2014 MLB Expert Picks

March 31, 2014 at 6:46pm in Featured, MLB, Now!, Opinion, Red Sox
This year's season kicks off a week early in Australia with the Dodgers and, appropriately, the Diamondbacks. (abc.net.au)

The MLB season is now underway, and with plenty of big signings, trades and new contracts, it should be a great season. And we’re here to bring you our writers’ predictions for how the season will turn out. After a surprise championship season, the Red Sox aren’t as under the radar to begin this year, though the Tigers and Rays look to give them some stiff competition. The Dodgers are the only team unanimously picked to win a division, but what seed that will get them is a matter of disagreement. After a rough season for the Upton brothers, the Braves are down, but not necessarily out. There’s a good amount of variety in our picks, so anyone could win.

Scoring for the picks is as follows:

  • Correctly guessing a team to make the playoffs is worth one point, or two points instead for correctly guessing a division winner.
  • Correctly guessing the #1 seed in each league is worth five points, then four points for correctly guessing the #2 seed, and so on.
  • Correctly guessing which #1 seed will finish with the best record in the majors is worth two points.
  • In the event any of us finish tied, the first tiebreaker will be picking the team that finishes with MLB’s worst record. The next tiebreaker is MLB’s second-worst record, then third worst, then the most teams in the worst three in any order, and finally lowest combined record of all three picks.

And with that, all that’s left is to check out the picks. So check below, and feel free to comment with your choices. And check back once the regular season concludes to see how everyone did. Continue reading 2014 MLB Expert Picks »

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Pedroia is the landslide favorite in the AL East (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Continuing our position by position ranking of the AL East, today’s focus is second base. If you missed last week’s make sure to check it out here. These rankings are a way to ramp up for the baseball season and to incite your own thoughts on the rankings. At the end of the piece feel free to comment of where you think we were wrong (and right!). So without further ado here are this week’s rankings.

1. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox: There really should not be much argument here, as Cano’s departure for Seattle makes Pedroia the de facto premier second baseman in the division. Pedroia is a leader at the plate and on the field and does not do anything halfway. While his hard play should be praised, it did lead to a thumb injury on the first game of the season last year, which led to a decline in power (only 9 home runs). With his thumb fully healed, expect Pedroia to be on top of his game this year. Continue reading Ranking the AL East: Second Base »

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David Ortiz (AP)

Big Papi wants a little more of Boston before his career is over. Last week David Ortiz said it may be “time to move on” to spur talks about a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox.  Some reporters thought this move by Papi was outrageous. I think it is a pretty shrewd business move by a man that knows his worth.

Continue reading David Ortiz Deserves Contract Extension From Red Sox »

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Ranking the AL East: First Base

February 2, 2014 at 11:26am in Boston, MLB, Opinion, Red Sox, Top Story
Chris Davis was in the top two of all three rankings (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It feels like the Red Sox just won the World Series and there is a long offseason ahead of us, but things have snuck up on us pretty quickly and Spring Training is now 12 days away. With baseball so close, three writers at Sports of Boston, Scott Siegler, Brian Roach, and myself, have felt it important to take a position by position look at the AL East. Here is our first installment of rankings in the AL East with a look at the first baseman.

1. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles: It was a hard decision between Davis and Encarnacion, but in the end the difference in age (27 to 31) placed Davis here. Chris Davis has always had power potential, it’s always been a question if he could make consistent contact and walk more. In 2013, Davis learned to do just that as he nearly doubled his walks from 2012 (37 to 72) while hitting 53 home runs. The biggest knock on him is his tendency to strikeout (199 times in 2013), so if he can continue his upward trend in walks and cut the strikeouts he should continue to get better. Defensively he can hold his own but do not expect to hear his name in the Gold Glove conversation. Continue reading Ranking the AL East: First Base »

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Dan Le Batard stol the spotlight from Glavine (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

For those who missed it, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas were voted into the Hall of Fame this past Wednesday. All three were more than deserving of the honor, and one would think they would have their time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, a loud-mouthed reporter with his own agenda, Dan Le Batard, took that away from them. In November 2013, Deadspin announced that they had “bought” a Hall of Fame vote and would allow their readers to vote on the names on the ballot. This past Wednesday, Dan Le Batard was announced to be the journalist who “sold” his vote. First things first, it is important to note that Le Batard did not actually sell his vote, he merely gave it away. This fact changes the story from something borderline illegal to an ill-timed publicity stunt. For those who have not seen the Deadspin article, you can find it here.

Why Le Batard was Right

While I cannot condone the manner in which it was done, Le Batard is correct in that the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and its Hall of Fame voting process is an extremely sketchy process. Continue reading The Baseball Hall of Fame Vote: Why Dan Le Batard was Right and Wrong »

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Masahiro Tanaka (Photo Courtesy of USA Today)

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has narrowed his ideal places to play in Major League Baseball to three cities: Boston, New York and Los Angeles. We’ve heard that the Red Sox could be a dark horse candidate for the 25-year old right-handed pitcher, but how realistic would it be for them or the other four teams from those cities to land him? Here’s my breakdown of each of the five potential landing spots: Continue reading Masahiro Tanaka prefers Boston, New York or Los Angeles »

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A-Rod (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) and Bud Selig (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

After a long an arduous process A-Rod’s appeal of his suspension has finally been settled. Originally at 211-game ban, the suspension has been reduced to 162 games including the playoffs. It remains to be seen whether Rodriguez’s camp will take legal action to reduce the suspension ever further or even do away with it completely. With A-Rod’s suspension in place who are the winners and losers?

Winners

  • Bud Selig is clearly the biggest winner here. With the suspension upheld, albeit reduced, he showed that baseball is serious in taking PEDs out of the game. Selig is set to retire at the end of the 2014 season and he clearly wants to be remembered for cracking down on the use of PEDs in the game after baseball turned a blind eye for over a decade.
  • The Yankees are huge winners here as well. With A-Rod suspended they save a tidy sum of $24 million dollars, money that could be spent to fine a suitable replacement for A-Rod or to chase Masahiro Tanaka. With A-Rod suspended they also do not to deal with the inevitable distractions that come with having him around.
  • Continue reading A-Rod Suspension Set at 162 Games »

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