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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.

Mike+Trout+Mark+Trumbo+Los+Angeles+Angels+UsyIUqrRGyIl

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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A Modest Proposal

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A Modest Proposal

Posted on 31 January 2013 by Will Emerson

Once again the baseball world is rocked with news of Performance Enhancing Drug use.

SteroidNeedle

In case you live under a rock or something to that effect, The Miami New Times News printed an article Thursday that reported on the busting of a Miami clinic that has sold performance enhancing drugs to professional athletes, including several Major League Baseball players. Think BALCO-East. This is news, no denying that, but the whole PED thing in baseball is old. MLB continues to try and crack down more when it comes to not only preventing PEDs from finding their way into MLB clubhouses, but also punishing those who get caught with said PEDs. But in light of these recent events, many have to, and have, asked if the current punishment is enough to scare players away. First of all, these are the ones who get caught, which is not necessarily all, or close to all, of the players who have used PEDs. The first offense is 50 games, which clearly has not scared off every, if any, ballplayer from taking the risk. So naturally, many people think maybe there should be a harsher penalty, which may be true, but I feel like there is a simpler answer that we are all overlooking. Allow PEDs!

Yeah, you heard me! Is this not the most obvious answer? The biggest concern for fans, other players, Bud Selig, etcetera, etcetera, more or less,  is that using PEDs is cheating and gives these players an unfair advantage, right? Some might even say it “enhances” their “performance”. Well? Go ahead and allow a free for all! Level the playing field, so to speak. Now, all of a sudden, it becomes about who can get the best stuff and utilize it. In theory, aside from the fact that certain players could get better “stuff”, there would not really be any advantage to taking PEDs, as everyone who wants to be, will be, bigger and stronger without that pesky worrying about being caught and punished. Homeruns would be leaving the parks, left and right! Straight away center too, I suppose. We know MLB loves the longball, after all there’s no Opposite Field Single or Sacrifice Bunt Derby at the All-Star break. Only a Home Run Derby, folks. Plus the free for all with the ‘roids and other PEDS would help us really determine how much these help players who are just not as skilled and talented. PEDs won’t necessarily help you hit Uncle Charlie, right? (For those not up on baseball slang that means curveball, not some old uncle that gets rolled out to be hit repeatedly.) That is one arument, sure, and it is has a bit of a point. You do need to have some talent to begin with, but let’s not completely dismiss what PEDs can do. But isn’t this kind of just the rich getting richer, so to speak?

Well, sure, the players who are more talented and are already making more money as a result of this can probably afford better PEDs and whatnot, but how would this be different than if no one used PEDs? In that no-PED scenario the more talented players are better and make more money, in theory, anyways. So if everyone used PEDs this would not change the overall tiers of talent in Major League Baseball. Everything is back to a level, or at least the same, already off-kilter, playing field that would exist without PEDs, right? It would be like playing a friend in a video game where you both know all the cheat codes, would it not? So, where’s the downside? Players have no advantage, really, other than their natural skill levels, which they had to begin with and they can go ahead and shatter home run records to the delight of fans all over! Well, wait a tick, there is that whole side-effect, danger of doing these drugs, thing.

Do you remember that SNL sketch from the 90s, where they had the All-Drug Olympics? If you don’t, let me lay it out for you. Basically the sketch starts with Dennis Miller as the Weekend Update Anchor leading in with, “In response to what its sponsors claim is an idea whose time has come, the first All-Drug Olympics opened today in Bogota, Columbia. Athletes are allowed to take any substance whatsoever before, after, and even during the competition. So far, 115 world records have been shattered!” Miller then goes to Kevin Nealon, as the correspondent at the All-Drug Olympics. Nealon informs us he is at the weightlifting competition, where a Russian competitor is about to compete. Nealon goes on to list off the drugs the weightlifter is on and that the Russian is about to attempt lifting 1500 pounds which would triple the existing world record. Well, the weightlifter attempts to lift the weight and, basically, he pulls his arms off, to which Nealon says, “Oh! He pulled his arms off! He’s pulled his arms off, that’s gotta be disappointing to the big Russian!” It is hilariously delightful. I am not sure if I can link the clip through this post, but if you just enter “SNL All-Drug Olympics” in the search engine of your choice everything else is gravy. But the point is, yeah, there are consequences beyond just being penalized.

Aside from the penalty of being caught, in the simplest terms, PEDs are really not good for you. But the dangers and side-effects of most, if not all, of these drugs are known and these effects go a lot further than backne (on an unrelated note, typing “backne” made me wonder want Brandon Backe is up to). So without risk of penalty, there is still a “do this at your own risk” caveat. But there it is! At your own risk. Perfect! You know what you’re getting into, you’re adults, go for it! If you think it’s worth it, then do it tto it! Let’s start the All-Drug MLB!*

*If not obvious enough to you, the reader, this proposal was in jest. It is an oversimplified and, quite frankly, asinine idea that I would not seriously propose, although I am sure there are some that would throw this idea out there. PEDs should never be allowed and they probably do need harsher penalties that will actually make players think twice about using them.

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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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buy_sell_hold

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch – Sold In Hindsight

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Patrick Hayes

After taking a look last week on the undecided’s, this evening I’ll hopefully be finding out that I sold at the perfect time on six players over the course of two months. These three hitters and three pitchers are all players that I did not have the luxury of having on any of my teams this year, probably helped aid my decision making in cutting ties. Same format as last week (for the most part), here are the players and when I said sayonora.

So it may seem as though I didn’t take too many big risks in determining who I selected, and although that could be a fair-ish argument, these players all have had solid years (for the most part). They were probably bargains when you drafted them, so that played into my criteria on maximizing payout for your investment.

Time to rank them in order of how the selection played out. Just like golf, the lower the number the better and whoever ends up number six, well, you probably missed your window of opportunity by a few weeks. Here we go!

  1. Drew Stubbs – When I visited him on August 6 he was riding a very nice hot streak. Talking to the likes of .362/.415/.660 in the 14 days prior with 4 homers and 5 stolen bases. Since that deciding day I have looked like I know what I’m doing. In the past 30 days from now, Drew is batting .169 in 89 at-bats with 0 homeruns, 2 stolen bases and only five walks. This pick makes me feel good inside.
  2. Starlin Castro – I wrote about Starlin just a few days after he signed a mega contract extension and I predicted gloom for the rest of the year (his slash was .280/.311/.428). Since then, he has been proving me wrong, but only slightly. Castro has started seeing the ball a lot better and has had his average bounce back up to where he normally hits. He hasn’t provided much fantasy stats, other than average, even with hitting .350 for the month of September thus far.
  3. R. A. Dickey – The knuckleballer who stole the attention of the first half of the season. When I decided to push sell, Dickey was in a stretch where he allowed 20 earned runs in his last five appearances. In his last 30 days R.A. has thrown just under 36 innings while allowing 9 earned runs and accumulating 29 strikeouts. Good enough for a 2.27 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Needless to say, he has been back on track for the most part. Check swinging strike for my decision here.
  4. Ian Desmond – This shortstop, who is having a career year, was in the midst of getting injured and missed some games after I sold on July 16th. Ian was riding a hot streak where he smacked four homers, knocked in nine and had five swipes in his last 15 games. In his last 30 games he is batting .329 with four more homers, 11 RBI and two swipes. Yup, I clearly missed here. And he was a free agent in my league but I passed. I regret both decisions.
  5. Gio Gonzalez – Before I sold on the 27th of August his K/9 was returning to his career average, almost as an indication that the NL has caught on to him. Well, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In his three starts since he has thrown 22 innings, allowed one run and struck out 23. All three of his starts have resulted in wins. He has been clutch down the stretch for the NL East leading Washington Nationals. I whiffed here.
  6. Ryan Dempster – Selling on August 13, just a few starts into his AL stint, I felt real good about this call. His ERA was a low 2.65 but his SIERRA had him at 1.18 higher. Playing in the heat of Texas, I thought this was a no brainer. Well, since then, Ryan has thrown 26 innings in four starts (all leading to wins), struck out 28 and has allowed five earned runs. Dempster is my worst case scenario because of how confident I was, especially after the way he get all pissy when news of being traded to the Braves leaked early. Ugh.

So there you have it. I was actually pretty awful in figuring out who to sell. I hope you didn’t take my advice for all of them, but if you did, hopefully you got some good value in return!

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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3 Up and 3 Down

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3 Up and 3 Down

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Gary Marchese

Here is this week’s 3 up and 3 down column. As always I can be reached at gmarchesej@aol.com, writing a comment at the end of this article, facebook and @gmarchesej on twitter.  I thank you as always for continuing to support me through my weekly 3 up and 3 down column and the rest of the site on a daily basis.

UP: The Baltimore Orioles

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The Baltimore Orioles as a team cut down a ten game deficit to the New York Yankees.  The Baltimore Orioles tied them for first place on Tuesday night.  The Orioles have been playing great baseball and the Yankees not but they actually have a very good shot at the postseason and even the division who would of though that.

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