2014 MLB Predictions

I’m back once again for my 2014 MLB predictions. Last year I was correct on 8/30 of the standings and had the win/loss record correct on 3/30 considering Texas played a wild card game. Here are my predictions for the 2014 season. As always, feel free to comments your thoughts or suggestions on the standings.

AL East

NL East

Team

Wins

Losses

Team

Wins

Losses

 Boston

90

72

Washington

92

70

Tampa Bay

84

78

Atlanta

86

76

New York Y.

81

81

Miami

77

85

Toronto

79

83

Philadelphia

77

85

Baltimore

75

87

New York M.

71

91

AL Central

NL Central

Team

Wins

Losses

Team

Wins

Losses

Detroit

94

68

Pittsburgh

89

73

Kansas City

87

75

St. Louis

84

78

Cleveland

85

77

Cincinnati

82

80

Chicago W.

78

84

Milwaukee

77

85

Minnesota

71

91

Chicago C.

72

90

AL West

NL West

Team

Wins

Losses

Team

Wins

Losses

Texas

85

77

Los Angeles D.

95

67

Oakland

83

79

San Francisco

87

75

Los Angeles A.

82

81

Colorado

83

79

Seattle

76

86

Arizona

80

82

Houston

73

89

San Diego

75

87

 

 

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The Chicago Cubs Have The Best Catching Duo

Yes, you read correctly. I am actually awarding the Chicago Cubs with an award. I’ve got to give credit to the Cubs catchers. What seemed like two misfits at the beginning of 2013, has turned out to be the best 1-2 catching combo in the Majors. (Stats current as of Sept. 9, 2013)

Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro have put together great offensive numbers and defensive stats. Welington spelt with one “L”, is known more for his defensive style of play. Castillo has thrown out 26 base stealers which is good for 2nd in the MLB behind Russell Martin. Welington is currently the starting catcher and is only 26-years-old. He may not have as much power as Navarro but I’ll take any catcher hitting above .260. This is the first year Castillo has played more than 60 games and has played for the Cubs in parts of 4 seasons.

I don’t have enough good things to say about Dioner Navarro. He is the definition of a clutch hitter. The way he has been playing this year, with limited opportunities, I would easily let him or Castillo be the starting catcher. Navarro and Castillo are both under 6’0″ and over 200 lbs. Dioner has been tossed around to five teams including the Yankees, Dodgers, Rays and Reds. He was an All-Star in 2008 and his numbers are much better this year. The Venezuelan is now 29-years-old with 9 years of experience under his belt. Navarro is currently batting above .300 which is good for 4th in the MLB for catchers with more than 200 at bats.

Of course, these are not the first catchers I would pick in fantasy pool and probably not even in my top 10, but Castillo and Navarro are, in my eyes, the best catching combo of the 2013 season. Looking around the league, other teams have better starting catchers, but no team has a better 1-2 knockout like the Cubs. The only team I considered was the Atlanta Braves, but the inconsistency from Evan Gattis, put Chicago over the top. The Cubs have very few bright spots this year and I guess you could say this is the only positive offensively for Chicago.

Here are the side-by-side stats for the two catchers.

Catcher Games Played Hits Home Runs RBI Batting AVG. Height Weight (lbs.) Caught Stealing
Welington Castillo 105 94 4 25 .268 5’10” 210 26
Dioner Navarro 45 61 12 31 .305 5’9″ 205 11

             

Welington Castillo                                                                   Dioner Navarro

MLB Facts You Didn’t Know

These are not so much facts on Major League Baseball as it is on the athletes participating in it. I love learning about a player or a team. You know, that piece of info you can “WOW” your friends with. I find myself learning lots of new stuff from watching a baseball game. Major League commentators are overflowing with information they want to fit into conversation. I have lots of info that you didn’t know or didn’t think of about baseball and ballplayers.

Did you know that the average MLB, nine inning game is less than 10 minutes. Think about it.

Evan Gattis: The 27-year-old Braves rookie has many jobs before he returned to baseball in 2010. He was a night janitor, ski-resort worker, pizza man and worked at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Ben Zobrist: Tampa Bay’s infielder and former teammate Gabe Gross used to organize Bible studies with teammates. Zobrist also chooses not to drink, smoke or do drugs.

Brandon Moss: The A’s first baseman is distant cousins with country musician Alan Jackson.

J.J. Hardy: The O’s all-star shortstop’s father was a professional tennis player and his mother was a professional golfer. I guess pro sports runs in the family.

Alex Gordon: In 2006, before Alex had ever played a major league game, he had a Topps rookie baseball card. This card was released too early and is now considered and “error” card.

                                                                                        Alex Gordon

Brandon Morrow: The 6’3″ Blue Jays pitcher is a Type 1 diabetic. He wears an insulin pump to regulate his blood sugar.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Beckett: Jacoby, alongside former teammate Josh Beckett, released a wine called ZinfandEllsbury through Charity Wines with all proceeds going towards several charities. Beckett’s wine was called Chardon-K.

                                                            

A.J. Pierzynski: The aggressive Rangers catcher has made several appearances on wrestling shows including TNA Impact, WWE Raw. I have no interest in this sport, if you want to call it a sport.

 

Winners/Losers of MLB Offseason

Now that 2012 is wrapping up and the NHL is still locked out, MLB spring training is just around the corner. Lots of moves have been made in the world of baseball and very, very, little has been made in the hockey world. Headlines have been swarming around big free agents like Josh Hamilton and Zack Grienke, while the Blue Jays actually have something to look forward to in 2013 with the big trades involving players like Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey. I have made my predictions for the upcoming season and I’m ready for Fantasy Baseball. Some winners and losers can easily be identified from the lack of trades/signings or the constant news making. This list will give you analysis on teams and how they fared during the offseason.

 

Winner: Toronto Blue Jays- I think the Jays would be on everyone’s Most Improved list. The Jays made headlines when they acquired pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, shortstop Jose Reyes, infielder Emilio Bonifacio, and catcher John Buck. Then to top it all off, they acquired NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and two catchers. Sure the Jays took in over $200 million in salary but the Jays finally made a move in the right direction. The Blue Jays also signed some key free agents such as Melky Cabrera and Macier Izturis. There is no guarantee to what Melky will bring to Toronto due to his PED filled year, but with a reasonable 2 year $16 million contract, I think Melky will fit in well. Overall, the Blue Jays went from basement dwellers to major contenders. The AL East has even more competition now and teams must be prepared when they take on Toronto.

Winner: Los Angeles Angels– The Angels have to get a winner’s spot due to their big signings and acquisitions. They signed the biggest free agent of the offseason in Josh Hamilton. They have AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout and one of the best first baseman in the MLB with Albert Pujols, who I’m guessing is going to have a better offensive year in 2013 than he did in 2012. They have a great starting rotation with Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and newly acquired Tommy Hanson. The Angels have bright spots in just about every position. They also have the newest member in the AL West (Houston Astros) to beat up on. If the Angels perform like they should be, I think the AL could have some very tough matchups ahead.

Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers– Both LA teams have cracked my winner’s list. The Dodgers ended the 2012 year with a huge trade sending James Loney and some prospects while Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto were sent packing for California. The Dodgers took in over $250 million in payroll in what is said to be one of the biggest trades ever. The Dodgers also made a splash via free agency. They signed starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu and now have one of the most dominant starting rotations in the NL. The Dodgers will remain on top for the next few years if these guys stay healthy. I’m hoping for a Angels-Dodgers World Series. Now that would be a series for the ages.

 

 

Loser: Miami Marlins– I’m not sure whether to laugh or show sympathy for the fans of the Marlins. This team has gone from bang to bust. They rebuild their franchise with a new, name, logo, stadium and players, then in a matter of 12 months, they are the laughing-stock of baseball. I feel terrible for the baseball fans in Miami. The team goes out and gets Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, John Buck, manager Ozzie Guillen and more only to have half their team shipped to Toronto for some prospects and the trouble-causing Yunel EscobarHeath Bell goes to Arizona, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio head to Toronto and manager Ozzie Guillen gets fired. Miami might as well trade their stadium and everything that goes with it. The rebuild leaves Giancarlo Stanton very ” pissed off, plain and simple”(as quoted by Stanton himself). Miami has a bunch of prospects, Stanton, newly acquired Juan Pierre and that awesome pool in the right field territory to keep fans coming to the stadium.

 

Loser: New York Mets– The Mets will have another poor season in 2013 as far as I’m concerned. They traded Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Jays. They did acquire some decent prospects though. The Mets have inconsistent pitching and no consistent hitters in their lineup except for David Wright. Ike Davis night have a respectable year in 2013. Aside from his .227 average, he did smack 32 home runs. The Mets have also had no luck in 2012 with Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis who struggled for playing time as the season went on. The New York Mets bright spots will most likely appear in later years when their prospects such as Travis d’Arnaud and Jordany Valdespin pan out into hopeful major league stars. For the Mets to finish out of the bottom five in the standings, they are going to need another good year from David Wright and Ike Davis aswell as needing Johan Santana to return to injury-free pitching.

 

Loser: San Diego Padres- The Padres have stood still though this offseason. They have made one trade that effected their current lineup. That was acquiring pitcher Tyson Ross from the Athletics. Ross will be lucky to crack the opening day roster and if he does will be a 4th or 5th starter. The Padres only bright spot of 2012 was Chase Headley’s great performance. They had struggling starters, and injury prone hitters. San Diego needs offensive help in just about all infield positions and they need a consistent pitcher. They should attempt to sign a pitcher like Kyle Lohse or Shaun Marcum. They aren’t franchise players but someone who you can count on in an important game. Unless the Padres want to remain an awful franchise, I suggest signing some players who chip in well offensively and defensively to provide a hope for a .500 season.

Polls

Polls

MLB Free Agents 2013

With the end of the 2012 season comes the start off signing, trades and waiver claims. Here are reports made by me, on all 30 teams based on free agents and players. All stats and records are as of November 30 2012. Enjoy

MLB Free Agents

Team  Free Agents (Position) Best Fitting Free Agents Tradeable Players 
Arizona Diamondbacks     Matt Lindstrom, RP
Takashi Saito, RP
Henry Blaco, C
    Michael Bourn, OF     Willie Bloomquist, SS
Atlanta Braves     Michael Bourn, OF
Reed Johnson, OF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Chad Durbin, RP
Jeff Baker, RF
    Josh Hamilton, OF     Dan Uggla, 2B
Jair Jurrgens, SP
Baltimore Orioles     Joe Saunders, SP
Randy Wolf, SP
Endy Chavez, OF
Nate McLouth, OF
Jim Thome, DH
    Zack Grienke, SP     Brian Matusz, SP
Brian Roberts, 2B
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Boston Red Sox     Vincente Padilla, RP
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP
James Loney, 1B
Scott Podsednik, OF
Cody Ross, OF
    Kyle Lohse, SP     Daniel Bard, RP
Chicago Cubs Manny Corpas, RP
Joe Mather, OF
Mike Napoli, C
Zack Grienke, SP
Nick Swisher, OF
Ian Stewart, 3B
Chicago White Sox     Francisco Liriano, SP
Brett Myers, RP
A.J. Piersynski, C
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Orlando Hudson, 2B
    Michael Bourn, OF
Zack Grienke, SP
    Alex Rios, OF
Philip Humber, SP
Cincinnati Reds     Bill Bray, RP
Miguel Cairo, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Ryan Ludwick, OF
    Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Josh Hamilton, OF
    Nick Masset, RP
Cleveland Indians     Roberto Hernandez, SP
Kevin Slowey, SP
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Travis Hafner, DH
Grady Sizemore, OF
    Jose Valverde, RP
Kyle Lohse, SP
    Jason Donald,SS
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP
Colorado Rockies     Jeff Francis, SP
Jonathan Sanchez, SP
Jason Giambi, 1B
    Mike Napoli, C
Anibal Sanchez, SP
    Ramon Hernandez, C
Michael Cuddyer, OF
Detroit Tigers     Anibal Sanchez, SP
Jose Valverde, RP
Delmon Young, DH
    Ryan Dempster, SP
Nick Swisher, OF
    Rick Porcello, SP
Ramon Santiago, 2B
Houston Astros     Chris Snyder, C     Mike Napoli, C
Michael Bourn, OF
Delmon Young, DH
    Wilton Lopez, RP
J.D. Martinez, OF
Kanasas City Royals     Joakim Soria, RP     Jose Valverde, RP
Kyle Lohse, SP
Zack Grienke, SP
    Luis Mendoza, SP
Johnny Giavotella, 2B
Jason Bourgeois, CF
Los Angeles Angels     Dan Haren, SP
Zack Grienke, SP
LaTroy Hawkins, RP
J. Isringhausen, RP
Eric Hurley, RP
    Kyle Lohse, SP     Scott Downs, RP
Hank Conger, C
Kendrys Morales, 1B
Los Angeles Dodgers     Joe Blanton, SP
Randy Choate, RP
Juan Rivera, 1B
Shane Victorino, OF
Bobby Abreu, OF
    Anibal Sanchez, SP
Mike Napoli, C
    Ted Lilly, SP
Chris Capuano, SP
Juan Uribe, 3B
Nick Punto, 3B
Miami Marlins     Carlos Zambrano, SP
Juan Oviedo, RP
Carlos Lee, 1B
Chad Gaudin, RP
Austin Kearns, LF
    Mike Napoli, C
Zack Grienke, SP
Nick Swisher, OF
    Ricky Nolasco, SP
Logan Morrison, OF
Milwaukee Brewers     Francisco Rodriguez, RP
Shaun Marcum, SP
Jose Veras, RP
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Kameron Loe, RP
    Kyle Lohse, SP
Jose Valverde, RP
    Nyjer Morgan, OF
Minnesota Twins     Carl Pavano, SP
Matt Capps, RP
    Josh Hamilton, OF
Zack Grienke, SP
Michael Bourn, OF
    Glen Perkins, RP
New York Mets     Jason Bay, OF
Scott Hairston, OF
Ronny Cedeno, SS
Jon Rauch, RP
Ramon Ramirez, RP
    Michael Bourn, OF
Delmon Young, OF
Ryan Dempster, SP
    Mike Nickeas, C
New York Yankees     Rafael Soriano, RP
Andruw Jones, OF
Nick Swisher, OF
Ichiro Suzuki, OF
Raul Ibanez, OF
    Josh Hamilton, OF
Delmon Young, OF
Mike Napoli, C
    Clay Rapada, RP
Chris Dickerson, OF
Oakland Athletics     Dallas Braden, SP
Brandon McCarthy, SP
Stephen Drew, SS
Brandon Inge, 3B
Jeremy Accardo, RP
    Kyle Lohse, SP
Delmon Young, OF
    Brandon Moss, 1B
Philadelphia Phillies     Jose Contreras, RP
Ty Wigginton, 1B
Placido Polanco, 3B
Hector Luna, 1B
Brian Schneider, C
    Adam LaRoche, 1B
Michael Bourn, OF
Zack Grienke, SP
Mike Napoli, C
    Freddy Galvis, 2B
Pittsburgh Pirates     Kevin Correira, SP
Jason Grilli, RP
Rod Barajas, C
Chad Qualls, RP
    Ryan Dempster, SP
Anibal Sanchez, Sp
    Jeff Karstens, SP
Clint Barmes, SS
San Diego Padres     Jason Marquis, SP
Tim Stauffer, SP
    Ryan Dempster, SP
Josh Hamilton, OF
    John Baker, C
Will Venable, OF
Jesus Guzman, OF
San Francisco Giants     Angel Pagan, OF
Ryan Theriot, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Aubrey Huff, 1B
    Adam LaRoche, 1B
Michael Bourn, OF
    Brett Pill, 1B
Javier Lopez, RP
Seattle Mariners     Miguel Olivo, C
Kevin Millwood, SP
George Sherrill, RP
    Mike Napoli, C
Anibal Sanchez, SP
    Jason Vargas, SP
Brendan Ryan, SS
Casper Wells, OF
St. Louis Cardinals     Kyle Lohse, SP
Lance Berkman, 1B
Brian Fuentes, RP
    Nick Swisher, OF     Edward Mujica, RP
Tampa Bay Rays     Kyle Farnsworth, RP
Carlos Pena, 1B
Jeff Keppinger, 3B
Luke Scott, DH
J.P. Howell, RP
    Adam LaRoche, 1B
Josh Hamilton, OF
    Alex Cobb, SP
Reid Brignac, SS
Ben Francisco, OF
Texas Rangers     Josh Hamilton, OF
Mike Napoli, C
Koji Uehara, RP
Ryan Dempster, SP
Colby Lewis, SP
    Nick Swisher, OF     Mitch Moreland, 1B
Toronto Blue Jays     Jason Frasor, RP
Brandon Lyon, RP
Kelly Johnson, 2B
    Anibal Sanchez, SP     Mark Buehrle, SP
John Buck, C
Jesse Litsch, RP
Washington Nationals     Edwin Jackson, SP
Sean Burnett, RP
Chien-Ming Wang, SP
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Mike Gonzalez, RP
    Zack Grienke, SP
Ryan Dempster, SP
    Tom Gorzelanny, RP
Jesus Flores, C
Roger Bernadina, OF