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Bold-ish Predictions For 2013

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Bold-ish Predictions For 2013

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Will Emerson

I know you have been waiting months, days even, for this exciting moment. Well, it is a bit late, I know, but better late than never, right? Just agree. In any event, it is here! Your wait is over! My much anticipated bold-ish (The “ish” part  will be important. Just wait, you’ll see.) predictions for the 2013 Major League Baseball season.

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Mark Trumbo will sock over forty homeruns. During his mid-season tear it sure seemed like Mr. Trumbo would easily clear forty dingers, but alas, he did not. Trumbo had a huge drop off (a drop off that may or not have cost me a fantasy baseball championship and that I may or may not still be bitter about) where he hit a measly five homeruns from August to the end of the season. Five? FIVE?! Well, there were lingering injury issues and those should be out of the way, so look for more long balls from Trumbo this season. Yeah, the forty homerun number is certainly attainable for Trumbo, so not super bold, but bold-ish.

Felix Doubront will win 17 games, post a sub 3.50 ERA and strikeout 200 batters. Last year Felix went 11-10, with a 4.86 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP and 167 strikeouts, so this prediction has its bit of boldishness, does it not? Fact is, Doubront had a 9.34 K/9 and an xFIP of 3.81. I feel like working with Pedro Martinez, John Farrell and Juan Nieves will help Doubront harness his talent and overall goodness.

Hee Sop Choi and or Hideki Irabu return to Major League Baseball. Huh? Choi is tearing it up in the South Korean pro baseball league right now! Well, he probably is. Why wouldn’t he be? What with that sweet swing and all? You know he’s just itching to get back to America, probably. Now, Hideki Irabu? You just know he is ready for a comeback! And quite frankly, what team would not want a 42-year old former major league pitcher who posted a career ERA over five? Hmmm? Hmmmm?! Surely some team will want it for a gimmick or something. If ony there were a team everyone thought was so bad that they would look for any sort of something to draw a crowd. If only. Eh, onto another prediction.

The Houston Astros will have an All-Star representative….. not named Jose Altuve. Okay, this is bold for sure, right. Now, do I have a prediction of who this All-Star will be? Well, not per se. I mean go ahead and name as many Houston Astros as you can? How many did you get? Ten? Of those, how many do you think could be an All-Star? Hmmm? Well, my shortlist of possible Astros All-Stars includes Lucas Harrell, Justin Maxwell and Carlos Pena. Should any of them, with the numbers they have produced in their career, be considered potential All-Stars? Eh. But who knows, stranger things have certainly happened, right? Now, while I listed several potential players that could earn that coveted All-Star spot for the Houston Astros, my best bet is my boy Bud Norris, because…

Bud Norris will finish top ten in the National League Cy Young voting in 2013. Yeah, you don’t need the “ish” on this bold statement. There is really no way this should happen, but if Bud Norris pitches even half as good on the road as he does at the Juice Box? Well, look out world! Last year at home, Bud Norris posted a 1.71 ERA and a .96 WHIP over 73.2 innings. Likelihood of this one coming true? Not great, sure.

Jered Weaver will win less than 15 games and have an ERA over 3.50. Now, I am not saying I am not a fan of Weaver (I’m not). Weaver is good, certainly. The numbers do not lie. Last season Weaver won 20 games and posted a sub-three ERA, and only once in the last four seasons has he won less than fifteen games or posted an ERA over 3.50. So why do I think that he will not picth as well this season? An xFIP of 4.18 and a sub-seven K/9 that Weaver posted last season. Now, Weaver has a good defense behind him, which has helped him overcome that ugly xFIP, but I feel the regression is a comin’ and this is the year for it to a come!

The Red Sox will make the playoffs. Everyone is down on the Sox this year after what can only be described as an abysmal 2012 for the Beantowners, but not sure they’ll be that bad though. I mean, sure, they could not hold onto Lyle Overbay, but that aside, I still think they can do some things in 2013. The outfield should be pretty good defensively with the addition of the Flyin’ Hawaiian Shane Victorino and I think Mike Napoli probably has another 30 dingers in him this season. Not to mention a full season of Will Middlebrooks and some guys roatating through the shortstop position! Pitching, I think, is the big question, but I think that starting rotation will be much better than people think, so do not sleep on the BoSox!

Josh Hamilton plays less than 100 games. I know, I know, barely bold-ish on this one, but come on, they can’t all be gold, can they? Something tells me sometime in June or July Hamilton’s season will come to an end, leaving the Angels with only 3-4 big hitters in their lineup. Seems like Hamilton is always injured and I feel like his body is wearing down on a high rate from season to season and his days of full, MVP, seasons are behind him.

Kendrys Morales will hit 30 or more home runs. Remember when Morales was a stud? A superstar in waiting? And then, remember when he hurt himself celebrating? It happens. I, for instance, have pulled a muscle getting out of bed. Freak injuries happen. Anyways, Morales quietly hit 22 bombs for the Angels in 2012 in 484 at bats, so 30 is definitely attainable. What makes this bold-ish, is that he now will be playing home games in Safeco and possibly platooning with guys in the Mariner lineup. Now, they have messed with the dimensions in Seattle, but there is still the possibility this will be a picther’s park. But I am still thinking this year will be a big year for Mr. Morales, so ,ark my words!

So there you go!My boldish predictions for the 2013 season. When these come true, remember, you heard it here first, folks. Enjoy the season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Up and 3 Down

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3 Up and 3 Down

Posted on 20 September 2012 by Gary Marchese

3 Up and 3 Down:

Here is my weekly 3 up and 3 down column.  You can reach me at gmarchesej@aol.com through email, @gmarchesej through twitter and on facebook.  You can also comment under this article and as always thanks for reading my column and the sites in general.  I feel that this is a great site and everyone does very good work.

Up: Alex Rodriguez

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Alex Rodriguez was on the DL with a broken hand.  His absence definitely hurt the Yankees.  Rodriguez in his last 18 games has hit safely in 17 of them.  He is batting 329 with four homeruns and 12 RBI.  He has an RBI in every game except one since he came back.

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Top 5 Fantasy Disappointments in 2012 – Hitters and Pitchers

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Top 5 Fantasy Disappointments in 2012 – Hitters and Pitchers

Posted on 19 August 2012 by John Unity

I’m a fantasy baseball nut. During the preseason I spend more time studying than someone who is getting ready for the Bar Exam.  I eat, sleep, and breathe fantasy baseball, but no matter how much I study I will never be able to hit 100% on my predictions.  An educated analysis can only take you so far, and then real life takes over.  No one can foresee the unexpected: injuries, trades, weather, off-field issues, stress, etc.  There are a lot of great surprises during the season, like Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen.  However, there are a lot of disappointments that leave fantasy owners scrabbling to make adjustments and some that just make you want to rip your hair out.  Let’s take a look at the 5 biggest disappointments of both hitters and pitchers this season.  Side notes: to be fair, I didn’t include players affected by injuries, and the list is based on preseason and current fantasy rankings.

Hitters

#5 – Dan Uggla
Last season, Uggla had a lot of issues as he hit below a 0.200 average and only 12 homeruns in the first 3 months of the season.  However, he came back nicely and hit 0.290 and 24 homeruns in the 2nd half of the season.  This season, Uggla has been just as streaky, but with a lot less power.  He’s on pace to finish the season with 0.211 average and 20 homeruns, both career lows.  He’s also striking out 28% of the time, another career worst.  In fact, the worst average and homerun totals he has ever posted were a 0.233 average last season and 27 homeruns in 2006, his rookie season.  Hopefully he will be able to find a sudden power burst as he did in August 2011, where he exploded for 10 homeruns.  Fantasy owners will take anything at this point as they are making their runs towards the playoffs.

#4 – Eric Hosmer
Hosmer had a very impressive rookie season as he hit 19 homeruns, scored 66 runs, 78 RBI, stole 11 bases, and hit for a 0.293 batting average.  All this without playing in the first month of the season.  Fantasy owners couldn’t wait to see how the 22-year old would respond in his 2nd season.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t responded too well.  He’s on pace to hit just 13 homeruns with a 0.233 batting average.  Hosmer is suffering from a very bad BABIP of 0.258. In this situation, it seems he is suffering mostly from bad luck.  He may not be able to make a difference the rest of this season for fantasy owners, but could be a nice sleeper for next season.  He should bounce back nicely in 2013.

#3 – Michael Young
Young is having his worst season since 2002.  He’s a career 0.302 hitter, but is only hitting 0.270 in 2012.  His biggest disappointment this year has been the fact that he has only hit 3 homeruns, on pace for 4. Prior to this season, his lowest homerun total was 9 in both 2007 and 2002.  This season he has also posted a BABIP under .0308 for the first time since his rookie season in 2001. As he’s turning 36 in October, he may have lost a few steps in his game.  We may be seeing the end of Young having any value in fantasy baseball.

#2 – Mike Napoli
In 369 at-bats last season, Napoli blasted 30 homeruns and hit for a 0.320 average.  No one thought he would be able to repeat his numbers from last season, but in the Texas ballpark and lineup most fantasy owners believed he would still put up great numbers for a catcher.  Instead, Napoli has posted his career worst batting average of 0.223.  He’s also on pace for 23 homeruns, which is still below most fantasy predictions.  He’s currently on the DL and is expected back on August 28th.  The short trip to the DL might be the time he has needed to clear his head, but I wouldn’t count on it at this point.

#1 – Carlos Santana
Last season Santana hit 27 homeruns and had a 0.239 batting average.  However, he also posted a 0.263 BABIP, which a lot of fantasy projectors saw this as a sign of better things to come.  Unfortunately, his lower BABIP seems to be the real deal.  This season he has posted a 0.266 BABIP and in 2010 he posted a 0.277 BABIP.  His low BABIP is caused mainly by his 40% fly ball rate.   Santana is one of those players that you live or die on his long ball, but this season is on pace for only 17 homeruns.  In the first 3 months, he only hit 5 homeruns that left fantasy owners cursing at the computer.  He has been hot the last 4 weeks, so hopefully he can keep it up for the fantasy owners that are still in the postseason run.

 

Pitchers

#5 – Cliff Lee
Lee’s disappointment doesn’t really come from his doing, but mostly his team’s offense.  He didn’t receive his first win until July 4th.  He has only won 2 games this season with a 2-7 record.  In Lee’s defense, Lee has been a workhorse and in 15 of his 21 games he has gone at least 7 innings.  In fact, on April 18th, he went 10 innings without giving up an earned run, and still ended up with a no decision.  His ERA (3.83) is the highest it’s been since 2007, but you can’t really blame the guy; frustration has to play a major role. The Phillies are not a team that will simply accept failure.  You can expect them to make the necessary adjustments in the offseason, which will give Lee a nice bounce back year in 2013.

#4 – Roy Halladay
Halladay’s ERA isn’t terrible, but it’s a huge disappointment for his standards.  He has posted a highest ERA (3.80) since 2004.  Like Lee, his wins have taken a hit due to run support as well.  In the majority of fantasy leagues, Halladay was taken in the first round, however he currently finds himself ranked around #65 in pitchers.  Prior to the season starting, I heard a lot about the possibility that Halladay could find himself on the decline, due to his age.  I’m not completely against this idea.  There’s one thing that really worries me about Halladay this season, and that is his 0.273 BABIP paired with the 3.80 ERA.  The 0.273 BABIP is the lowest of his career.  I hate to say it, but he may be lucky that he doesn’t have a 4.00+ ERA at this point. Like Lee, the Phillies should make the necessary moves this offseason to give Halladay a decent bounce back year.  However, we may never again see the Halladay that we all got used to.

#3 – Jon Lester
With about 4 weeks left in the regular fantasy baseball season, Lester finds himself with his worst loss total of his career.  In the four seasons prior, Lester never lost more than 9 games, however he currently finds himself with a 6-10 record.  He has a career worst 5.20 ERA and finds himself sporting an elevated BABIP of 0.323.  Batters are hitting 0.272 against him, also a career worst.  You have to wonder if there is an injury or other problem that is affecting him.  He is a completely different pitcher than we’ve seen over the prior 4 seasons.  One thing that we need to make a point about, Lester struggled in the final month of last season, posting a 5.40 ERA.  Keep a close eye on him for the remainder of the season, and consider what you see before drafting him too high in 2013.

#2 – Dan Haren
Fantasy owners expected a lot of Haren after he posted a 3.17 ERA last season, and the fact the Angels acquired Albert Pujols.  Many people predicted the Angels would make it to the World Series.  Some fantasy owners were hoping that Haren could post 20 wins this year, but at this point Haren would be lucky to get more than 10 wins this season.  He’s posted his worst ERA since his rookie season in 2003, sitting at 4.90.  He has been a complete disaster the last 3 months, with ERAs of 7.16, 4.96, and 7.62, respectively.  He didn’t make it out of the 3rd inning in his last two starts, which has a lot of people wondering if he’s having more back issues.  The Angels are much better than their records show, and should do much better next season.  Haren could end up performing a lot better than where he will be drafted next season.

#1 – Tim Lincecum
Lincecum has been a complete disaster.  This year he has posted a 5.45 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 0.326 BABIP, 42% ground ball rate, 12% HR/FB rate, 25.7% line drive rate, and a 6-13 record… all career worst’s.  He is still striking out hitters at a high rate of 9.43 per 9 innings.  MLB’s Official Fantasy Magazine had Lincecum listed as the #6 starting pitcher; he currently finds himself ranked around #105 in starting pitchers this season.  Lincecum, like Haren, could find himself outperforming his draft position in 2013.  The Freak will write this season off and find himself again as one of the MLB’s elite pitchers next season.

Check out my other writing at JoeBlowBaseball.com, too.

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How can the New York Mets get back on track?

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How can the New York Mets get back on track?

Posted on 07 June 2012 by Trish Vignola

The New York Mets are a statistical anomaly. This team, by all means, was picked not even for last. They were picked for dead at the beginning of the season. Nonetheless, they are 31 and 25 with a .554 winning percentage. I completely expected this team to lose ninety games this year. At the writing of this article, they are currently 1.5 games out of first and are loosing their second game to the Nationals.

Can they keep it up? Or has it caught up…to them? Are the boys from Queens for real? Or is the other cleat ready to drop?

I’m sure if you caught SportsCenter, you saw the walk-off hit to bury the Mets last night. It was brought to you courtesy of Washington Nationals’ phenom, Bryce Harper.

Quick! Turn it on right now. I bet they’re still playing it.

The question is…how did this statistical anomaly that steamrolled some of the better teams in the league come to a dead stop?

As tough as any loss is, this really was not a game the Mets should have lost. The team’s offense has been hot, especially since the no-hitter last week. They were losing 3 to 0 in the fifth. However, in the sixth, the Mets closed the gap and pulled within one. The Mets took the lead in the eighth… only to let the Nationals tie it up at the bottom of that inning. The Mets surged ahead again in the tenth only to promptly lose it in the bottom of the inning. Thanks to a Scott Hairston homerun off of Ross Detwiler in the twelfth, the Mets came back an improbable third time in one game. The game was finally in bag, and then Bryce Harper came to bat.

We all know how that turned out.

Who (or better yet, what) is to blame for the woes of this statistical anomaly? The bullpen and, more importantly, Elvin Ramirez has been a pretty easy target. Rookie, Elvin Ramirez, allowed the game-winning single after blowing the 6 to 5 lead earlier in that inning.

Wait.

The New York Mets bullpen may be dead last in the league, but blaming them for all of the team’s problems is unfair. Ramirez’s first inning was quite good. He almost got out of the twelfth as well by striking out Xavier Nady with one out and the bases loaded. He also got to a 0 and 2 count on Harper before allowing the game-winning hit.

So, what’s going wrong?

First, there is no excuse for sloppy play. There were three fielding errors last night. Three! Bobby Parnell pitched an outstanding inning that otherwise would have gotten a pitcher the win. Jordany Valdespin had two errors (yes, two) in one inning. Daniel Murphy botched a double play and Omar Quintanilla overthrew home plate to allow a run.

Second, the team is hurting. Check out my Fantasy Baseball bench if you don’t believe me. Outfielder Jason Bay and Relief Pitcher Pedro Beato returned today. Nonetheless, the New York Mets Disabled List still includes Jon Rauch (Relief Pitcher), Jonathon Niese (Starting Pitcher), Ramon Ramirez (Relief Pitcher), Mike Baxter (Left Fielder), Justin Turner (Second Base), Ronny Cedeno (Shortstop), Ruben Tejada (Shortstop) and Mike Pelfrey (Starting Pitcher out for the entire season).

So, what needs to happen to get this statistical anomaly back on its tracks?

Let’s face it. The Mets might not be dealing with Bernie Madoff, but they are not in any condition to throw money down on a big name player. Also, why should they? As nice as this season has been, the New York Mets are stockpiling for the future. Giving up talent for aging veterans is not a part of the modes operandi of the Sandy Alderson Mets.

In order for the New York Mets to keep this season interesting, they need to get healthy. They are on borrowed time putting up the Buffalo Bisons against Major League talent. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the Bison are good but most aren’t ready yet. As guys come off the Disabled List, it’s time to return Bisons (like Valdespin and Quintanilla) back to the pasture so they can mature.

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3 Up and 3 Down – May 9

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3 Up and 3 Down – May 9

Posted on 09 May 2012 by Gary Marchese

3 UP and 3 Down:

It is time for the weekly edition of my 3 Up and 3 Down.  It is a look at the three players who I would consider on the up right now and three on the down.  These are players over the last week since my last edition of this post.  As always feel free to comment, you can reach me on twitter @gmarchesej and facebook and I can be reached by email at gmarchesej@aol.com

Down - A.J. Burnett

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Burnett has only made a couple of starts and his first one was pretty good. In his last outing though he gave up 12 runs in just a couple of innings. He has always been erratic but that is very very bad.

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