something that isn’t good for the Nats World Series chances. Roark is having an outstanding year and he can easily move up in the rotation behind Scherzer, but Stras was the X factor of that rotation. Scherzer is un hittable, Stras can be un hittable, and Roark has a 2.80 era. It’s said that he only felt “a pinch” in his elbow so fingers crossed it’s not bad. Update: Strasburg’s mri shows no structural damage.

This is going to be quick because I do not care for Tebow nor the Mets. He signed a minor league contract with the Mets. I don’t know the specifics yet but my guess is it’s probably only for a year or two. A guy I use to play little league with said it perfectly if anybody besides Tebow showed up to a tryout and with the same skill set they would’ve been sent packing. So it’s whatever congrats to Tebow I guess.

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#37 the surprising Dodgers

Well Dodger fans probably aren’t too surprised that they’re in first place but I sure am. With the team they put together I wouldn’t of guessed they’d be in first place in September, and by 4 games none the less. A lot has to do with the Giants absolute collapse in the second half but still first place is first place. Clayton Kershaw is due to return on Friday so I feel like writing a little about the first place Dodgers.

So when Clayton Kershaw injured his back I for one thought the Dodgers were done for. But somehow they did better without Kershaw, they started hitting better and the bullpen picked up a sub par rotation. It goes without saying that Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball. So I thought when they lost him they didn’t have enough to make a serious push. When I look at the Dodgers I think Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager, but not much besides those two. I honestly believe that when Kershaw got injured it was a wake up call to the rest of the team. They thought “we lost our horse who can beat anyone we’ve got to pick him up.” You look at every player on the Dodgers and their stats are better since Kershaw was shelved. That’s what good teams can do and now they’re getting their ace back. Dave Roberts deserves some serious consideration for manager of the year.

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