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Will The Sox Win The AL East?

By on August 29, 2016 at 9:30pm
(AP Photo/Gail Burton) Can the Red Sox take the division in the playoff push?

As September is nearing, playoffs is becoming a predominant topic in baseball. The powerhouse hitting Red Sox are now in a position where the postseason is not a guarantee. They have been bouncing in and out of first, second, and third place for a majority of the season. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles have been the most dominant teams in the Al East all season.

Going into Monday Aug. 29th, the Red Sox sit in second place with a 72-58 record, two games behind the Blue Jays. Baltimore sits right behind the Sox, only one game back. So the question we are all wondering is who is going to win the division?

I believe at this point it’s a complete toss up. We can pull out as many statistics as we want to predict the end of the season results but we have to remember that this is baseball. This game is so unpredictable, especially when there are only 30 games left to be played. Any team could take the division with being just a half game up, it could be that close.

The good news is that the next month of baseball is going to be tough for all teams in the AL East. Starting tonight until the end of the season the Sox have two remaining series against the Rays, Yankees, Orioles, and the Blue Jays. So the standings in the AL East are going to be jumping all around for the next month. If the Sox want a legitimate chance at taking the division, they need to be the best team in the month of September, period.

If the Sox do not win the division, they always have the Wild Card. But with the Wild Card , the top two teams have to play in a one game playoff match up to decide who moves onto the ALDS. Boston needs to avoid this at all costs because a one game deciding match up is a tough game to win. If this were to happen I’d be scared to see who Farrell decides to start on the bump.

However I am very confident the Sox will finish the season strong. Their hitting is still very dominant. Ortiz is still showing he’s one of the best with 30 plus homers and 100 plus RBIs. Mookie is still one of the best hitters in the entire MLB right now with 29 homers, 94 RBIs, and a .321 AVG (Did I mention he was a lead off hitter for the majority of the season?). And Pedey quietly is hitting .320 going into Monday. So the bats are there. Again as we’ve discussed a million times, it all comes down to the Sox pitching. Starting pitching for Boston has looked better lately, the bullpen is still an issue. All we can do at this point is pray that the pitching comes around going into September.

The toughest series the Sox are going to have this next month are the ones against the Blue Jays. Toronto plays as the biggest threat towards Boston. They are a very well rounded team that can hit and have some pitching. The two series the Sox have against them in the next month are definitely the most imports series they will have all year.

This all being said, I’m super excited for the next month of baseball because its going to be a a fun one to watch.

 

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9 games to circle on your calendar. (forum.canucks.com)

With the long-awaited Jimmy Vesey Sweepstakes, or #VeseyWatch as it was known on Twitter, coming to an unfortunate end last week after the North Reading, MA native decided to sign in the Big Apple with the Rangers instead of his hometown team, the buzz around this upcoming Bruins season has taken somewhat of a hit. The questions surrounding this group of players, specifically on the blue line, haven’t been addressed and the moves that have been made, most notably the signing of David Backes, have been second guessed. Adding Vesey to this group would have reinvigorated a fan-base that isn’t very happy right now according to recent sports polls, and masked some of the problems that still linger for this years squad. Nevertheless, training camp opens in just about a month, so rather than sulk and pout, I looked at the B’s upcoming season and found nine games that will surely get even the most depressed Bruins fan pumped up. Continue reading 9 Bruins Games to Circle on your Calendar »

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Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire

The Sox had a relatively quiet trade deadline today as they only acquired one player in a one for one trade. The Sox acquired left handed reliever Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league lefty Pat Light.

Abad will help the Sox’s struggling bullpen as left handed hitters have only a .163 batting average off him this season. This is not a big trade but will definitely aid the Sox a little with their pitching situation. But the move that everyone was hoping for was to see another stud pitcher in the starting rotation.

Everyone knows Chris Sale was the talk of the deadline but it was no surprise to me that he stayed with Chicago. A dominant pitcher like him is not going to go anywhere without a very large trade being put in place. It’s a shame the Sox couldn’t snag him because he is just what we are missing.

However, I have to say I am very surprised Andrew Benintendi and Joan Moncada stayed with the AA Portland Sea Dogs. I expected the Sox to move at least one of them in a trade to acquire a starting pitcher. Now that they are staying in the Sox farm system, I don’t know what the Sox are going to do with their starting rotation.

The addition of Drew Pomeranz was viewed as a good move at first but is looking a little shaky right now. Steven Wright has had a couple bad starts lately and David Price is still yet to get into a consistent groove. The only consistent pitcher the Sox have right now is Rick Porcello who quietly has been a stud this year with a 14-2 record.

I don’t know what the Sox are going to do but if they want to be serious contenders for the playoffs, their pitching has to make some adjustments. The AL East and the American League in general is very competitive right now and it’s really a toss up for which teams are going to win the division and the wild card.

Safe to say this trade deadline helped, but it wasn’t enough.

 

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AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

As the baseball season is at the halfway point we start examining players for baseball’s most prestigious award, the Most Valuable Player. Two Red Sox players are considered to be serious contenders in this year’s insanely competitive AL MVP race. Those two players are Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. However there are many other great players to consider when talking about the MVP race.

Potential AL MVP Candidates

  • Josh Donaldson
  • Jose Altuve
  • Robinson Cano
  • Mike Trout
  • Manny Machado

Many people put Josh Donaldson at the top of the list right now. Donaldson was the AL MVP last season and is once again having himself a fantastic season. But I personally wouldn’t put him at the top of the list right now. If I had to choose a player right now to be at the top of the AL MVP race I would choose Astros 2B Jose Altuve. Altuve currently leads to MLB with 135 hits and a .358 AVG. Right behind Altuve I would put Ortiz. Ortiz leads the MLB with 34 doubles, a SLG of .665, and an OPS of 1.083.

The only problem with Ortiz is that he’s a DH. Many people use that against him because there are no defensive stats to credit him with. But with the performance David is having at the plate this year makes him a serious contender for the MVP award in his final season.

Do not forget about Xander Bogaerts. He is being viewed as a genuine player to win the award. He is arguably one of the best hitting shortstops in the entire MLB. As of Saturday Xander has 125 hits (3rd in the MLB behind Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts), 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 61 RBIs, .324 AVG, .381 OBP, .469 SLG, and a .850 OPS. Xander is also a very good defensive player with a .973 fielding percentage and only 9 errors in 813 innings.

The AL MVP race is going to be a very competitive one this year because there are so may players that could take the crown. But it is only half way through the season so nobody knows who’s going to stay on track or drop off the candidate list. All I’m saying is to not count the Sox sluggers out of the race, especially Ortiz. Even though he’s a DH, he’s putting up one of the best seasons of his career and has some of the best numbers in the game right now.

Can you imagine a 40 year old in his last season winning an MVP award? We can only hope…

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Well Tom Brady’s petition for a rehearing of the Deflategate case was denied today by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. So as of right now, Brady’s four game suspension has been reinstated for the beginning of next season. But all of us know that Brady still isn’t going down without a fight…again.

Tom Brady and the Patriots have two options. He can appeal his case to the United States Supreme Court, where a higher court would reexamine the lower court’s decision on the case. Or he can accept the suspension and move on…yeah that’s not going to happen. The problem is, there is a very low chance that the US Supreme Court takes his case. But hey, we’ve seen Brady work miracles in the past so who knows what’s going to happen.

Brady’s legal team can also apply for a stay. This means that if the stay is accepted, Brady would be allowed to play the four games while the Supreme Court makes their decision or declines to accept his case. The issue with this is if Brady is granted a stay and ends up losing the case, he would have to serve his four game suspension most likely in the middle to end of the regular season, which would be worse. So Brady and his legal team have many factors to consider when making their decision.

Many people believe Brady is hurting his team or being selfish for what he is doing but he is doing what he believes is right. He believes that he is innocent and he will never admit to something he hasn’t done. I mean he may take this to the Supreme Court, this is some serious stuff. If Brady was guilty, do you really think he would go through all this trouble and stress just so he isn’t suspended four games? I mean come on, this whole thing is still unbelievable to me.

However it’s not over yet, once again there is still hope for Tom Brady and Patriots Nation. All we can hope for is justice to be served and for Brady to finally receive his innocence. This final step in the legal system really is going to be a Hail Mary for the Patriots.

Free Brady

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Jacob Trouba isn't worth the astronomical price the Bruins would have to pay for him. (Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.con

Jacob Trouba isn’t worth the astronomical price the Bruins would have to pay for him. (Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com)

 

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have Jacob Trouba on the Boston Bruins. He’s a promising young defenseman that instantly makes the B’s blueline more skilled. However, if the Bruins plan on using an offer sheet on the 22 year-old, forcing them to give up their next four first round picks plus pay him a $7-8 million salary, they are incredibly stupid. Continue reading Trouba is NOT the Savior the Bruins Need »

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The NHL draft is Friday night in Buffalo. Photo courtesy of sabrenoise.com

The Bruins hold two picks in this years 2016 NHL Draft, the 14th and 29th overall selections, and will be looking to add premier talent to a squad that doesn’t have much to brag about as of late. Much like last years draft, this class of eligible players is highlighted by multiple elite names at the top, including presumptive number one selection Auston Matthews, as well as forwards Patrick Laine, and Jesse Puljujarvi. By the time the B’s select at 14, there won’t be a franchise player like Matthews available, however there will be numerous players that could prove to be valuable assets in the near-future. Here are seven skaters that could end up donning the spoked-B Friday evening.

  1. Jake Bean (Defenseman): Arguably the most offensively gifted defenseman in the entire draft, Bean left nobody questioning his talent level after he recorded the most goals for a defenseman in the Western Hockey League this past season with 24. Bean’s smooth skating ability and wicked wrist-shot are his best attributes and is regarded as a pure offensive D-man, but his defensive ability is suspect. This has me wondering if he is the best option for the Bruins as they need a defenseman who can actually play defense, and not another Torey Krug-esque player on the back-end.
  2. Clayton Keller (Center): Keller, the Swansea, ILL native and former U.S National Team Development Program standout is one of a few forwards on the smaller side in this draft. At 5’10”, Keller does everything you want as a center but teams are concerned his small stature will hinder his NHL play. He had a tremendous season earning 107 overall points and is committed to Boston University next fall. While I would approve of this pick, the Bruins are stockpiled with centers, therefore he simply might not have a spot on the club.
  3. Dante Fabbro (Defenseman): Regarded as a natural leader and shutdown defender, Fabbro may be the safest pick available for the B’s. His keen offensive instincts combined with his impressive D-zone coverage skills make him a perfect target for the Bruins desperate for solid two-way defenseman. My only knock towards Fabbro is that the competition he faced these past couple years has been sub-par. Instead of playing major junior hockey he played a tier below in Jr. A. This might end up being a non-factor but it I wouldn’t overlook it too much.
  4. Logan Brown (Forward): Brown isn’t a popular name popping up regarding this pick, however I have a feeling the obsession with big, intimidating players B’s management has may make him an option here. Brown is a 6’6″ center who plays a heavy game and has great vision. He posted respectable numbers in the Ontario Hockey League netting 74 total points and projects to be an all-around center in the NHL. I would keep an eye-out on this guy being an out-of-the-box selection for the Bruins.
  5.  Charlie McAvoy (Defenseman): Another rearguard with high offensive capabilities, McAvoy completed his freshman season playing for the Terriers of B.U. and the 18 year old may not have to travel far after his college days are over. He didn’t have the eye-popping numbers like Bean did but he isn’t that far below Bean’s overall game either. Obviously, McAvoy’s local roots make him an automatic favorite as the B’s love drafting close to home, yet I’m not certain McAvoy has enough defensive responsibility in his game to make this a home-run selection.
  6. Kieffer Bellows (Forward): Keller’s teammate on the U.S Under-18 team, Bellows didn’t accumulate as many points as Keller, but he did rack up 50 goals and was a constant scoring threat for the American squad. Bellows has a bit more size at 6’1″ however he doesn’t have as complete of a game as Keller. Also committed to B.U, Bellows could be the best available player for the Bruins at 14 and I’d have a hard time passing on a 50 goal man in the middle of the first round, especially since the B’s are starved for goal scoring forwards.

Player to Watch = Alex DeBrincat (Forward): The small, speedy winger was at the top of draft boards last year but injuries and worries about his 5’7″ frame pushed his stock to the end of the first round. If the B’s keep their 29th pick and nobody takes the undersized scorer, the Bruins should jump all over this guy.

The draft begins Friday night at 7pm at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY.

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