The Royals and Giants were each bubbly in celebrating World Series trips. (http://theferventshaker.files.wordpress.com/)

The World Series is set. The Giants and Royals, both of the Wildcard teams, advanced past the LCS round in quick fashion. The Royals are four wins away from end a very lengthy drought, while the Giants look to continue their streak of biennial championships. Choosing the Royals to get there was simple enough for our panel, though the Giants had to split votes with St Louis. In addition, it was difficult for most to see such quick series coming, ditto for guessing Lorenzo Cain and Madison Bumgarner as ALCS and NLCS MVPs respectively.

But it’s not over yet, as anyone can still win. Updated results are below, and be sure to check back Tuesday for the World Series picks. Continue reading 2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: League Championship Series Results »

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What to Make of the Post-Derek Jeter Yankees

October 15, 2014 at 8:53pm in MLB
Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter’s last game with the Yankees was the stuff of Hollywood legend. He chopped an RBI single toward third, his 3,465th career hit, and then removed himself from the game. He went out at Fenway, which seems like anathema to a Yankee, but Red Sox fans cheered Jeter for over two minutes. Before the game, Boston arranged a pre-game ceremony where sports greats including longtime Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski, legendary Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr and New England Patriots Hall-of-Famer Troy Brown honored Jeter before the entire Red Sox team came out to acknowledge the Yankees captain. As a team, the Red Sox donated $22,222.22 to Jeter’s charitable organization, the Turn 2 Foundation.

The Captain went out at just the right time and in just the right way. However, his absence leaves a big hole not only in fans’ hearts but also in the Yankees infield. Anyone who likes to use sports betting sites in the USA to bet on baseball should start anticipating how Jeter’s departure could affect the Yanks. Let’s take a look ahead to next year. Continue reading What to Make of the Post-Derek Jeter Yankees »

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MLB's semifinals include both Wildcards with a throwback matchup in the ALCS. (http://scontent-b.cdninstagram.com/)

The League Championship Series are here. Both Wildcard teams made it through this far. The NLCS pits the two teams that have represented the NL in the World series the last four seasons, while the ALCS provides two teams looking to return to glory after a very lengthy absence from it.

The Royals are favored by our staff to move on to the World Series, while the NL rep is more divided. Though at least it can be agreed, based on our picks, that if the Cardinals advance, the NLCS MVP will be someone named Matt.

Speaking of which, with the MVP being introduced into the series, we’re now introducing it as a scoring category as well. That means that picking the winner of each series is worth two points, while picking how many games each will last and the MVP of each is worth one point.

So check below to see the picks for this round, and come back once it is complete to see the results. Continue reading 2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: League Championship Series »

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Baltimore easily dispatched the Tigers' talent by breaking into their weak bullpen. Can they now take the next step? (2005, Monte Taylor, http://www.tsuru-bird.net/orioles/)

Wasn’t that a fun round? Both Wildcard teams advanced. Both AL series were done after a three-game sweep. Clayton Kershaw couldn’t get it done. The Nationals and Giants fought into 18 innings in Game 2. Did anyone have Baltimore and Kansas City in the ALCS before the season started?

All that wrecked havoc with our picks, as only one pick for the Orioles was correct insofar as having a team advance. That left it mostly up to getting the series lengths correct to get an advantage going into the LCS picks.

So check below to see how everyone currently stands, and come back Friday for the next round of picks. Continue reading 2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: Divisional Round Results »

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How to Fix the Red Sox this Offseason

October 7, 2014 at 11:30am in Featured, Red Sox
Red Sox logo

As many of you beloved Red Sox fans saw this year, there was a breakdown in their offense and pitching over the course of the season. We saw the departure of pitching aces Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, John Lackey, Andrew Miller and Felix Doubront, as well as position players Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew. The Red Sox also suffered a slew of injuries to their roster, including key players like Clay Buchholz, Mike Napoli, Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia. When the dust finally settled, the locker room of the Red Sox organization had drastically changed. Now the question remains- who should the Red Sox pursue in the offseason?

Ace in the hole- The biggest concern right now should be acquiring strong pitching that will help on October 1st, 2015. There will be a long list of five potential players that will help the team, and are as follows:

1. Jonny on the spot- Jon Lester played a major role in the Red Sox pitching staff over the past 9 years, and after being traded to Oakland during the regular season made it very clear that he was open to return to the organization. Lester was 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA during his shared time between Boston and Oakland, and his veteran experience would add a lot to the pitching rotation. Continue reading How to Fix the Red Sox this Offseason »

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Nomar, Jeter and A-Rod at the All-Star game

Regardless of your stance on the appropriateness of Jeter’s farewell tour, you’d have to admit that watching the Red Sox organization showering Jeter with adoration last weekend was painful.  Not for the fact that is was obligatory and contrived or even the over-to-top theatrics, but that it reminds us of a short stop that we used to genuinely adore, Nomar Garciaparra.

Despite all the money he made, despite all the accolades he received, Nomar’s career, to me, and I think I speak for all Sox fans in this regard, will be recognized more for what it could have been, than what it was.

There was a time in which Nomar could accurately be described as a more complete player than Derek Jeter.  Of course, at that time, Alex Rodriguez was the best player in baseball (and would be for the next several years) but, between the three of them, they made baseball the best sport in America. In 2014, where the disparity in popularity between baseball and football grows every year, there appears to be something missing from the game that made it the favorite from Generation X to every generation dating back to the Civil War.  Each season, there seemed to be a single compelling narrative which captured the country’s fascination. Continue reading As Jeter Leaves, Let’s Reminisce on Nomar: What Could Have Been »

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Can St Louis overcome the sheer ability of Clayton Kershaw to advance to the NLCS? (http://dutchlakefarm.files.wordpress.com/)

With the Divisional Round about to begin, we should see some great games. Wildcard winners Kansas City and San Francisco face dangerous aces without their best pitchers in Game 1s. Detroit and Baltimore are all set for a slugfest. St Louis will use Adam Wainwright to counter potential NL MVP Clayton Kershaw.

In preparation for the four series, we’ve brought you our choices for how the round will turn out. Picking the winner of each series is worth two points, while picking how many games each will last is worth one point.

Check below for the picks, and come back once the round is complete for the results. Continue reading 2014 MLB Playoffs Expert Picks: Divisional Round »

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