Category Archives: Major League Baseball

MLB Season Preview

MLB Season Preview

Another MLB season kicks off in the USA tonight with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball featuring the Dodgers and Padres. If that match up sounds boring to you, well then I am sure you are not the only one. However there will still be countless others to watch the rest of the season which is about 5-6 months long and there will surely be great match ups, surely Red Sox vs Yankees, Braves vs Nationals, Cardinals vs Reds battles come to mind in terms of good rivalry games to mark on the calender.

This season also marks the last season for the New York Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter who is retiring at the end of the season, so you can expect a farewell tour similar to Mariano Rivera’s for DJ when the season hits cities that will see him for the final time, which will probably start early in the season with inter league play starting as soon as the season starts since there is always at least one inter league series going at one time.

But here is how I see the seeing breaking down.

RED INDICATES WILD CARD TEAMS

AL Predictions

AL West

Oakland

L.A. Angels

Texas

Seattle

Houston

AL Central

Detroit

Cleveland

Kansas City

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota

AL East

New York Yankees

Boston

Tampa Bay

Baltimore

Toronto


I think the Yankees will come back strong, they went out and spent money on some good talent. The biggest concern for the Yankees could be injury with McCann and Ellsbury having injuries in the past, it could be an interesting season for them. If their big name signings stay healthy the Yankees could be a strong contender to win a World Series. The rest of the AL East did not do enough to compete with the Yankess, and that is in part due to the fact that the Yankess and Red Sox are two power house teams on paper and on the budget sheets.

In the Central it is easy to say that the Tigers will be the best team, but the rest is complicated because for some reason I still believe Kansas City  is good enough to be second in the AL Central if there young players lived up to their potential, but I had to put the Indians number two because they are so well coached and possibly a bit better than Kansas City right now.

Out West it seems to be Oakland lately and I don’t see any reason as to why that would change. As long as Oakland has good pitching (when don’t they?) they will be in contention. Another thing that the A’s have going for them is Pujols and Hamilton (more so Pujols) have yet to make that big of an impact on the end results. It isn’t fair to point out two high priced signings and not mention Seattle and Robinson Cano, that will be an interesting team to watch. Can Robby Cano be good enough to lift the Mariners to a playoff spot? I don’t believe so.


 

NL Predictions

NL West

LA Dodgers

Arizona

San Francisco

Colorado

San Diego

NL Central

St. Louis

Pittsburgh

Cincinnati

Milwaukee

Chicago Cubs

NL East

Atlanta

Washington

Philadelphia

New York Mets

Miami


Out West the Dodgers look to be the cream of the crop, and it is about time because they’ve spent half of a billion, yes with a B, over the last couple of years on their roster so it is easy to see how they could be the expected leaders of the NL West. Arizona and San Francisco will most likely end up fighting for a playoff spot come late in the season, and with the addition of Mark Trumbo the D-Backs line up got even scarier. The biggest question for Arizona could be the pitching, in particular the bullpen.

In the Central the Cardinals look to be the clear division winners, however teams like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will compete for second and third in the division. I think the Brewers and Cubs will be far out of the race by seasons end. Though the young players for the Cubs will be fun to watch I think.

Out East is another story because I think this race will go down to the wire between the Nats and Braves, I have the Braves winning the division but I can see the Nationals making a strong push for a division crown, mainly because of heart even though the Braves have the skill down pat.


 

Awards

AL

MVP: Mike Trout

It will be hard to imagine the Angels having any success if Mike Trout fails to deliver another great year this season. If the Angels win the division or even make the playoffs it will most likely be because of Mike Trout’s outstanding talent. Probably the best player to play center field since a young Ken Griffey Jr back in his Seattle days.

Cy Young; Felix Hernandez

Felix is an amazing arm out there for the Mariners and while I see the Mariners struggling, I think they have a world class starting pitcher who doesn’t get enough help from the rest of the team. I have a hard time seeing the Mariners being that great even with the addition of Robinson Cano

NL

MVP: Jason Heyward

At the end of the season the Braves will need Heyward to be a leader, and I think he will be what the Braves want. Heyward is a very talented player who I still think has a high ceiling to reach which is saying a lot considering his current skill set.

Cy Young: Jose Fernandez

I was going to go with Clayton Kershaw but with him stating the season on the DL, it will be hard for him to bounce back I think. Plus I really like this Fernandez kid, he appears to have excellent stuff, he could put up some sick numbers this season.

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Off Beat: From Tragedy to Triumph, the city of Boston is on a roller-coaster ride

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On April 15th, one of the worse days in Boston’s history happened, at the end of the Boston Marathon there were two explosions towards the finish line. There were several injuries and a total of three fatalities (a fourth was committed when the police tried to catch these scumbags). It was unlike anything ever witnessed in Boston, a city that is so beautiful, on such a nice day, turned to absolute horror for about a week. It wasn’t until Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured did the city of Boston really start the healing process.

It was a Friday night, I remember it fondly because I was at the Providence Bruins game the night it happened and at the end of the second period they announced over the PA system that Dzhokhar was caught by Boston Police with the help of the other agencies. I remember it well because the chant of “USA USA USA” started and it was a moment in my life that I will never forget. 

What people may not realize is that going to the Providence Bruins game that night was a risk because Dzhokhar was still on the run and a manhunt was going on all day in MA., so it is possible that the guy could have made his way South towards Providence, Rhode Island and no one had spotted him. Sure logically it is a far cry but when you consider what the monster had done four days before, at that time it seemed like something like that would also be a far cry.

Anyway after that night the comeback for the city had begun, the Red Sox and Bruins had home games that following afternoon at 1PM, and they both had their different tributes to the victims, and heroes who came into action, from the police to fire departments and every agency in between who got involved in the process including the FBI.

The days went by and slowly but surely the city of Boston was recovering from the attacks, life as Boston knew it, was also starting to come back to full force. The Bruins were playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Red Sox were off to a surprising start given the fact that the Red Sox had a 69-93 record in 2012.

It was just in June that the Bruins and Blackhawks made the Stanley Cup finals and had a great series, despite disappointment there was a lot of positives to come from the Stanley Cup run, it was just an amazing situation as a Boston sports fans got a chance to take a break from reality.

And after the Bruins season ended, the Boston sports fans had turned to the Red Sox, a team that always seemed to find a way to win, even coming from behind a lot. And even when the playoffs started I don’t think many fans expected to see them win a World Series. I think personally I felt like that they’d get past Tampa Bay, but Detroit I had my doubts and then I felt a little better against St. Louis because the Tigers offense is so much better and the Tigers had a great pitching staff to boot.

This championship is more important this time than it was in the past, not to take away from the past titles, they all are meaningful. But my favorite is this just because of the circumstances that led to it with the tragedy that started the year.

This isn’t to say that Boston has fully recovered, but a title is a big step forward for a city that tries to recover from a gut wrenching day caused by two men who were deeply disturbed. There is no telling what will happen to Dzhorhar Tsarnaev, but his day will come and his punishment will be severe one way or another and that will finally be closure for this city of Boston. This championship was just a bridge over to what will hopefully be justice in the end.

I am enjoying this championship, not as a huge baseball fan but as someone who has been to Boston and loved the city. The city of Boston is great and they truly deserve this, and I hope we get to see more titles soon.

MLB Playoff Schedule and predictions

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The Wild Card’s are set, the Pirates and Rays clinched their respective Wild Card seeds and will travel to St. Louis and Boston respectively. And it is actually fitting both teams made it, because both teams have heated rivalries with the division winners.

The full list of series’ below:

American League

(WC) Tampa Bay Rays vs (#1) Boston Red Sox

Games 1 and 2: Friday October 4th; Saturday October 5th in Boston

Games 3 and 4: Monday October 7th; Tuesday October 8th in Tampa

Game 5: Thursday October 10th in Boston

Prediction: Red Sox in 5. It should be a great series since both teams play each other well typically. Add in a hate factor and it will be fun to watch.

What to look for: Tampa can easily win the series if their pitching does well against the Boston bats, but it won’t be easy since the Red Sox lead the league in scoring, and they outscored their opponents by 197 this year.

(#3) Detroit Tigers at (#2) Oakland Athletics

Games 1 and 2: Friday October 4th; Saturday October 5th in Oakland

Games 3 and 4: Monday October 7th; Tuesday October 8th in Detroit

Game 5: Thursday October 10th in Oakland

Prediction: Detroit in four, I don’t think Oakland has enough talent to hang with the Tigers over a best of five series.

What to look for: Like Tampa the key to the series is pitching, and taking advantage of Miguel Carbera’s late season injury. For the Tigers they also need to rely on pitching despite being the second best offense in baseball. Miguel Carbera’s injury could be affected in cold weather in Detroit.

National League

Pittsburgh Pirates @ St. Louis Cardinals

Games 1 and 2: Thursday October 3rd and Friday October 4th in St. Louis

Games 3 and 4: Sunday October 6th and Monday October 7th in Pittsburgh

Game 5: Wednesday October 9th in St. Louis

Prediction: Cardinals in five, I think this will be a great series and I think it can go the Pirates’ way if they take one of the first two games in St. Louis.

What to look for: The key to the Pirates will be pitching. If the Pirates can get the pitching I think they have a good shot of winning the series, but if they struggle pitching in the series the Cardinals will sweep them.

(#3) Los Angeles Dodgers @ (#2) Atlanta Braves

Games 1 and 2: Thursday October 3rd and Friday October 4th in Atlanta

Games 3 and 4: Sunday October 6th and Monday October 7th in LA

Game 5: Wednesday October 9th in Atlanta

Prediction: Dodgers in four, I think they have a good run in them left despite a streak during the season that reached to a record of I believe it was 42-8 in a 50 game span.

What to look for: Can Puig be a difference maker. He is single-handedly the reason I took LA in the series, I think he will have a huge impact on the series, like what he did the lift the struggling Dodgers to a huge turn around in the second half of the season.

Wild Card Games This Week

There will be 3 wild card games, starting tonight when the Tampa Bay Rays go to Texas to face the Rangers in a game to decide the second Wild Card team. The Winner of tonight’s game will go to Cleveland to play the Indians on Wednesday in a winner take all Wild Card game. Tonight’s starting pitchers will be David Price and Martin Perez both left handed pitchers.

The NL game will be Tuesday and it features the Cincinnati Reds going to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates. The starting pitchers are currently listed as Johnny Cueto and Francisco Liriano. The Pirates finished as the top wild card team in the NL and Cincinnati was the second wild card team which was actually determined by a series this weekend in Cincinnati.

The winners of these games will face the top teams in each league which were the Boston Red Sox in the AL and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL.

The games:

9/30: Tampa Bay @ Texas 8:07

10/1: Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh 8:07

10/2: TB/TEX @ Cleveland 8:07

Results will be posted as they happen.

Washington Nationals Game Cancelled Due To Shooting in Washington DC

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Due to the shooting at the US Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. tonight’s Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals game has been postponed. The game will be made up Tuesday as part of a day-night double header with start times of 1:05 and 7:05 PM ET.  13 people have died including the one of the two suspected gunmen, and the Nationals Park parking lot has been used as a meeting place for families to meet up with those who work at the Naval Yard. As you might have guessed, the other suspected shooter is on the loose, local residents are urged to stay inside while the manhunt goes on for the second suspected shooter.

Alex Rodriguez suspended through 2014 pending appeal

 

The New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez has been suspended through the 2014 regular season by Major League Baseball. He is being punished for using steroids and lying about it when the MLB asked about it. Rodriguez is said to be appealing the suspension. Rodriguez joins 12 other players who were suspended earlier on Monday including Texas’ Nelson Cruz, Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta and Seattle’s Jesus Montero.

12 players suspended in MLB steroid case

There were 12 players suspended by Major League Baseball in regard to its Biogenesis case, absent from the list is Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez who faces a suspension through the end of the 2014 season for his role in the Biogenesis case AND he is believed to have been untruthful about his involvement. Below is the list of players suspended for 50 games in the Biogenesis case.

  • Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers outfielder.
  • Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres shortstop.
  •  Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers shortstop.
  • Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies reliever.
  • Jordany Valdespin, New York Mets outfielder.
  • Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher.
  • Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners catcher.
  • Cesar Puello, New York Mets outfield prospect.
  • Fautino De Los Santos, San Diego Padres pitching prospect.
  • Sergio Escalona, Houston Astros pitching prospect.
  • Fernando Martinez, New York Yankees outfield prospect.
  • Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher.

More fallout is expected soon and we’ll have updates on that as it happens.

MLB Schedule May 29, 2013

Away Home Time (ET) Away Probable Home Probable
White Sox Cubs 2:20pm Danks (0-0) Feldman (4-4)
Red Sox Phillies 7:05pm Lackey (3-4) Kendrick (4-3)
Reds Indians 7:05pm Arroyo (5-4) Masterson (7-3)
Tigers Pirates 7:05pm Sanchez (5-4) Burnett (3-5)
Mets Yankees 7:05pm Hefner (0-5) Phelps (3-2)
Nationals Orioles 7:05pm Zimmermann (8-2) Tillman (4-2)
Rays Marlins 7:10pm Hernandez (2-5) Koehler (0-2)
Blue Jays Braves 7:10pm Rogers (1-2) Medlen (1-5)
D-backs Rangers 8:05pm McCarthy (2-3) Grimm (4-3)
Brewers Twins 8:10pm Estrada (4-2) Deduno (0-1)
Royals Cardinals 8:15pm Mendoza (1-2) Lynn (7-1)
Astros Rockies 8:40pm Bedard (0-2) Chatwood (3-0)
Dodgers Angels 10:05pm Capuano (1-3) Weaver (0-1)
Mariners Padres 10:10pm Saunders (3-5) Stults (4-4)
Athletics Giants 10:15pm Milone (4-5) Lincecum (3-4)

Cool scheduling in the MLB this week

This week is very interesting for Major League Baseball, the league has a series of home and home series. This is the first time I can ever recall to back to back series against the same teams in different cities. Teams such as St. Louis/Kansas City, New York/New York, Boston/Philadelphia, Washington/Baltimore for example will play two games per series in each city in their respective home and home series’.

So if this is something you want to catch it starts tonight and runs through Thursday.

MLB Schedule with probable starters; May 19, 2013

Away Home Time (ET) Away Probable Home Probable
Mariners Indians 1:05pm Hernandez (5-2) Masterson (6-2)
Blue Jays Yankees 1:05pm Dickey (3-5) Sabathia (4-3)
D-backs Marlins 1:10pm Miley (3-2) Nolasco (2-5)
Reds Phillies 1:35pm Bailey (2-3) Pettibone (3-0)
Astros Pirates 1:35pm Harrell (3-4) Locke (3-1)
Dodgers Braves 1:35pm Magill (0-0) Minor (5-2)
Rays Orioles 1:35pm Moore (7-0) Tillman (3-1)
Red Sox Twins 2:10pm Lackey (1-4) Hernandez (2-0)
Brewers Cardinals 2:15pm Lohse (1-4) Gast (1-0)
Mets Cubs 2:20pm Gee (2-5) Wood (4-2)
White Sox Angels 3:35pm Peavy (5-1) Vargas (2-3)
Royals Athletics 4:05pm Mendoza (1-2) Griffin (4-3)
Giants Rockies 4:10pm Zito (3-2) Nicasio (3-1)
Nationals Padres 4:10pm Haren (4-4) Cashner (2-2)
Tigers Rangers 8:05pm Fister (5-1) Holland (3-2)

MLB games May 12, 2013

Away Home Time (ET) Nat. TV
Indians Tigers 1:08pm

Brewers Reds 1:10pm

Pirates Mets 1:10pm

Cubs Nationals 1:35pm

Blue Jays Red Sox 1:35pm

TBS

Padres Rays 1:40pm

Orioles Twins 2:10pm

Yankees Royals 2:10pm

Rangers Astros 2:10pm

Rockies Cardinals 2:15pm

Braves Giants 4:05pm

Marlins Dodgers 4:10pm

Athletics Mariners 4:10pm

Phillies D-backs 4:10pm

Angels White Sox 8:05pm

ESPN

MLB Games May 11, 2013

 

Away Home Time (ET)
Pirates Mets 1:10pm
Blue Jays Red Sox 1:35pm
Rockies Cardinals 2:15pm
Braves Giants 4:05pm
Cubs Nationals 4:05pm
Brewers Reds 4:10pm
Padres Rays 6:10pm
Indians Tigers 7:08pm
Angels White Sox 7:10pm
Orioles Twins 7:10pm
Yankees Royals 7:10pm
Rangers Astros 7:10pm
Phillies D-backs 8:10pm
Marlins Dodgers 9:10pm
Athletics Mariners 9:10pm
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