Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

Ballpark Figures: Top Second-Half Storylines

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria discuss the top five stories in baseball after the All-Star break.

 

Will R.A. Dickey win 20 games?

Baseball fans are trying to figure out if R.A. Dickey is Tom Candiotti or Phil Niekro.  At 12-1, Dickey is enjoying a banner season and arguably would be the NL Cy Young award winner if the season ended today. The problem for Dickey is that the season does not end today and he still has about 15 starts to go. Can he possibly continue his dominance and nab another eight wins for an even 20?

Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro attained three different seasons with 20 or more wins.  On the other hand, Dickey might only win another 3-5 games this season and finish with a solid, but more expected total that is more in line with a solid hurler, such as knuckleballer Tom Candiotti, who won 14, 15 and 16 games in his career.

 

What becomes of Tim Lincecum?

The good news is that Tim Lincecum is on pace to strikeout 200 batters. The bad news is that he is also approaching 100 walks, which could lead to some time in the bullpen.  We’ve had some surprises this year that fill the bust category.  As of now both Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols join a recent trend of major free agents struggling with new franchises.

Lincecum is pitching for the very franchise he came up with and has dominated for the last five seasons.  However, he is getting hit often and hard, and with a 3-10 record and 6.42 ERA you have to wonder if he will stick in the starting rotation all season long.  Lincecum hasn’t made it out of the fourth inning in back-to-back outings.

 

Where will Zack Greinke end up?

The Brewers have had their struggles and perhaps for that reason, Zack Greinke’s performance has gone under the radar.  He is 9-3 with 111 K’s and a 3.32 ERA.  With the Brewers five games out of first place, the team will be in sell mode especially if Greinke does not indicate that he wants to stick there.

So what teams could be interested?  How about the Baltimore Orioles, or the St. Louis Cardinals?  Greinke’s presence could make a world of difference in how this ost-season shapes up.

 

Are the Phillies buyers or sellers?

The Phillies are in dead last place in the National League East.  They opened the season without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and now that they are coming back, the pitchers have been out: Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.

The big question for the Phillies is figuring out whether or not Cole Hamels will stay as a free agent.  There have been rumblings that he could be destined to the Dodgers, which would leave the Phillies in a bind if they do not get anything in return for his services aside from draft picks.  Hamels, by the way, is 10-4 with a 3.20 ERA with 118 K’s and a 1.10 WHIP.  He has been the ace for the Phillies this season.

 

Are the Pirates playoff bound?

The Pirates are in first place late in the season for a second straight year.  The question is whether they can stick this time and if they learned from last year’s collapse.  It looks like they could actually stick this time for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, they have an ace with James McDonald boasting a 2.37 ERA with much better control this season.  Next, their gamble with AJ Burnett seems to be paying off as he’s been a solid number two.  Though the starting rotation lacks depth, the bullpen is strong enough to let leads stick.

Finally, on offense there are several solid players, then an MVP candidate in Andrew McCutchen and a potential star in Pedro Alvarez. The Pirates lack some depth, but so far they have been good enough, and with extra wild card spots available, this team could advance.

 

For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Edwin Jackson, Erik Bedard, and Yu Darvish

 

BY ROB SHAW

Twitter: @RobShawSports

 

Edwin Jackson is young, durable, and has been a winner with 10-plus wins in each of the last four seasons.  The solid track record begs the question why did so many teams pass on him.

 

The 28-year-old hurler is now on his seventh Major League team and he hasn’t played for losers either.  He went 5-2 down the stretch for the Cardinals last season, playing a role in the team’s World Series Championship.

 

One of the hardest throwing hurlers in baseball, Jackson has improved his control over the years.  His greatest weakness recently is that he is just too hittable.  Even in his successful run with the Cardinals the opposition hit .300 against him.  The good news is that he keeps the ball in the yards, but for fantasy managers looking for a low WHIP, Jackson is not a solution.

 

The move to Washington means he’ll now don the jersey for his sixth team over the last four years.  However, Bloomberg Sports likes his fantasy value.  The larger ballpark and National League setting should translate to 170 strikeouts, double-digit wins, and a 4.21 ERA.

 

Jackson is a fine low-risk, high ceiling option in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.  After all, it was just a few years back that he threw a no-hitter while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Let’s see if he can finally sustain such dominance over a full season.

 

Once one of the hurlers in the most demand in the Major Leagues, Erik Bedard hopes to build on his improvement from last season while joining the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Bedard was a disaster in Seattle.  Because of injuries, he never lived up to the hype and while the Mariners traded away top prospect Adam Jones to the Orioles for him, they ended up letting him go for very little in return last season to the Red Sox.

 

The good news is that Bedard showed that even after all of the injury-ravaged seasons, he still has some potential right now.  He offered fine control last season and fanned a batter per inning throughout the year.

 

A move to Pittsburgh should lead to some good results for Bedard’s fantasy managers.  Pittsburgh’s ballpark plays neutral and he will no longer have to deal with designated hitters in the majority of his starts.  Most importantly, he has sustained his health, which is the key to his performance.

 

BloombergSports.com projects a solid 3.74 ERA and 1 .30 WHIP from the veteran hurler this season, and with some luck he could reach double-digit wins for the first time in five years.

 

The loss of CJ Wilson could be crushing to the Texas Rangers.  Just a year removed from a second World Series, the Rangers lost their ace for a second time.  First it was Cliff Lee who bolted to rejoin the Phillies.  Now it’s Wilson, and while he may not be as dominant as Lee, the fact that he joins the rival LA Angels of Anaheim makes matters worse.

 

The Rangers were desperate to respond and without many proven stars on the market they had to compete with teams including the Toronto Blue Jays to land Yu Darvish, an ace from Japan.  With an enormous bid, the Rangers land the hard-throwing hurler who will enjoy the loftiest expectations by a free agent to join the Rangers perhaps since Alex Rodriguez signed his now infamous $252 million deal.

 

As far as realistic projections for Darvish, BloombergSports.com offers a 13-8 record, 185 strikeouts, and a 3.63 ERA for the hard-throwing hurler.   That makes him the 16th best starting pitcher, and a top-50 fantasy talent.

 

Despite the lofty projections, there is still a great deal of risk for fantasy managers.  After all, Darvish is new to America and will have to adapt culturally to Major League Baseball, plus he calls home to one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league.  He will not get away with many mistakes and the media will be hounding him all season long.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.

(Vid) Behind the Numbers: New media & its impact on fandom

Celebrating the Fan Experience Part 3: Sabermetrics, Social Media & the Impact on Fandom

Hosts:  Wayne Parillo and Rob Shaw

Behind the Numbers is a series of conversations and discussions with baseball, blog, sabermetric, and fantasy experts.

Guest:Dave Cameron, co-founder ussmariner.com, and writer for fangraphs.com and espn.com Insider. Follow him at d_a_cameron

Dave Cameron covers topics from super 2 status, sabermetrics hitting the main stream, and how new media such as social media and twitter changes the way he is Mariner’s fan. Plus some good old fashioned stories and thoughts on Jose Bautista, the Cardinals, and Charlie Blackmon.

Watch the entire episode, or use the links below to jump to the exact point you want.

 For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com

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(Vid) Behind the Numbers – Jason Fry and his favorite Mets memories

The Grand Slam Single & Other Baseball Stories

Hosts:  Wayne Parillo and Brendan McGrail

Behind the Numbers is a series of conversations and discussions with baseball, blog, sabermetric, and fantasy experts.

Watch the entire episode, or use the links below to jump to the exact point you want:

Guest: Jason Fry

Celebrating the fan experience with Faithandfearinflushing.com co-founder and NY Times best selling author as he gives us with his craziest Mets story while watching a Mets game at a bar in New Orleans, his most emotional Mets memories, why he goes to games live, and R.A. Dickey and the Darth Vader outfit.

Follow him a @jasoncfry

For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com

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(Vid) Behind the Numbers – Will Leitch on everything

Hosts: Robert Shaw and Wayne Parillo

Behind the Numbers is a series of conversations and discussions with baseball, blog, sabermetric, and fantasy experts.

Watch the entire episode, or use the links below to jump to the exact point you want:

Guest: Will Leitch

The extremely funny and entertaing co-founder Deadspin, contributing editor at New York Magazine, and author of four books stops by. Follow him a @williamfleitch

About Deadspin

Would Deadspin work now?

Is the opportunity for independent sites gone?

Branding

Closing & Credits 18:30 – the End

For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com

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(Vid) Behind the Numbers: How to Discuss Sabermetrics Without Alienating People

 

Hosts: Robert Shaw and Wayne Parillo

Behind the Numbers is a series of conversations and discussions with blog, sabermetric, and fantasy experts.

Watch the entire episode, or use the links below to jump to the exact point you want:

Guest: Steve Slowinski

Writer St Petersburg Times, librarian and contributor at Fangraphs.com, Editor-in-Chief DRaysBay, SB Nation Tampa Bay. Follow him at @steveslow

 

For the best fantasy baseball analysis and insight please visit BloombergSports.com

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